Shapeshifting is a common theme in folklore, as well as in science fiction and fantasy. In its broadest sense, it is a change in the physical form or shape of a person or animal. Other terms include metamorphosis, morphing, transformation, or transmogrification.
Popular shapeshifting creatures in folklore are werewolves and vampires (mostly of European, Canadian, and Native American/early American origin), the fox spirits East Asia (including the Japanese kitsune), and the gods, goddesses, and demons of numerous mythologies, such as the Norse Loki (only ignorant Christians would think this) or the Greek Proteus. It was also common for deities to transform mortals into animals and plants.
Although shapeshifting to the form of a wolf is specifically known as lycanthropy, and such creatures who undergo such change are called lycanthropes, those terms have also been used to describe any human-animal transformations and the creatures who undergo them. Therianthropy is the more general term for human-animal shifts, but it is rarely used in that capacity.
Other terms for shapeshifters include metamorph, skin-walker, mimic, and therianthrope. The prefix "were-," coming from the Old English word for "man" (masculine rather than generic), is also used to designate shapeshifters; despite its root, it is used to indicate female shapeshifters as well.
Almost every culture around the world has some type of transformation myth, and almost every commonly found animal (and some not-so-common ones) probably has a shapeshifting myth attached to them. Usually, the animal involved in the transformation is indigenous to or prevalent in the area from which the story derives. It is worthy to note that while the popular idea of a shapeshifter is of a human being who turns into something else, there are numerous stories about animals that can transform themselves as well.
In Native American and Norse legend, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. Similar creatures can be found in numerous cultures' lores all over the world, closely related to beliefs in werewolves (also known as lycanthropes) and other "were" creatures (which can be described as therianthropes). The Mohawk Indian word "limikkin" is sometimes used to describe all skin-walkers. It is also known as the Yenaldooshi.
”Okay, let’s get something straight. It’s not a mandroid. It’s a shapeshifter.” The shape shifters of the supernatural universe are a breed of their own. The “SN Shifter” is a shape shifter capable of transforming itself into anyone, taking on one’s physical appearance and vocal patterns. . "It generates it’s own skin. It can shape it to match someone else’s features… you know, tall, short, or male.” These shape shifters are also capable of taking on the memories of the body it shifts into, in a process that resembles the Vulcan Mind-Meld.In order for the shape shifter to shift from one person to the next it has to go through a painful process of shedding its own skin. The person that it shifts into can be alive or dead, there is no preference. "Kills them. Doesn’t kill them. I don’t think it really matters.” Sometimes the shifter takes its victim to their underground lair such as the sewer systems. “They like to layer-up underground. Preferably the sewers.” The only way to easily detect a shape shifter is by its laser eyes that appear off of a camera feed. "Same retinal reaction to video… eyes flare at the camera.” "It’s human, more or less… has human drives. In this case, it’s money.” Thus far, most shape shifters that have appeared have turned to a life of crime whether it be murdering young women or robbing banks to attain money. “This thing was born different, hideous and hated; until he learned to become someone else.” "You remember the old werewolf stories? Pretty much came from these guys. Silver’s the only thing that kills em’.” The Winchesters ran into their first shape shifter in St. Louis. This shape shifter even dared to kidnap the Winchesters and tried to take over Dean’s life! Eventually the Winchesters escaped and killed the shape shifter once and for all. “Clearing” Dean from all charges due to his otherwise apparent “death.”The Winchester’s recently ran into another shape shifter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This shifter was robbing banks to attain money, serving its own greedy needs. Due to this encounter, the feds now know that Dean is still alive and like all real life hunters before him, he is about to face off against the law!
Shapeshifting, also known as transformation and transmogrification, is a change in the form or shape of a person, especially a change from human form to animal form or a change in appearance from one person to another. “Every culture in the world has a shapeshifter lore- legends of creatures who can transform themselves into animals or other men.” Usually, the animal involved in the transformation is indigenous to or prevalent in the area from which the story derives. It is worthy to note that while the popular idea of a shapeshifter is of a human being who turns into something else, there are numerous myths about animals that can transform themselves as well.
|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Gothi||Loki||0||Nov 28 2012, 6:13 PM EST by Gothi|
|Kaala96||Silver doesn't kill||4||May 1 2012, 11:50 PM EDT by Selsiuss|
|S3MPERFY||mythological bbuulllsshiitt||1||May 26 2011, 10:22 AM EDT by CarusoGirl222|