10 Most Howlingly Interesting Werewolf Facts
Are you hunting for more monstrous myths and legends? These werewolf facts are paws-itively hair-raising!
Werewolves are one of the classic monsters - and their claws, teeth and muscly backs are familiar to anyone who's ever celebrated Halloween. But werewolf legends are more complicated than you might think, and there's a lot of disagreement about the details. So what are these weewolf stories? Where do they come from? What are some especially cool ones? Read on and find out everything you ever wanted (and maybe didn't want) to know about werewolves!
Looking for more frighteningly-good facts? Check out these 20 scary facts, these Frankenstein facts, or these zombie facts! Or if you'd rather something warme and fluffy after all this spooky stuff... try these cat jokes to lighten the mood a bit!
Anyway... back to the werewolves... OoOoOoOooh...
1. Literally a man-wolf
So we all know werewolves are half human half wolf, but did you know that the "were" in the word werewolf comes from the old English word for "man"? So technically, all werewolves should be men, because old english has a different word for woman. By old English's standards a female werewolf would be a "wifwolf"! Kind of sounds better, right? Well either way - nobody speaks old english any more, so we're pretty sure people of all genders today can be werewolves. Well, if they turn into wolves on a full moon, that is!
2. There are lots of different werewolf legends
There's actually not much agreement on what a werewolf really is, and there have been many versions of the legendary hairy beasts. Some say if you get bitten or scratched by a werewolf you'll turn into one, whilst others just say you inherit your werewolf-ness from your parents. Many legends say werewolves are far stronger, faster and smarter than wolves and humans - others don't agree. There are other versions too - but what we usually think of is the version that became popular in Europe over the last 100 years or so.
3. Werewolf syndrome is a real thing
There is a very rare condition called hypertrichosis - which causes sufferers to grow hair all over their body, including their faces! It's also called werewolf syndrome for obvious reasons. But don't worry about catching it, its not contagious and is very very rare. Only 50 people have it in entire world! Out of 7+ billion people those are good odds!
4. They're very popular monsters!
Werewolves are often seen as the second-most popular Halloween monster, with the top spot going to vampires! In fact, there's not much of a competition between the two, as many people say that when a werewolf dies they turn straight into a vampire! So, depending on if you believe that then maybe they're joint number 1 after all!
5. They're Greek, originally
The werewolf legend is at least 2,000 years old, and likely has an Ancient Greek origin. There's a very gory myth that Zeus turned King Lycaon into a wolfman as punishment for eating human flesh (lovely stuff from the Ancient Greeks, as usual). In fact, this is where the fancy term for a werewolf comes from - Lycanthrope. From King Lycaon!
6. They don't like... flowers?
So most people know you can only kill a werewolf with a silver bullet, or with mercury - because it's connected to the moon, and werewolves are just like that. But did you also know that werewolves absolutely hate the smell and sight of the lovey purple flower wolfsbane? Maybe purple just isn't their colour!
7. El Lobizon
Europe isn't the only place on Earth with a werewolf tradition. South America has their own versions too - el lobizon. The legend states that the 7th son in a family of all boys will turn into a werewolf at the full moon. This myth is actually believed by a lot of people, especally in Argentina. Even the President of Argentina, Christina Fernández de Kirchner, believes in it - and adopted a Jewish man into her family to stop the curse, as it only applies to Catholic people. Smart move, Christina!
8. Watch out for those pawprints!
Some say you can catch the curse of the werewolf straight from wolves! No full moon or biting required - all you have to do is take a big slurp of water that's filled up a wolf's pawprint. We don't think this one sounds very likely, but to be fair - we've not tried it. And we don't plan to, either!
9. Werewolves in Staffordshire?
What if werewolves were real? Some people in Staffordshire seem to think so, and have reported 20 werewolf sightings to the police. Some will say they're just some eccentric locals wasting police time, but according to them the wolfmen have been spotted in Cannock Chase, a town between Stafford and Wolverhamption. Wait... Wolverhampton? Gasp! Like, Wolferhampton?! Coincidence? Who knows*!
10. Wolves are good for the environment
The legend of werewolves seems like simple Halloween fun these days, but in the past they've made a lot of humans very scared of wolves. And this has led to humans killing wolves and clearing them out of their local habitat. This has had a bad effect on the environment, because it means there's no predators to eat things like sheep - which has other bad effects on other animals. Wolves have been reintroduced into parts of Scotland, and that's had all sorts of positive effects. So wolves are really nothing to be afraid of!