Werewolves are people who are afflicted with a condition known as lycanthropy. The word lycanthropy is derived from the Greek words lykoi, for wolf, and anthropos, meaning man. Although there are no reliable sources proving the existence of werewolves, the myth of humans changing into an animal or animal-like form exists in almost every culture on Earth. The first recorded mention of werewolves comes from ancient Greece and Romania.
The myth of the werewolf differs slightly among cultures. Most of the myths allow for the werewolf to change from man to wolf to man again at will. The appearance of the werewolf in animal form is that of a regular wolf with a couple of slight differences. Werewolves are larger than regular wolves and they have no tail. Werewolves are said to have super-human strength and increased senses due to their animal nature. Some myths have werewolves changing involuntarily with the phases of the moon. Some of these same myths state that the transformation to wolf is never complete and the human changes into a hybrid of man and wolf, covered in hair with fangs and claws but able to walk upright. Most of the myths, however, do agree that after changing from wolf to man, the person experiences severe weakness and depression. Additionally, some myths have the wolf to man transformation accompanied by amnesia, sometimes partial and sometimes total.
The various myths also stipulate various ways in which a person can become afflicted with lycanthropy. Some say the condition is like a disease and can be passed on through a bite. In other cases, lycanthropy is a magical condition, requiring incantations and rituals. One story states that an individual has to be smothered in a magic cream and drink from a footprint of a werewolf. A Swedish myth states that a person has to drink a magic beer and sing a special song. Other myths show lycanthropy as a curse, bestowed upon Satan worshipers or those who have committed especially atrocious acts.
In reality, a condition exists called clinical lycanthropy. Those with clinical lycanthropy believe themselves to be an animal, but it is not accompanied by any physiological change.
Posted 4602 day ago