posted on Jan, 31 2004 @ 01:23 AM
Originally posted by mulberryblueshimmer
so in the middle ages if you got bitten by a wild wolf that actualy carried rabies or a rabies like disease then started displaying the symptoms
yourself, that could account for the myth of the bite of a werewolf changing you into a werewolf yourself?
An excellent point, as have been many others that were made here.
I can vouch for tandino's comments about the full moon's effect on psychiatric patients as well. My grandparents worked in a State Hospital here in
Pennsylvania and have had many tales of how the full moon would really seem to bring out more disturbing, sometimes violent behavior. And yes, as Gear
and tandino have pointed out, the full moon seems to have an effect of some kind on many people (myself included).
Shapeshifters and lycanthropes may simply be the product of mass hallucinations, as Gazrok has stated, but KiwiGael does provide interesting
information to keep in mind about other cultures and their belief in shapeshifters. If this were purely a European phenomenon, then we could perhaps
write some of it off as mold-induced hallucination, but other myths do exist, which does put some doubt into any casual dismissal.
Skeletal remains of a supernatural shapeshifter could have been found at anytime. Who would know? Is there some established physiological difference
in bone structure and skeletal layout for lycanthropes? Once again, this provides more uncertainty.
Looking at the bigger picture, it is difficult to be certain in matters of the supernatural, but the evidence points to more or less ordinary people
and/or animal misidentification (ie. the hyena Esoterica mentioned).
I believe that there are some physical and/or psychic gifts that could duplicate some of the abilities of werewolves, but I've yet to see anyone who
could become a wolf. Perhaps this is merely an exaggeration however, just as many folk tales and legends are exaggerations of actual events. Once word
spreads of one event, other similar stories inevitably crop up, just as some skeptics claim about UFO abductees and witnesses.
Every legend has its basis in fact. We just need to find which events led to these tales in their beginning. Given the era we're looking at though,
this could be nearly impossible.