Today, people around the world have become aware of werewolves from horror stories and movies. Actually it is a myth or folklore that was prevalent in the middle ages. A werewolf is also known as lycanthrope that has the ability to shift its shape into a wolf.
Fact 1 Origin of Werewolves
The belief in werewolves may have originated when cannibalism was present in early times. Semi-civilized communities began to look down upon those who ate human flesh and classified them as wild beasts. Many Europeans during the middle ages believed that devils used wolves to hunt animals for them ruthlessly. History shows that mentally ill individuals and those who were epileptics were taken to the court and were accused of being werewolves. In ancient Greek mythology also we get reference of Lycaon, a man transformed into a wolf after eating human flesh. The specific attributes of werewolves vary according to cultures, one thing about them is common and that is werewolves are half-man and half-wolf that hunts humans at night. However, such an idea has changed today and psychologists explain that mentally unstable people often think that they have been changed into animals and the term lycanthrope is used to describe them.
Fact 2 Nature of Werewolves
It is believed that there are two types of werewolves namely the voluntary and involuntary. Those persons who had the taste of humans and wished to remain that way voluntarily dissociated themselves from humans and remained away from others. Such persons were said to have magical powers and could transform themselves into animals whenever they wished to. But involuntary werewolves are those who have been cursed and were destined to live that way for several years till the curse was over. It is also said that a werewolf can become one by birth or by being bitten by a werewolf. Both the categories however have great powers of changing their forms into animals at their free will. However, such frightful acts are committed mostly in the dark with the full moon in the sky. This may be a fanciful imagination that has been portrayed in most movies.
Fact 3 Special abilities of Werewolves
Werewolves have special powers of communicating with each other as they are not live together in packs like original wolves and other wild animals. Through telepathy they can reach out to each other which help them to hunt. Although one can become a werewolf being cursed by a holy man, this curse it is believed never breaks. They are thought to be immortal as there is constant regeneration of their physical tissues and therefore no one can ascertain their ages.
Fact 4 What kills a werewolf?
It is often said that silver can kill a werewolf. Silver is associated with the moon and therefore it is the ideal metal that can be used to kill the animal. This belief later included the slaying of all unnatural creatures like vampires with silver bullet or anything made of silver. Actually the truth is that a werewolf can be killed with bullets or cartridges and the aim must be perfect so as to pierce through the thick furry hide straight into the heart or the head. Some think that silver is really not necessary for it will not kill but will cause pain to the animal.
Fact 5 Use of Holy Water for Destruction of Evil
Some believe that holy water can kill a werewolf. Whether this is true or not has not been proved but the fact is that werewolves despise water especially ponds, lakes, rivers and other large bodies of water. According to Greek mythology, one can save himself from the attacks of werewolves by climbing up an ash tree or running to a field of rye.