In folklore and mythological legends all animals are originally human and most human beings are able to turn into animals. Women who married tigers, women who gave birth to serpents, men who became goats, cows or sheep, frog-princes and monkey-servants, abound in the tales of almost every country.

A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope, is a mythologica
l or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or a wolf-man hybrid creature, either purposely, by being bitten by another werewolf, or after being placed under a curse. This transformation often is associated with the appearance of the Full Moon, as noted by the medieval chronicler Gervase of Tilbury, and Petronius in Greek antiquity.

Werewolves often are attributed superhuman strength and senses, far beyond those of both wolves and humans. The werewolf is generally held as a European creature, although its lore spread through the world in later times. Shapeshifters, similar to werewolves but concerned with other animals, are archetypes that appear in myths and folk tales across the world.

A distinction is often made between voluntary and involuntary werewolves. The former are generally thought to have made a pact, usually with the Devil, and morph into werewolves at night to indulge in nefarious acts. Involuntary werewolves, on the other hand, are werewolves by an accident of birth or illness. In some cultures, individuals born during a New Moon or suffering from epilepsy were considered likely to be werewolves.


~Sukeeta~

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