Where did the werewolves come from?

I’m not that interested in werewolves but I keep writing about them. I sit down to write something about being a child and listening to adults having a party. Then there’s someone outside the bedroom door, changing. I write about zombies and the punchline is that they’re not werewolves. Someone can’t sleep but when she does, well, she runs in a pack. Where does it all come from?

Yesterday, I remembered.

When I was little,  I was afraid of werewovles. Really afraid. I would cry in the night and cower from images of grizzly bears. The fear stayed with me for years. When I was seven, maybe eight, I bought a comic book with a full-page advert of Pez dispensers on the back cover. One of the dispensers was the wolf man. It scared me. A picture of a werewolf Pez dispenser scared me so much that I had to throw the comic away. And throw it away just right so that I couldn’t see the ad in the waste paper basket.

Over the years, the fear went away, but a certain fascination remained. My DVD collection contains American Werewolf in London, Cursed, Wilderness, Ginger Snaps and Dog Soldiers. I watch Being Human and miss George. (George was lovely.) In dusty corners of my bookshelf  you’ll find Cycle of the Werewolf, The Werewolf of Paris, Sharp Teeth and so on. Yes. I’ve seen the films and I’ve read the books. Still, if you asked me, I would tell you that I was not interested in shapeshifters.

My conscious mind had forgotten, but the storyteller in me remembered.

Which of them should call the exorsist?

5 comments on “Where did the werewolves come from?

  1. Anne Rice’s new novel is about werewolves and sounds like it might be ok.

  2. Well let me first say, I too miss George!! Well I want to write about werewolves love them,love everything about them. I am trying to find some background on them, which is hard. I want to base it on some type of fact/fokelore; well I have read a lot online and I found some legends that come from Ireland which I hope to be use. I also want found many things from Greece and Italy and Egypt- thats complicated tho. Do you happen to know anything about what the most popular thought is on where the myth comes from?

    • Hi Maxine – werewolves have a complex lore, don’t they? I’ve got little bits and pieces from old book and the internet, just like you, but don’t know what’s considered the original myth. And when I think about it, I think all the origin myths I’ve read have come from works of fiction rather than collections of lore or, you know, a serious study of the werewolf and it’s mythos. I’m going to have a look through my books later and will let you know if I find anything interesting! You’ve got me thinking…

      • Hey well I happen to be a teenager not only in love with the concept of werewolves and vamps, but in mythology in itself. I am an upcoming writer with various books under my belt that i’ve written and i’ve studied mythology since I was about 7. Now the myth of the werewolf and its coming from happens to be in many old empires, in fact some of the stories predate the 13-15th centuries! The egyptians, romans, greeks and even the people of today have their theories. Some people even believe this to be why the thought of the werewolf is soo cool; we don’t know where the idea came from nor which story is the most correct. Which is why there are so many variations of the myth. As far as we, the people of the day can tell the myth of the werewolf started in pre/post Greek civilizations. The story of King Lycaon is the most popular of the variations, in fact its in Teen Wolf if anyone happens to watch that show. Lycaon , hence the name lycans, was the first belived werewolf he believed the Greek gods were fakes and imposters. So he set to test them by feeding them human flesh (now why human flesh we’ve yet to figure out, but there are various theories.) Zeus angered by the fact a mortal tried to test his Godliness than set about by cursing Lycaon and his followers by turning them all into wolves stating this would make their cannibalistic nature more explainable. Now Lycaon did not wish to remain a wolf and as most people know Gods apparently don’t like to take back their curses. So he went to the Irish (Druids) who were magicians and shapeshifters among many things and they taught Lycaon and his people how to shift back and forth for they could not completely reverse the curse of Zeus. But they taught Lycaon and his people how to control themselves and their shifting and many other things. It was because of this that Lycans kept irish druids as advisors of sorts they believed them to be good luck. Now we don’t know how much of the story is factual or even if the druids were really involved in that story, but as I said it is hard to find hard evidence on myths. Another story which appears around the same time as the Greek story (which I would just go with as the most factual cause its really cool, different exciting and the curse factor of zeus could easily be explained in any book etc.) Well the Irish people were afraid of wolves for they lived near the woods and throughout the nights there were calls etc & some wolf packs happened to even tear people in half so the towns people got angry. So they begined cornering these wolves in the daylight. Now once they cornered one of these wolves they began to prod and stab it. as the story goes the first wolf they had cornered instead of running or fighting back under the light of the sun it had turned into a man from their village which greatly confused the villagers. they didnt exactly know what to do. Point is he was a werewolf. Like I said before we dont know where most of the myths come from, but theyre cool to be apart of and add our own theories to.

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