Quick Facts: The Stüpp of the German Rhineland Area

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by Týra Alrune Sahsnotasvriunt

The Stüpp is a kind of werewolf from the Rhineland area. He lies in wait for his victims at a crossroads, near a river, lake or at a cemetery and preferably attacks around midnight, jumping his victims’ backs, digging his claws deeply into them, so they can’t shake him off. (In Rhinish dialect this procedure is called “pöözen” or “hackeln”).
Once attached to his victim the parasitic Stüpp grows heavier and larger with each step the victim takes and also grows in size the more fear his victim feels, until he or she will go mad before dying from physical and mental overexhaustion and panic.
The Stüpp appears to be more of a blend between a werewolf and aptrgangr; he does not physically but mentally “deflesh” his victims and lies in wait for them in places traditionally inhabited by aptrgangr.
A tale from the Eifel confirms this: It tells of a man who committed suicide and who returned in the shape of a giant wolf who began tormenting those who he felt had wronged them when he was still alive/human.
Traditionally one could only limitedly fight a Stüpp. Some folk tales speak of people having fought off a Stüpp successfully by ramming an iron knife into his paw or snout while others say that if you knew the Stüpp’s once human name and called it out loud he would immediately let go and vanish completely.

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