Werewolf Facts

Werewolves are easily one of my greatest passions. I’ve written fiction about werewolves and studied werewolf folklore and pop culture for my entire life, and now I get to do it professionally as an academic. All my sources are thoroughly checked by myself and others, and I take very seriously sharing only accurate information about werewolves, be it from folklore or from a piece of popular culture.

Every other Wednesday (schedule may vary; be sure to check my blog posts and other social media for the latest schedule updates), I post a new bit of info about the folklore of werewolves. You’ll find those in a concise list right here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, be sure to also check out the Werewolf Articles, where I have still more werewolf content on werewolves in pop culture, tips for writing werewolves, and more.

Be sure to check out this same list (and the assorted posts) on Tumblr as well and give me a follow there. All werewolf (and vampire) facts are posted there. Reblogs always appreciated!

The following is a convenient database of all the werewolf facts I’ve written, for easy reference. It will remain updated as more facts are posted.

Werewolf Fact Database

  • What IS a Werewolf? – What IS a werewolf, anyway? How do you define one? What is and isn’t a werewolf?
  • Full Moon – Where this idea of werewolves transforming at the full moon first came from, plus other info and more moon associations.
  • Silver – Where this idea of werewolves being sensitive to/only killable by silver came from.
  • Etymology – Etymology of the words “werewolf,” “lycanthropy,” and many other terms for werewolves.
  • The Trial of Peter Stubbe – How the trial of one Satanic sorcerer ended up becoming a massive negative influence on werewolf media.
  • Becoming a Werewolf – A detailed list of various means of becoming a werewolf, and which ones are from folklore and which ones aren’t.
  • Curse, Not Disease – Discussion and details of how lycanthropy is a curse but popular culture has turned it into a disease and infection.
  • Berserkers – Lots of info on berserkers, their legends, and how they tie into werewolves. (Recently expanded!)
  • Werewolves Are Not British – A discussion of how ridiculous it is that so many modern pop culture things directly associate werewolves with British culture and especially the Victorian time period.
  • The First Werewolf – Examination into who, if anyone, could be considered the “first werewolf.”
  • Skinwalkers – All the reasons why the skinwalker legend has nothing to do with werewolves.
  • Physical Appearance – The many different forms werewolves can take.
  • On Werewolf Intelligence (And Speech!) – Did you know werewolves are just as smart as you are, and some of them can talk, too?
  • Gluttony (and swallowing things whole) – Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? You should be, because he’s about to eat you alive. This is a study into how wolves and werewolves over the ages are closely associated with swallowing things and people alive/whole.
  • Werewolves as Noble Knights – Did you know that there were plenty of noble werewolf knights, way back when? Read all about them here.
  • How To Identify a Werewolf – All the different things you can use to figure out if someone might be a werewolf.
  • Is Alpha, Beta, Omega really a thing? – Just how unrealistic is the idea of the alpha-beta-omega hierarchy in wolf packs, and how does that relate to werewolves?
  • The Wulver is probably not actually a thing – What it says on the tin! The Wulver legend and a deeper look into it and its sources.
  • Powers and Abilities – A list of various werewolf powers and abilities, including which ones are from folklore and which ones aren’t.
  • Werewolves vs Evil – You know how werewolves are so often malevolent today? They weren’t always, that’s for sure.
  • How to Kill a Werewolf (Weaknesses) – A list of various werewolf weaknesses and means of killing them, including which ones are from folklore and which ones aren’t.
  • Werewolves vs Vampires – Who decided that werewolves and vampires are connected somehow? Better yet, why are they always “ancient enemies?” Here are your answers.
  • Transformation Triggers – After someone becomes a werewolf, what will actually make them transform?
  • The Arcadians – Greeks and Romans had werewolves too, and the Arcadians with their many werewolf sacrifices, rituals, and games were some of the most prominent.
  • The Transformation Sequence – Maybe the most scrutinized part of any modern werewolf thing – what were they like in folklore, how much did they hurt, and what are they like in pop culture today?
  • How to Cure Lycanthropy – So you or a loved one is a werewolf, how’re you going to fix this? What does folklore say about “curing” lycanthropy, as opposed to the pop culture methods?
