Werewolf; wer meaning man and wolf, well wolf. The werewolf is one of the most popular (and now may we say beloved?) of all the classic monsters, perhaps only second to the vampire. Need I even explain what a werewolf is? Well, perhaps I should. A werewolf is a human who changes into a wolf or wolf-like creature, usually under the full moon. Most of us know that a person may become a werewolf by being bitten by a wolf or another werewolf, but did you know these other ways?
One may become a werewolf by:
-Drinking rain water from the pawprint of a wolf
-Wearing a wolf skin belt
-Wearing a wolf skin
-Rubbing a magic salve onto one’s body (one recipe requires: fat from disinterred children, hemlock, aconite, poplar leaves, soot or cowbane, sweet flag, cinquefoil, bat’s blood, deadly nightshade, oil). I know the deadly nightshade alone would give its consumer quite the ‘trip’ (or death, depending on the variety). Many of the various recipes include narcotics, which, if these were really being made and used could certainly have caused the user to believe they were a wolf.
-Drinking a cup of special beer and repeating a certain incantation then passing through a magic pool each transformation
-Special ceremonies with a potion that included opium and hemlock
-Many, many different incantations exist that supposedly transform the speaker
-A pact with the devil
-A curse from a sorcerer or witch
-Divine punishment from a god or a saint
-Eating a certain unidentified yellow or white flower found in a marsh at sunset when the moon is full
-Being the seventh son after six daughters or simply being the seventh child and a boy
Now that you know there are many, many ways in which one may become a werewolf, you may want to protect yourself.
Signs that someone is a werewolf:
-Hair growing on the palms of their hands and/or soles of their feet
-You never see them when there’s a full moon (if you’re lucky)
-They have a mono-brow/uni-brow (my personal favorite)
-They suffer from insomnia
-They sleep with their mouths open
-They have a long middle finger
-A long, curved thumb nail
-Aggressive behavior and signs of agitation
So now that you suspect yourself, hairy friend or neighbor, or a common aggressive teen of being a werewolf, here are the ways to ward off or destroy the monster (please, please do not go kill someone now. I do not believe in real man-into-beast werewolves or anything more than insanity or drug-induced ridiculousness.):
-A silver bullet or other weapon (this is a relatively new inclusion into the lore)
-A Mountain Ash (tree). It’s said your home is safe from werewolves in the shade of one.
-Wolfsbane. You can find info for or against this one, but most sources say werewolves have an aversion to it.
-Scolding a werewolf (apparently that’s enough to reverse the transformation)
-Addressing it by its Christian name three times
-Destroying the brain or heart. This will work for almost any supernatural creature (including vampires) for obvious reasons.