Fairies, witches and werewolves…whether spellbinding or terrifying, these mysterious creatures never cease to fascinate, living on to this day in our legends, dreams and nightmares. But from where do these beliefs come, and why have they endured?
In his book, Claude Lecouteux reveals how German and Scandinavian legends, as well as many aspects of European culture, bear in them a well-forgotten religious idea; that the soul, or rather, its double, can both leave and re-enter the body – either in human or animal form – while it is asleep, in a trance, or even in a coma. And while some undergo this strange journey entirely by chance, others, often accused of witchcraft, have known how to bring it about.
A veritable archeologist of the medieval soul, Claude Lecouteux reveals to us the origins and importance of these beliefs, and traces their metamorphosis over the course of the centuries. Far from being fancies or vague superstitions, fairies, witches and werewolves reveal an ancient and coherent vision of the world and beyond, that has long been fought against and repressed.