A werewolf in folklore and mythology is a person who shapeshifts into a wolf, either purposely, by using magic, or after being placed under a
curse. The medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury associated the transformation with the appearance of the full moon, but this concept was rarely
associated with the werewolf until the idea was picked up by modern fiction writers. Most modern references agree that a werewolf can be killed if
shot by a silver bullet, although this is more a reflection of fiction's influence than an authentic feature of the folk legends. A werewolf
allegedly can be killed by complete destruction of heart or brain; silver isn't necessary.
Now, I don't believe in the wolf changing humans who's rib cages shift, back arches over and snaps into place. The head then changing into a long
snout and when daylight comes again, the creature returns to human. No I don't.
France in particular seems to have been infested with werewolves during the 16th century, and the consequent trials were very numerous. In some of the
cases - e.g. those of the Gandillon family in the Jura, the tailor of Chalons and Roulet in Angers, all occurring in the year 1598 - there was clear
evidence against the accused of murder and cannibalism, but none of association with wolves; in other cases, as that of Gilles Garnier in Dole in
1573, there was clear evidence against some wolf, but none against the accused.
The same was done in England, very much the same as Vampire stories and Witch trials. The guilty were burned alive.
Now I personally always wondered where myths such as the Werewolf, Vampire etc stemmed from. Something must have happened for all these believers of
ancient times to 'get their knickers in a twist.' Vampirism as I've posted in the Vampire thread, can be dated back a long time - so can Werewolf
stories and myths. In France, Germany and the Far East. In Prussia, Livonia and Lithuania, according to the bishops Olaus Magnus and Majolus, the
werewolves were in the 16th century far more destructive than "true and natural wolves."
The stories come from everywhere around the World so something must have made those stories happen and start off right?
Many of the werewolves in European tradition were most innocent and God-fearing persons, who suffered through the witchcraft of others, or simply
from an unhappy fate, and who as wolves behaved in a truly touching fashion, fawning upon and protecting their benefactors. In Marie de France's poem
Bisclaveret (c. 1200), the nobleman Bisclavret, for reasons not described in the lai, had to transform into a wolf every week. When his treacherous
wife stole his clothing, needed to restore his human form, he escaped the king's wolf hunt by imploring the king for mercy, and accompanied the king
You can keep finding numerous stories out there. So I'm wondering where they all came from!? Ok, let's look back not so long ago. It was only very
recently, a few hundred years (18th century ish) where people were tried for being witches. If you had a pet, a cat for example and you spoke to it,
that was deemed a piece of evidence that you were conspiring with the Devil. But now we can see that the poor old lonely woman was only talking to
somebody because she wanted company and friendship. Many people speak to their pets today, I do and we aren't witches!
Porphyria has been long linked with Vampires. It's a very rare disease that humans can get and the symptoms are very, yes very vampire like. So, link
that disease with someone who's immensely hairy (hypertrichosis), and in my eyes you have the stereotypical werewolf. A human with a lot of hair,
searching for blood to drink/consume, as his body needs it because of the disease porphyria.
Another theory about their origins could be Ergot. A recent theory has been proposed to explain werewolf episodes in Europe in the 18th and 19th
centuries. Ergot, which causes a form of foodborne illness, is a fungus that grows in place of rye grains in wet growing seasons after very cold
Ergot poisoning usually affects whole towns or at least poor areas of towns and results in hallucinations, mass hysteria and paranoia, as well as
convulsions and sometimes death. ('___' can be derived from ergot.) Ergot poisoning has been proposed as both a cause of an individual believing that
he or she is a werewolf and of a whole town believing that they had seen a werewolf. However, this theory is controversial and unsatisfactory.
So you imagine the whole town going crazy, almost as on LCD and you might have cracked the reasons why people were so paranoid and hysterical.
Also you have the occasional mental people who believe they are 'turning.' It's called clinical lycanthropy, in which an affected person has a
delusional belief that he or she is transforming into another animal, although not always a wolf or werewolf.
Others believe werewolf legends arose as a part of shamanism and totem animals in primitive and nature-based cultures.
There's so many possibilities and different views on it all over the World that I don't know what to believe. Although I'm keen to stick with a