The werewolves, lycan, or wolf man as they are known are all afflicted with a disease, or sickness, or virus (depending on the lore) called lycanthropy.
The werewolf is a widespread concept in European folklore. This is in part do to the development of the Christian interpretation of European folklore in the medieval period. Living through the plague wasn’t enough. people needed to start hearing about werewolves. According to modern historians (well the ones I found online).
The Belief in werewolves developed along side the belief in witches. There was a trial of werewolves supposedly in Switzerland that occurred in the 15th and 16th century but they didn’t really hit their peak until the 17th and 18th centuries. Which is odd because you never really read about that in most history books. (I found that little bit on Wikipedia).
Apparently in some parts of the world the werewolf “witch-hunt” was similar to that of actual witch hunts. It’s odd to think of people accusing each other of being werewolves and then whole towns turning against once treasured friends out of fear but we are fearful beings aren’t we.
In French and German speaking areas of Europe the persecution of supposed werewolves was more widespread. “Wolf-charmers” and “werewolves” were persecuted until the early 18th century.
Modern day werewolves come in a variety of forms. In the past they were beasts out for blood on the full moon. Now they can be sexy or cool. Some of them don’t even attack people, they just chase deer and live like wild men. Others don’t have to change when the full moon comes out. It’s really a toss up when you look at modern day lore. There’s no clean answer on how to do a werewolf other than that you have a person become a wolf or a wolf person.
Which I quite like. Very much how witches used to be seen as purely evil Satan worshipers we are now embracing the idea that monsters are people to. Werewolves are a great example of that.
I prefer the werewolves in American Werewolf in London or American Werewolf in Pairs. What’s your favorite interpretation of werewolves? I didn’t know they had werewolf trials for hundreds of years until I did some research. Did you?
I used to Play Dungeons and Dragons a lot. did you know in some circles there are Were Tigers, Rats, and even were-bears!
Also if you like scary monsters or just horror in general, I’ve got a story here you might like that’s about a being from an ethereal dimension making deals in exchange for inspiration.