We know that in the 16th and 17th centuries people believed in werewolves and trials ran rampant. Werewolves, while in wolf form, were thought to be bloodthirsty and out of control. So what did people think turned someone into a werewolf?

Some methods of becoming a werewolf were simple, and others more complicated. The most obvious one that we still hear today is if you get bitten by a werewolf, you become one. If this was the method that turned you into a werewolf, you would change involuntarily at each full moon.

Other ways included:

·      Putting on a belt made of wolfskin

·      Ointments or magic salves

·      Drinking water out of the footprint of a werewolf

·      Sleeping outside with the light of the full moon on your face, but only during the summer on a Wednesday or Friday

·      Being kicked out of the church

Being a werewolf was thought to also be a possible curse from God or saints as a punishment.

The ways to remedy being a werewolf vary just as much and many of them aren’t pleasant.

They were:

·      Exhaustion – Ancient Greeks and Romans would force people to do hard, physical labor.

·      Medicinal cure – with the use of wolfsbane

·      Surgical cure

·      Exorcism

·      Piercing the hands with nails

·      Addressing the werewolf three times with its Christian name

·      Converting to Christianity

These “cures” ended up being fatal to most people who were put through them. 

Do you know other ways of becoming a werewolf or curing one? Next week we’re going to chat about different werewolf tropes we see in popular media and see what characteristics overlap with real wolves!