A werewolf or lycanthrope is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shape shift into a wolf or a therianthropic hybrid wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse or affliction.
Today we are discussing werewolves. Just like vampires they are also rampant in literature right now both in the classics and in several modern genres. And movies, television series….they are everywhere.
Why are we so fascinated with them?
Maybe it’s because we wish we had powers. They are extremely fast and very strong. Their senses are heightened. They are protectors and vicious killers. They run through the forest by the light of the moon. Something about it, just like with the vampires, it romantic and seductive.
Where did they come from?
One can find origin stories in Greece, Scotland, Ireland, and America. Native American lore refers to shapeshifting but it’s not limited to wolves. Some feel sorry for werewolves because they are cursed. But when they tear a whole village a part, limb by limb, it’s not about sympathy anymore. It’s about fear!
It’s long been said that packs roam the Alaskan back country. I personally find wolves beautiful creatures. Not sure I’d a) want to turn into one and b) be eaten by one. I can imagine the transformation part would be very painful.
The most common way to turn into a werewolf is to be bitten by one. It gets into your bloodstream and then takes over your DNA. Then, by the light of the moon, transformation occurs. I wonder if they have the same code as some vampires that only eat animals. Perhaps for a beast though, they cannot distinguish between a human and an animal during this frenzy.
Current television shows with werewolves include Grimm, Bitten, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Teen Wolf, Hemlock Grove, and many more. Still popular today as when I saw the first werewolf film, An American Werewolf in London.