Wolf's head cane
Wolf's head cane.jpg
Wolf's head cane
Type: Walking implement
Availability: Uncommon item
Owners: Larry Talbot
Barnabas Collins
1st appearance: The Wolf Man (1941)

Description[edit | edit source]

A wolf's head cane is a simple walking stick fitted with a metal handle in the shape of a wolf's head. Often times, the handle is forged out of pure silver. In cinema, the wolf's head cane came into popularity in the 1941 Universal Pictures horror film The Wolf Man. The movie's protagonist, Larry Talbot purchased a wolf's head cane from Gwen Conliffe at Conliffe's Antiques in the village of Llanwelly. Talbot had no particular interest in the cane itself and only purchased it as an excuse to flirt with Gwen. In fact, the wealthy aristocrat was quite put out when he found that he had to pay $15.00 for "an old walking stick". The cane became quite useful to Talbot later that evening however when he used it as a weapon to drive off a wolf that had attacked a local girl named Jenny Williams. He found out however that the wolf he had bludgeoned to death was actually a werewolf named Bela and that it was the silver in the handle that had killed him. During the attack, Talbot was bitten by the werewolf and thus, incurred the curse of lycanthropy upon himself. Some time later, Larry's father, Sir John Talbot was forced to use the cane on Larry when he transformed into a werewolf. [1]

A variation of the cane was featured in the 2010 remake of The Wolfman. Unlike the original, this cane functioned as a thin sheathe concealing a sword blade. The wolf's head handle served as the hilt.

Another popular variation of the wolf's head cane was featured in the 1960s gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. The vampire character Barnabas Collins owned such a cane which, like Talbot's, included a head piece forged out of solid silver. Barnabas maintained few personal affects, but once told Collinsport Inn waitress Maggie Evans that the cane was his "most prized possession". [2]

Though Barnabas was never a physically imposing individual, he did use the cane as a weapon on more than one occasion. In addition to it's usefulness in driving back werewolves such as Quentin Collins or Chris Jennings, Barnabas also used it to dispense punishment against his enslaved servant Willie Loomis. Fans of the series have taken to referring to the cane as the "Willie Beater".

In the Dark Shadows novel series by Marilyn Ross, the cane was revealed to conceal a sword blade. Barnabas, apparently an expert fencer, was forced to use the sword to defend himself against adversaries on several occasions.

In 1990, Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis re-imagined his popular series for a rebooted serial on NBC starring Ben Cross in the role of Barnabas Collins. Cross' Barnabas likewise possessed an identical wolf's head cane.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • One of the notable differences between Larry Talbot's cane and Barnabas' is that Talbot's was also etched with the sign of the pentagram. Barnabas' cane had no such markings.
  • It has been said that the handle on Barnabas Collins' cane is a mixture of silver and gold.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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This article relates to the Dark Shadows franchise.
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This page is a miscellaneous article relating to the Wolf Man film franchise. This template will categorize images that include it into the Wolf Man miscellaneous category.
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