Time for fun! Let’s devour some werewolf mythology and legends. We’ll take a bite out of the mysteries surrounding these furry creatures and feed the drooling appetite for fans and interested bystanders.
- A werewolf is also known as a lycanthrope. Affectionately called a lycan.
- According to European folklore, they can show physical traits even in their human form, such as: the meeting of both eyebrows, curved fingernails, low-set ears and a swinging stride. A method of identifying a werewolf in its human form: cut the flesh and fur would be seen in the wound. Russian folklore states a werewolf has bristles under the tongue.
- Werewolves normally have superhuman strength, speed, and senses, far beyond that of wolves and men.
- And the French name for a werewolf is loup-garou. (Don’t ask me to pronounce it.)
- References to men changing into wolves are found in Ancient Greek literature and mythology. Herodotus wrote that a tribe near Scythia transformed into wolves once every year for several days. Ovid tells of King Lycaon who served human flesh to God Zeus – testing if he was really a god. Zeus wasn’t amused and turned Lycaon into a werewolf as punishment for the crime. Ovid also relates stories of men in Arcadia who roamed the woods in the form of wolves.
- Other Roman writers mentioned lycanthropy. Virgil wrote of humans transforming into wolves. Pliny the Elder relates two tales of lycanthropy. One is of a man who hung his clothes on an ash tree, swam across an Arcadian lake, and transformed into a wolf. If he didn’t attack humans for 9 years, he could swim back and take his human form. Pliny’s second tale is of a man who was turned into a wolf after eating the entrails of a child.
- Some less-heard of ways to become a werewolf: a) removal of clothing and putting on a belt made of wolfskin, b) rub the body with a magic salve, c) drinking rainwater out of the footprint of the wolf or from enchanted streams, d) on a certain Wednesday or Friday, sleep outside on a summer night with the full moon shining directly on the face, e) by/for Satanic allegiance and reasons, f) being cursed by witches or a spell cast by sorcerers, g) being born a werewolf.
- The most common way (that you’ve read in books or seen on TV and the movies) to become a werewolf is being bitten or scratched by one. It’s interesting to note that this kind of transformation or conversion into a werewolf is actually rare in legends/myths. Although being turned into a vampire…being bitten or scratched/scraped by the teeth – now that would be considered the norm!
I hope you found this brief “knowledge” about werewolves interesting. I love researching this stuff and definitely do use some of the information I find to help me with ideas in writing my Werewolf Series.
I’m thinking my next blog will continue with more Werewolf Mythology, Legends, etc. What do you think?