5 Things You May Not Know about Wolves and Lycanthropy
1. Werewolves of London. I refuse to let Kid Rock ruin this wonderful song by the amazing Warren Zevon. The rhythm section of Fleetwood Mac provided the backline on this odd number. Zevon and Phil Everly (of the Everly Brothers) had been hanging out and watching B-Movies. Phil jokingly suggested Warren write a song about the movie “An American Werewolf in London”. Warren called his bluff and took him at word. While messing around with the song, Warren’s guitarist, Robert “Waddy” Wachtel, came in and asked, “Watcha workin’ on?” Zevon said “The Werewolves of London” to which Waddy replied, “Oh you mean like, AAAAAHHHH-OOOOOOO!”
2. Silver. It won’t kill a werewolf, but it can do some serious damage, inflicting pain and deformities. Apparently it’s the object that happens to be made of silver that will do the damage, not the silver itself. Silver is a fairly recent myth most likely originating from the Beast of Gévaudan who was killed by Jean Castel using a gun loaded with silver bullets in 1767. Although by all accounts, Castel did kill a man-eating wolf, writers added the “blessed silver bullets” part for embellishment.
3. Werewolf of Bedburg. Peter Stumpp, a German farmer from the 1500s, was a convicted werewolf and sentenced to death after being tortured to confess his crimes. He supposedly had a magical belt that allowed him to transform. His actual crimes are too brutal to recite here. But I found it interesting that during his crime spree, there were witnesses who said they saw him in wolf form. Turns out, he committed his crimes wearing the skin/fur of a real wolf (maybe a connection to the skin-walkers lore of the Native Americans?).
4. Howling at the Moon. Nope. Sorry to disappoint, but wolves (and succinctly werewolves) do not howl at the moon. They do happen to howl more during dusk and dawn, but this is most likely due to their higher activities during this time. Wolves howl for a variety of reasons including: establishing territory, rallying the troops, and (most recently discovered by Austrian researchers) affection and love. A howl can travel up to 6 miles through forests and up to 10 miles on an open tundra. Howling is more frequent in the winter months to seek out mates for the upcoming awesomeness of spring.
5. The Curse. Unlike vampires, the death of the werewolf that cursed you will not return you to a non-lycan. The only way to cure a curse is to remove the “S” and Spay & Neuter your wolves!