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Are Werewolves Real?

Debopriya Bose Feb 10, 2020
Everything is a matter of belief, they say. It couldn't be more true when it comes to judging the existence of these so-called mythical creatures. So, the question remains... are werewolves real? Let's find out...
Earliest references to werewolves take us back to the days of ancient folklore and Greek mythology, featuring shadowed citations of anthropomorphic, wolf-like creatures. The origins of werewolves are as obscure as the werewolves themselves.
Labeled as cursed creatures by some, werewolves have been a source of unending mystery for us, with their half-human, half-canine appearance.

As the werewolf legend spread, so did the mystery. From being a pseudo-monster in the ancient times, the werewolf became a prominent member of the horror-fiction genre, with the subject being lapped up by writers and fans alike.
Which obviously brings us to the question - do werewolves actually exist? Or are they a figment of a very fertile imagination? Our logical minds lead us to believe that 'shape-shifting' is simply a part of our fairy tales, and by all means, should remain there. However, there are scores of others who think otherwise, with evidence to support their claims.

What are Werewolves, Really?

Mythology tells us that werewolves are part human and part wolves. Their origin, as mentioned earlier, was attributed to a curse. Another version tells us that a werewolf's bite could cause a human to turn into one.
Full moon nights and werewolves were tied in an unbreakable bond, thanks to the folkloric stories of these beings metamorphosing into their vicious forms on such nights. Physically, they were described to be horrifying - huge creatures covered in gray fur who stood 6 to 7 feet tall and walked erect on their hind legs, as humans did.
They had a pronounced wolf-like snout. Their sharp claws and teeth were believed to have tremendous strength. And yes, they did have a distinct unibrow. Supernatural beings that they were, they possessed dual mental abilities - a phenomenal combination of human and beast, which included pronounced sensory perceptions.
Of course, Hollywood has had a lot to add on this subject ever since, so we'd rather stick to the stories that have been passed down to us from generation to generation.

Scientific Beliefs and Werewolves...

A human transforming into a werewolf is termed Lycanthropy, coming from Greek, where lykos is wolf, and anthropos is human. Now, this does not, in any manner, imply that the scientific community accepts the concept of shape-shifting.
However, the term clinical lycanthropy is used by psychiatrists to describe a mental illness wherein the patient believes that he or she has turned into an animal, and mimics its behavior accordingly.
          Alternatively, there exists another medical condition called hypertrichosis, which is characterized by an abnormal growth of hair on the body.
In extreme degrees, this condition is informally referred to as the Werewolf Syndrome.

The Supposed History of Werewolves...

Rabies is also put forth as one of the medical conditions, that prompted people of the ancient times to accuse an afflicted individual of being a werewolf. Rabies spreads among humans with the bite of an infected animal. In its advanced stages, it is known to cause severe hallucinations.
It is plausible that these hallucinations led the patients to think of themselves possessing animal characteristics. It was not difficult to coerce people suffering from an illness like this into admitting that they were werewolves.
A famous case that immediately comes to mind is that of Peter Stumpp/Stubbe, a serial killer in Germany who was tried in 1589 for a killing spree spanning 25 years, which included humans and animals. When tried, Stubbe confessed he was a werewolf, bearing an insatiable quench for blood and raw meat.
The entire episode seems completely shrouded in eternal mystery, considering that it happened over 400 years ago. Again, its veracity depends on how one wishes to perceive it.

Do Contemporary Werewolves Exist?

Unlike the reaction of countless teen girls after running into Jacob Black of the Twilight Series, werewolf sightings in today's world are either met with astounded reactions, or dismissed with nonchalance. The one incident that stands out is the Bray Road Beast of Wisconsin.
It was in the 1980s, that a few residents of the sleepy village of Elkhorn noticed a distinct creature on the outskirts. The creature was reported to be about 7 feet tall, with a bear-like fur covering its body.
Very werewolf-ish so far, isn't it? Here's more - this creature was also believed to weigh around 400-700 pounds, at which point the strangeness sets in. Now, all seemed fine until the weight factor weighed in, as no close interactions with the beast were reported, and it certainly wasn't held captive. So what does that tell you about the entire episode?
As we try to uncover the truth behind any supernatural phenomenon, it isn't unusual for our minds to oscillate between the real and the ethereal. The mind ultimately believes what it wants to believe, no matter how hard you try to convince it otherwise. When it comes to believing in the existence of werewolves, it isn't too different, you know...