Werewolf Facts




What is Lycanthropy?

Lycanthropy from Greek lykoi, "wolf" anthropos, "man", a psychiatric state in which the patient believes he is a wolf or some other nonhuman animal. Undoubtedly stimulated by the once widespread superstition that lycanthropy is a supernatural condition in which men actually assume the physical form of other animals, the delusion has been most likely to occur among people who believe in reincarnation and the transmigration of souls.

Rarely does this condition surface. Examples of lycanthropy are only now being linked to schizophrenia - having very few cases to study in our present institutions makes this disease difficult to study in-depth.

Stories of men turning into beasts go back to antiquity. In parts of ancient Greece, werewolf myths, stemming from prehistoric times (based on new evidence), became linked with the Olympian religion. In Arcadia, a region plagued by wolves, there was a cult of the Wolf-Zeus. Mt. Lycaeus was the scene of a yearly gathering at which the priests were said to prepare a sacrificial feast that included meat mixed with human parts. According to legend, whoever tasted it became a wolf and could not turn into a man unless he abstained from human flesh for nine years.

The Romans also knew this superstition. Anyone who was supposed to have been turned into a wolf by means of magic spells or herbs was called versipellis "turnskin" by the Romans.

Stories about the werewolf were widely believed in Europe during the Middle Ages. Outlaws and bandits played on these superstitions by sometimes wearing wolfskins over their armour. At that time people were unusually prone to develop the delusion that they themselves were wolves; suspected lycanthropists were burned alive if convicted. Only rarely was their condition recognized as a psychological disturbance. Although the superstition is no longer common, traces still linger in some primitive and isolated areas.

The term werewolf isn't like the "classic" Hollywood-style ravenous beast stuff. The term lycanthropy as is used here can be found in some medical psychological books as being a disorder, a certain animal like behavior as a result of an advanced psychosis. This is also not the way I like to use the term werewolf in relation to me. The way I use the term, is as in spiritual theriomorph.

Right, you are now probably a bit dazzled by the terms used by me here, so let me give a short description of them (borrowed from the AHWW FAQ):

  • Lycanthrope \'li-ken-throp n (NL lycanthropus, fr. GK lykanthropos werewolf, fr. lykos wolf + anthropos man) 1: a person displaying lycanthropy 2:a werewolf
  • Lycanthropy \'li-kan(t)-thra-pe n 1: a delusion that one has become a wolf. 2: the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic - lycanthropic adj.
  • Theriomorphic \'thir-e-o-'mor-fik adj (GK theriomorphos, fr. therion beast + morphe form - more at treacle): having an animal form [gods]

Mind you, these were taken from some dictionary, and provide a general discription of the terms, not an exact one. Read on to get a better understanding of what is meant. A Theriomorph is a shapeshifter; a being who can assume an animal as well as a human form. A spiritual theriomorph is someone who at least sees aspects of animals in his or her personality and actions, and those aspects shape who he or she is.


The Book of the Weird
by Barbara Ninde Byfield

They are never quite Wolves. Even at the peak of their transformation they retain many of the features of Men. Werewolves are hollow-eyed, burning of skin, with fangs protruding from the lower lip. They travel alternately on all fours and on hind feet; their legs are calloused and scabbed. Hair will be found on the palms of their hands and on the soles of their feet. The longer they continue their foul practice the less difference their is between the one guise and the other. Werewolves eat the flesh of living humans, prefering children to all other things. They have at all times a raging thirst, but do not drink blood. Weapons and tools, other than their claws or fangs, are useless to them. Werewolves tire easily and cannot retain the form of Wolf beyond daybreak.

If wounded in the guise of Wolf the body of the Man will bear the scar as well. When a Werewolf is killed he changes at death back into a man.

Exorcism is of dubious benefit against Werewolves. Use the same precautions as for Vampires.

Werewolves are of two sorts: voluntary and involuntary. Those who have been bitten once too often be a Vampire, or have been cursed into Werewolfdom by a malevolent Witch, or have inadvertently placed themselves in the hands of an evil or incompetent experimenter with youth-giving elixirs and potions are all involuntary Werewolves. They have little or no control over their changes from Man to Wolf and Wolf to Man, and are subject to phases of the Moon.

Those who wish to be Werewolves for pleasure may become so by obtaining from a Witch or Sorceress a salve which, when rubbed well into the skin, will turn one into a Wolf and back again. The salve may well find that it is not possible to be a truly voluntary Werewolf for long.

Werewolves are most frequently come upon:

in February,
during the full moon,
in the countryside,
at night,
traveling in packs.


The Werewolf
(French Legend)
From Favorite Medieval Tales (Mary Pope Osbourne)

Long ago in northern France, a valiant knight named Sir Marrok was married to a fair lady who loved him tenderly. One thing, however, made the lady unhappy with her husband: Every week, he disappeared for three days, and no one knew where he went.

The lady grew more and more troubled by her husband's disappearances, until finally she could bear it no longer. One day after Sir Marrok had returned from one of his mysterious trips, she approached him. "My dear lord," she said, "I must ask you something, but I'm afraid my question will make you angry."

