Werewolves: A Brief History

Most people have heard of the mythological
werewolf, but where did this tradition come from? And why is it so universal? The word “Werewolf” is Old English in
origin. It is a combination of the words for “person”
and “wolf”, meaning that the werewolf is literally a “wolf person”. The term is also connected to the Norse word
“warg” which translates as “outlaw”. This is appropriate since the character of
the werewolf is thought to be an out-of-control villain who commits violent acts. Stories of humans turning into animals are
common throughout history and can be found in almost every part of the world. There are myths about humans turning into
bears, lions, and even dragons. But it was in Eastern Europe where the legends
of men turning into wolves were most prominent. For several hundred years, belief in werewolves
was very common. From the 1300s through the 1500s, and even
into the 1700s, it was commonly believed that creatures such as werewolves not only could
exist, but did exist. So how does one become a werewolf? In modern fiction, being bitten by a werewolf
is the surest way to become a werewolf. However, this idea did not become popular
until the 20th Century. In stories from earlier times, all one had
to do was wear a belt made out of wolf skin. Other legends claimed that drinking rain water
from a wolf’s paw print caused the transformation. In Italy, it was believed that if someone
slept outside on a Wednesday or a Friday, and there was a full moon, that person would
become a werewolf (this led to the notion that a full moon causes a werewolf to transform). People of earlier eras had various ways of
identifying a potential werewolf. Physical features such as a monobrow, long,
curved fingernails, or lowered ears were tell-tale signs that one might be a werewolf. In some cultures, it was believed that a werewolf
could be revealed by cutting the person’s flesh. If he/she was a werewolf, the werewolf’s fur
could be seen under the flesh. In yet other regions, it was thought that
a person would have hair under their tongue if the person was a werewolf. Rye and mistletoe were commonly used to repel
werewolves. Wreathes of rye were hung on doors or kept
in homes to prevent werewolves from entering. A plant called Wolfsbane was also used medicinally
and thought to be a cure for those suspected of being werewolves. In Middle Eastern cultures, it was believed
that one could cure a werewolf by striking it on the head with knife. In Germany, they thought simply saying the
werewolf’s human name would return them to their proper state. It wasn’t until 1935 that the idea of shooting
a werewolf with a silver bullet was introduced. This method was first used in a book published
that year, and since then, has become ingrained in the public’s mind as the only way to defeat
a werewolf. Today, the notion of believing in werewolves
seems silly to most. But for those who lived hundreds of years
ago, this was a common belief that helped many of them explain the unexplainable.

Comments 14

  • good job man nice video

  • I beleive in them…. but not like that. I beleive werewolves are humans that are able to shift between wolf and human, and to become one, you do a spell, be bitten, or drink the blood of one. What you are stating I believe is a Lycan, that on full moons turns into a wolf-like human.

  • Actually the origin of werewolves came from ancient Greece. Lycaon the king of Arcadia, search it.

  • Werewolves are awesome but I don't think they are real.

  • wasn't expecting mike stoklasa to be telling me about werewolves

  • I’m a werewolf so if you ever come across one then they can sense your stress and the more stress the more likely a werewolf will lash out and attack in gear it’s only a myth that werewolves are jerk monsters we are normally pretty chill unless you provoke one than you should be fine ps werewolves do not look like the ones in those pictures

  • Your wrong, yes the use of a silver bullet wasnt thought of until 1935 but its a well known fact that since the betrayal and death of jesus at the hands of judas who was paid in silver the metal has been believed to be a bane to all undead and evil creatures. Including the werewolf and the vampire, that belief has been around for a thousand years

  • Name of song please

  • i want to become a werewolf

  • Very informative video! I like werewolves, and think they're pretty cool. Do you happen to know the name of music you used?

  • I wish I was a werewolf. Legend of the werewolf , curse of the werewolf , dog solders , An american werewolf in London , the howling , the original wolfman all great movies

  • While I was watching this I was just thinking about Aphmau

  • Lol wolfsbane kills them not cure them and in ritual is tied to a werewolfs top half of there when they die and is then used to make a spiral to mark they will not stop killing until they get what they want…. Fuck I'm weird

  • I believe they exist i wish to become a werewolf I dont believe werewolves are just plain evil

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