What To Expect When You're Expecting To Turn Into A Werewolf

Folklore and pop culture has codified the steps of how you turn into a werewolf, and it's not pretty. While the end result might be cool, the steps of turning into a werewolf are all pretty painful for your human form to handle. There is usually a lot of screaming, snapping, stretching, and howling involved.

The most common version of a werewolf is a cross between a man and a wolf, usually depicted as a wolf-like creature capable of walking upright on two legs. However, in other variants, the transformation process turns a man into a wolf completely, and he retains no human features or mannerisms whatsoever.

Plenty of movies, television shows, and comics have demonstrated slight variations to the traditional werewolf transformation process, adding their spin on what happens when you turn into a werewolf, but the key steps tend to stay the same. This list walks you through the process of turning into a werewolf step by step in all its gruesome glory. 

  • Hair Sprouts All Over Your Body

    Hair Sprouts All Over Your Body
    Photo: An American Werewolf in London / Universal Pictures

    Technically, the first step towards becoming a werewolf is surviving an attack from one, or being cursed by a some short of shaman or other mystical figure. However, the first sign of an onset of actual wolfie activity is usually hair. Sometimes it’s just strange patches appearing here and there on the newly infected for a few days until the full moon hits. Then it’s full-on fur sprouting from every inch of your body.

  • Your Fingernails Grow Into Claws

    Your Fingernails Grow Into Claws
    Photo: Hemlock Grove / Netflix

    What were once your normal human hands get mangled and your skin peels away like a banana. They are replaced with the large, hairy, dangerously clawed hands of a beast. Once your new body parts start popping out, a slimy, dog saliva-like substance oozes out along with blood from your snapping joints.  

  • Your Eyes Turn Yellow

    Your Eyes Turn Yellow
    Photo: Epic

    Whatever color your eyes were before, that's about to change - and it’s not just the iris that changes, your pupil changes, too. The yellow, glowing orbs of a predator radiate from your eye sockets, and your pupils dilate like a wolf's. Your eyes are now stripped of all humanity and replaced with the eyes of a hunter - usually including excellent night vision.

  • Your Bones Snap Into New Positions

    Your Bones Snap Into New Positions
    Photo: Hemlock Grove / Netflix

    Your entire body starts molding itself into its new werewolf shape, which is usually a lot taller and broader than a human and somewhat slouched. So bones begin to snap, lengthen, and pop through the skin and back into place. This creates an entirely new foundation.

  • Your Skin Stretches And Tightens Over The New Form

    Your Skin Stretches And Tightens Over The New Form
    Photo: The Company of Wolves / Cannon Films

    Once your bones begin repositioning themselves, your skin has to move, too. While skin can be pretty elastic, it's likely your skin will shred in some places and stretch in others. But after the gooey mess is over, a new, tightened, fully-formed (albeit fuzzy) layer of skin eventually slides into place over your now stronger and more muscular physique.

  • Your Ears Become Pointed

    Your Ears Become Pointed
    Photo: Underworld / Screen Gems

    Obviously, you’ll be getting new pointed wolf ears with enhanced hearing abilities - all the better to stalk your innocent prey. Unfortunately, the process looks just as painful as everything else. Your ears stretch up out of the side of your head like Laffy Taffy before taking their final form.