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No matter the origin of the tales werewolves have become a staple of fantasy and horror fiction with many characters becoming werewolves - the Wolf-Man is one of the more prominent examples of this.
Although Hollywood has popularised the concept of werewolves transforming by the light of the full moon this wasn't a rule in the folklore, in the legends werewolves came in three kinds: the cursed human, the evil sorcerer and the Wolf that would disguise itself as a man (many cultures had a fear of wolves and viewed them as demons, though other cultures revered them). In Native American folklore, evil shape-shifters known as Skin-Walkers sometimes took on the role of werewolves and were seen as men and women who would, via black magic, transform into animals by night and attack villages - at the same time some shamans would try to invoke wolf-spirits via rituals: the werewolf was not related to the Wendigo however (despite some modern tales mixing the two).
In medieval Europe superstition ruled and as a result many men and women were persecuted by people that believed they were werewolves, much like witchcraft trials these vicitims would be accused of killing children, vandalising property or worse and were often subjected to torture and death.