Sir Marrok embraced his wife. "Fear not,' he said. "I will tell you anything within my power to tell." "I am very frightened when you leave me alone," she said. "I dread losing you, for I do not know where you go. Pray, tell me, what is your secret?"

The knight looked pained. "Please ask me no more questions. If I told you the truth, only evil would come of it. you would begin to loathe me, and I would be lost." But the wife persisted. "I could never loathe you," she said. "Please tell me, where do you go?"

Day and night, the wife wept and begged her husband to tell her where he went, until finally, he was forced to share his terrible secret.

"Long ago an evil spell was cast upon me," he said. "Each week, I become a werewolf. As soon as I feel the change coming on, I hide in the thickest part of the forest. I live there, hunting and eating wild roots for three days and three nights. Then I change back into a human."

The man's wife was so repelled she could barely speak. "But what of your garments?" she stammered. "Do you still wear them when you are a wolf?"

"I lay my clothing aside," said Sir Marrok. "That's all I can say. I cannot tell you more because if I were to lose my garments, I would remain a wolf for all time."

"Oh, please tell me, my lord," the lady said. "Why do you hide this last thing? Surely you do not think that the one who loves you most would betray you." Sir Marrok sighed. "At the edge of the forest is an old chapel. Near the chapel is a large stone with a hollow beneath it. I hide my garments in the hollow. When the enchantment loses its power, I put them back on and return home." After the lady heard her husband's story, her love for him changed. Just as Sir Marrok had feared, she was seized with great loathing for him. Night and day she dreamed of how she might escape his embrace.

Finally, the lady sent for a certain knight who had once loved her and tried to woo her. She swore him to secrecy, then told him the story about her husband. The knight was horrified, and he asked how he could help her. "You must steal his clothes," the lady said. "then my husband will not be able to change back into a man, and he'll be forced to live as a wolf in the forest for all his days, until someone finally slays him."

Soon after, the lady's friend went forth and stole Sir Marrok's garments from under the large stone near the chapel. When he brought them to her, she hid them well. "Now I am safe!" she exclaimed. "That beast will never return to my home."

Time passed, and when Sir Marrok did not return, his wife pretended to worry about him. She even sent men to look for him. But they found no trace of him, and all concluded that he had been mysteriously slain on one of his secret journeys.

After a year had passed, the lady wed the knight who had helped her. They took over all of Sir Marrok's lands and possessions, and neither worried anymore about the good man they had betrayed.

Meanwhile, the poor wolf roamed the forest, grieving bitterly for the wife he had loved so well. One day he heard the barking of the king's hounds. He knew the dogs had caught his scent and would soon be upon him. He bounded through the woods, but the dogs chased after him. All day, the wolf fled the hounds, until at last they closed in on him. Just as he was about to be overtaken and torn to pieces, he king caught up to his dogs.

The wolf dashed to the king and seized him by the boot.. He licked it as if begging for mercy.

The king stared a the wolf in astonishment. "Look here, my lords!" he called. "What is this marvel? A wolf asking me for my help! Why, the beast acts like a man. Call off the dogs. I do not want this creature injured. I order no one should hunt in this forest, lest by accident they slay this remarkable animal."

But when the king and his men started for home, the wolf did not linger in the forest. Rather, he followed close behind the royal party. He would not turn back, not even when they arrived at the king's castle.

The king was greatly pleased, for he thought the wolf quite wondrous. He ordered his knights to treat the beast with great care and kindness. And he allowed the wolf to sleep in his own chamber.

As the wolf roamed freely about the court, all the courtiers were very impressed with him, for he moved about with such grace and intelligence that he seemed almost human. Once day the king called his knights and barons together for an annual meeting. Among the nobles was the knight who had betrayed Sir Marrok and married his wife. The knight had no idea that his rival was still alive, much less that he was close by. But as soon as he looked upon the wolf, the animal sprang at him savagely.

The wolf would have slain the knight, had not the king called him off.

Everyone was astonished, for the wolf had never tried to hurt a soul. Someone had to guard the wolf the entire time the king held court. Not until the barons left the castle did the wolf return to his gentle self.

That spring, the king decided to journey to the forest where he had first found the wolf. As was his custom, he took the beast with him.

When Sir Marrok's wife heard that the king would soon be in her part of the country, she grew very excited. She hoped to win his favor by presenting him with splendid gifts, for she knew the king did not love her second husband as much as he had loved Sir Marrok.

But as soon as the lady entered the king's presence, the wolf attacked her and bit off her nose.

The king's men drew their swords. They would have slain the beast, if a wise courtier had not stopped them.

"Sire, this wolf has been with us a long time. He has never shown ill will to anyone except this woman and her husband. We know she was once married to a man who vanished. Heed my words--put these two in prison. Ask them if they can give a reason why the wolf should hate them so."

The king did as the wise man recommended. Before her inquisitors, the lady confessed that she had betrayed her first husband by stealing his garments. The king commanded his guards to fetch the clothes belonging to the lost Sir Marrok. When they were brought forward, however the wolf acted completely unconcerned.