  • Vrykolakas – What are vrykolakas, anyway – werewolves or vampires? And what is a volkodlak, and what do these words mean?
  • Can Werewolves Climb Trees? – A burning question of whether or not climbing that tree will actually save your character from a werewolf.
  • Can Werewolves Swim? – Another simple question, this time in regards to werewolves and how they handle water.
  • Werewolves and Christmas – Is Halloween really the only time of year for werewolves? Well, of course not, but just for the record, Christmas is a very werewolfy time of year, too!
  • Can Werewolves Outrun You? – Yet another simple question, this time concerning werewolf running speeds, with a close look at real-life wolves as an example.
  • Bite Worse Than… Wait, They Don’t Bark – Werewolves and wolves don’t actually bark! Here’s more info about that.
  • On Werewolf Biology – Are werewolves that biologically different from humans? What about wolves?
  • Werewolf Grandmas – My, what big teeth you have. Actually these werewolf grandmas aren’t what you expect – one of them has a tragic story to break your heart, and they come from Chinese mythology.
  • The Beast of Gevaudan, and What Isn’t a Werewolf Legend – Remember that really popular story, the Beast of Gevaudan? It’s not really much of a werewolf legend – here’s why.
  • Belladonna and Wolfbane (or Wolfsbane) – So how about that whole belladonna and wolfsbane thing negatively affecting werewolves? How’d that start, and does it have any basis in folklore at all?
  • Loup-garous and Rougarous – What are these things, anyway? Are they werewolves? The answer to that, plus a lot more info on how awesome they are.
  • Eye Colors – What color eyes does a werewolf have, anyway? How much variety is there, and what exactly do they look like?
  • Personality Changes – Did becoming a werewolf actually change the person’s personality in folklore, and what about popular culture?
  • Fur Colors – What fur colors do werewolves have? What about wolves, for that matter?
  • Werewolf/Monster Hunters – Were werewolf hunters, and monster hunters in general, really a thing in folklore? The answer might surprise you.
  • Creatures Confused With Werewolves – What is and isn’t a werewolf?
  • Where Were the Werewolf Hybrids? – What about werewolf hybrids, like werewolf-vampire hybrids? Were they a thing in folklore?
  • When Werewolves Went Mad – A huge topic, at long last! Where did this concept of an insane/uncontrollable werewolf come from? Why is it so huge today?
  • Aging and Immortality – So are werewolves immortal or what?
  • Werewolf Diet (Do Werewolves Eat People?) – Well, do they? And what else might they eat?
  • Eye/Vision Powers – What happens when you make eye contact with a werewolf?
  • The Werewolves of Ossory – One of my favorite werewolf stories! A medieval tale (published in a historie, not as fiction) about a monk who meets a pair of werewolves.
  • Werewolf Inheritance/Offspring – Is lycanthropy inherited? What are werewolf offspring like? Are there werewolf puppies? Here are the answers.
  • Magic Skins – What’s up with the whole association of magic skins with werewolves, anyway?
  • On Shaping Other Shapeshifters – How werewolves have influenced the modern concept of “werecreature” – essentially, by creating the whole thing and then getting no credit for it.
  • Packs, Communities, and Families – So how about that super popular werewolf pack trope?
  • Hands and Claws – Are werewolves capable of using their hands and/or paws as… well, as hands?
  • Arthur and Gorlagon – A werewolf story! A classic medieval werewolf tale that hits on some interesting werewolf ideas in a fun (hopefully?) retelling by yours truly.
  • Hiding Being a Werewolf – Did werewolves in folklore also have to hide their lycanthropy from everyone?
  • Wolves are Big, Werewolves are Bigger – Wolves are undoubtedly bigger than you think they are – and what does that say about folklore’s werewolves?
  • Spiritual Werewolves/Spirit Projection – So how about those werewolves that don’t undergo a physical transformation but instead project their souls out to become wolves? Did you catch all that?
  • Werewolves Have Tails – Here’s a fact all about how werewolves have tails and are scarier for it.
  • Memory – Do werewolves retain memory of their werewolfery in folklore, or do they wake up not remembering anything?
  • Mates and Mating – Do werewolves have some specific kind of mates, or mates at all? Mating seasons? Any of that?
  • Werewolf Women – A small look into the world of werewolf women in folklore – yes, there are werewolf women outside modern pop culture!
  • Prehistoric Werewolves – We looked once at how old werewolf legends are, but let’s take a deeper look at how people have always believed in them.