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Werewolves (folklore)

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The Werewolves
Werewolves are monsters of folklore and they are one of the most well-known folkloric creatures of all time, arguably only rivalled by the vampire in popularity and recognition - the werewolf has been seen in countless cultures around the world and is almost always considered vicious, antagonistic and evil: in many ways the werewolf may represent the fear humans have of their own animalistic urges, though other theories suggest the legends of werewolves were caused by interactions with people suffering from serious mental health problems, rabies or deformities.

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.


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