Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Werehyena #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 96: Dark Fae: Werehyena

The folklore of the werehyena in a nutshell, how I reimagined it for my writing, and this fae translated to Afrikaans.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2024 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about the werehyena in folklore here.

Get the transcript here.

Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com


You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.

I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With over a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.

This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.

Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.

This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Dark Fae.

Today’s Faery: Werehyena

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel

Werehyenas are not the same as Werewolves. They aren’t men who turn into animals, but rather animals that turn into men.

*It’s okay to shiver right now.*

The belief in werehyenas is rampant in Africa and parts of Eurasia.

In some parts of Africa, it is believed that entire villages are populated by werehyenas, people who change themselves into hyenas, such as Kabultiloa. In other places on the continent, only blacksmiths are suspected of having the power of turning themselves into hyenas and it is believed that they rob graves, probably to eat fresh corpses. Another version of the lore has it that a cannibalistic hyena terrorises lovers at midnight and can be recognised in its human form by being extremely hairy and having a nasal voice. Of course, there is also a cult that “become” hyenas through role-play, masks and other means while entertaining their group – supposedly to evoke fear and to help them avoid the hyena’s habits in their real lives.

In Persia and Greece, the werehyena is more vampiric in nature. It attacks at night, slaughters children, and haunts battlefields, drinking the blood of dying soldiers. And in Arabia it is known that the werehyena can mesmerise victims with its eyes and even with its pheromones.

Legend has it that the werehyena can take three forms: human, hyena, and a hybrid of the two. They can turn into any of the three forms at will. Just like real hyenas, the werehyena can act alone or work in packs. The werehyena has the gift to call a person’s name in a voice they know, luring people away from their friends and family in order to devour them.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Werehyena

Two kinds.
The first kind is hyenas that can turn into men. They have Vampiric tendencies. They can mimic any voice. They are physically more powerful than any creature. They can mesmerise people to do their bidding. In their human guise they are quite hairy, have glowing eyes and they grin all the time.
The second kind is a curse that turn men into hyenas that can walk like men, fight like hyenas and are as bloodthirsty as Vampires. They are immune to the magic of most Fae.
Mortal enemies:
Type 1: Druids and Nature Fae.
Type 2: Only the sangoma that cursed them can kill them. (And return them to their un-cursed state.)

sangoma n (in southern Africa) a traditional healer or diviner

As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Weerhiëna

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.

Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!

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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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