Since I’ve already covered the other “big two” Universal Monsters, I guess it’s time to talk about werewolves. Lycanthropes of some form or another show up in almost every culture’s legends. The were-whatever was usually linked to the most fierce or frightening creature in an area. The same fears that led to the “Big Bad Wolf” in fairy tales, gave rise to the European werewolf stories.
|Why, Mr. Wolf. What a big legacy you have.
The original legends were intertwined with other irrational supernatural fears of the time. The best way to become a werewolf was usually to be a witch first, and use the proper spell to transform. The best way to become a vampire was to be a werewolf when you were killed. Also the idea that shape shifting into a blood thirsty beast is contagious is a relatively new one. Old school werewolves tended to eat their prey, leaving nothing behind to inherit the curse except some wolf droppings. (And I’m pretty sure no Dark Age villagers were quaking in fear of the were-turd, or in France, Le Poop-Garou.)