As much as the werewolf legend is now relegated to pop culture and teen romance, it used to be a widespread belief. Medieval peasants would hang wreaths of rye over their doors to prevent werewolves from visiting them, and people would avoid stepping in paw prints found in the snow and dirt out of fear of a curse. The history of the werewolf has been somewhat forgotten, relegating them to the background of the supernatural world to play second fiddle to sexy vampires and lumbering Frankensteinian monsters. Werewolves have a rich history in the cultures of the past, however, making them one of the oldest supernatural legends to remain.
Early werewolf origins most likely sprung up in response to the unexplainable acts of violence humans have inflicted on one another for years. In eras where issues of mental health and diseases like rabies were little understood, it makes sense that people would point to a sinister creature as explanation. Here is some far-reaching history that proves werewolves were making supernatural scary-cool way before those other monsters.
Early Werewolf Legends Had Nothing To Do With The Full Moon
Strange Human Physical Features Were Blamed On LycanthropyPhoto: MM Public Relations / Wikimedia
Vampires And Werewolves Actually Have A Lot Of Shared HistoryPhoto: Margaret Brundage / Wikimedia
Werewolves Had Their Own Chapter In The Witch TrialsPhoto: mullica / Wikimedia
Early Werewolf Lore Tied Them To Irish SelkiesPhoto: Carolyn Emerick / Wikimedia
A Bite Wasn't Always A Feature Of Werewolf TransformationPhoto: Unknown / Wikimedia