"Sire," said the wise courtier, "if this beast is indeed a werewolf, he will not change shape while any of us watch. Leave him and the garments alone in your chambers. And we shall see if he becomes a man."

So the beast was locked in the king's private chamber. And the king and his courtiers waited for a long time before unlocking the doors.

Once they did, they found the long-lost Sir Marrok asleep on the king's couch.

The king ran to him and embraced him, and he bid Sir Marrok to take back all his stolen possessions.

The treacherous wife and her second husband were banished from the king's country. Thereafter, they lived many years in a strange land. They had children and grandchildren--but by this sign, their treachery was always known: All the maidens in the family were born without noses.


Are you a were? This is a list of some signs that you are a werewolf.

  1. The Red Wolf beer commericals to you are misleading. You don't run with the wolf, you are the wolf.
  2. Humans run with you with Red Wolf beer in their hands telling you, "The comercial told me to run with you!"
  3. You are in the final pick for the new Red Wolf mascot only to lose since you were a little too real.
  4. You try to avoid alcohol since you know that alcohol and a Were don't mix . . .
  5. . . . but a human spikes your drink anyway and pays the price for getting a wolf drunk. God have mercy on that soul.
  6. Your hotlist/bookmark list is full of bad werewolf sites like this one.
  7. People that are allergic to dogs sneeze when you are near them.
  8. When most of the guys/gals are saying that girl/guy looks good, you say that German Shepard looks better.
  9. Every full and no moons you go into the forest for some 'personal time.'
  10. In the Music video "Heaven Beside You" (Alice in Chains) you want that girl to come over to your house.
  11. Your favorite fairy tale is 'The Three Little Pigs: The Wolf's Side of the Story.'
  12. The guys download pictures of porno, you download Furries.
  13. Your web site is made for and only wolves.
  14. You consider the Alaskan Government to be the enemy.
  15. In the movie 'Dances with Wolves,' you cry out when the wolf gets shot. :,(
  16. Them: Porno videos  You: Nature videos
  17. You seriously consider moving to Alaska . . .
  18. . . . then you decide not to since you will probably get shot when you first set foot off the plane.
  19. You make nightly visits to the Vet not just to say hi or for a date.
  20. You know how the aliens in 'Third Rock from the Sun' feel since your not really a human either.
  21. In the school stage play 'Little Red Riding Hood,' you are picked instantly for the part of the wolf . . .
  22. . . . but you don't take the job since it is an unfair representation of wolves and suggest 'The Wolf's Side of the Story' as a substitute.
  23. When other children think of the easter bunny, you think of a snack. ;)
  24. In that ink plot test, you like the furry pictures that they showed you.
  25. You don't say: I am ____ hear me roar. You say: I am ____ hear me howl.
  26. You hate Fri. during lent since you can't eat a thing . . .
  27. . . . then you eat meat saying that since your a carnivore, you can be excluded from the rule.
  28. That fur on you right now is a sign. (Made you look!)
  29. You get the award for 'Best makeup/costume' and say that it was all natural.
  30. You put the headphones' volume on 1/2 and you still say it's too loud.
  31. The Howling wasn't scary.
  32. The Were that was featured on 'Chip 'n Dale: Resuce Rangers' was modeled after you.
  33. When someone says 'Where,' you answer them since you think they were calling you over. (Ok, that was a bad one)
  34. You need to delete all those furry pictures that are in your hard drive, but then blow $400-$500 for a tape drive to back it all up.
  35. You're really offended by that werewolf that was featured in SNL 95-96 season.
  36. The songs you write all have at least one wolf's howl . . . .
  37. . . . . then everyone asks where you got that howl and you just smile.
  38. Possible were: Alanis Morrissette (Listen to 'Head Over Feet')
  39. Your room is a mini-museum for Furry artists.
  40. You are very excited when something good about wolves pops on the news. But no one else does. (They should though)
  41. You're the only one around that cares if it's a full or no moon.
  42. The perfect gift: A bone.
  43. When you get pissed at some human, all you have to do is show your nails . . .
  44. . . . or your teeth
  45. Someone tries to compare your height to someone/thing and won't since you're on your top of your feet.
  46. Cutting the plastic wrap on the Windows 95 box is easy with your nails . . .
  47. . . . and people come all around to get the box opened by you.
  48. You write to the makers of the dictionary to rewrite the definition of werewolf. (They say it's a fictional creature and someone that's nuts. I'm not nuts.)
  49. You visit the Louvre and wonder, "Where are all the furry pictures?"
  50. You spend almost all of your time on creating and managing a poll for all your furry friends.
  51. You spend all your time on AHWW. (I know, that was really bad)
  52. Instead of calling someone's name out when your looking for them, you howl. (By NightHunter)
  53. You suddenly can't play the Saxaphone. You have a muzzle now.
  54. You're on stage playing your violin and your G string broke. You walk up to the conductor and say, "My claw broke my G string."
  55. You wake up every full moon and feel the call of the wild urging you to come home. (By Brian Toney)
  56. You feel funny all over while on the net, your skin is like elastic. You walk to the bathroom to get some asprin for that headache you just got. You lookup to the mirror and see a big wolf in the mirror. It's you!
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