If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering the best way to spot a werewolf but weren’t sure where to start, this is your lucky day.
There’s a lot of confusion on whether or not a werewolf looks more like a man, a wolf, or perhaps some easily recognizable hybrid.
There’s a lot of speculation about the werewolf tail and if it even exists in the first place.
However, we do know this – if you happen to find yourself being stalked by an oversized, odd-shaped dog in a dark alley and he just happens to be missing a tail, run.
Do Werewolves Have Tails?
Whether or not a werewolf has a tail might be one of the most common questions surrounding the werewolf. Between movies, books, television series, and stories, it is hard to know which depiction is accurate.
Many films have used the growing of a tail to show that the human is starting to transform into something else. However, if a transformation like this were to take place, it is unlikely that a tail would actually grow.
What Are Werewolves?
Werewolves are humans that transform into a wolf-like creature.
Many changes happen in this transformation such as hair growth, claw growth, yellow eyes, snout formation, ears get pointed, bones move and skin grows to cover the new formation. However, growing a tail would mean magically sprouting a new bone.
The above changes might seem kind of extreme, but growing a tail is even more extreme to think of.
From the earliest stories about werewolves, we know that one of the most reliable ways to spot a werewolf is to look for no tail.
Sure, there are other ways to identify one such as the overall shape of the body, but it’s the lack of a tail that sets them apart.
Identifiable Features in a Werewolf
Now that we know that werewolves probably don’t have tails, what else is there to look for?
As we know, werewolves don’t look entirely human and they don’t look entirely like a wolf either.
Let’s examine some of the other features that we can look for to truly rule out whether we are/have been in the presence of a werewolf, a really hairy human, or a rabid poodle.
Defining Physical Traits
When it comes to trying to identify a werewolf, examining the teeth, the hair, the nose, and the claws simply won’t cut it.
Even though all of those aspects change during the transformation from human to werewolf, they don’t appear to look much different than an actual wolf.
The lack of a tail isn’t the only surefire way to tell if the beast is a werewolf. In fact, one of the other popular definitive traits are the eyes. Werewolves are almost always described as having intense yellow eyes.
Other than the yellow eyes, the general shape of the body can also be a pretty good way to tell if what you are looking at is a wolf or a werewolf.
During the transformation, the bones move around and turn that human into a sinister-looking wolf.
The back is more hunched, and the body is overall much more muscular than that of a regular wolf. Think of it as a short-haired wolf that has very bad posture and is on steroids.
Abilities of Werewolves
It might come as a surprise to some that werewolves have abilities.
When you think of a human transforming into a wolf you would assume that it would stop there. However, during the physical transformation, other changes take place.
Their sense of smell, sight, and hearing becomes so enhanced there isn’t a single animal or human in the world that could evade them. Even if they tried, werewolves are incredibly fast, even a cheetah wouldn’t have a chance.
Additionally, werewolves have healing abilities. If they are injured during combat or on the hunt, they can quickly heal themselves. This makes them incredibly hard to kill.
If the idea of a human turning into a werewolf is just a little too far fetched for your liking, some medical explanations might explain the werewolf phenomenon.
Lycanthropy is a word used to describe the transformation of a human into a wolf. However, there is a psychiatric syndrome called clinical lycanthropy.
This syndrome consists of a person dealing with delusions. This person truly believes that they are a werewolf. They don’t just think it, they truly feel it and believe it.
They feel their claws, their hairy body, and in some cases, they have claimed to experience the painful transition from human to wolf.
Another medical explanation that could explain the phenomenon is hypertrichosis, also known as the werewolf syndrome.
Hypertrichosis is a medical condition where humans grow an abnormal amount of hair. There are two types of this condition, generalized hypertrichosis, and localized hypertrichosis.
Generalized hypertrichosis means that it grows all over the body, while localized hypertrichosis means it only grows in specific areas.
This syndrome can be caused by medications, various forms of cancer, and genetics.
The History of Werewolves
To some, werewolves are a pretty new phenomenon that is just making their way into movies, television, books, and stories. However, the term werewolf has actually been around since 2100 BC.
Furthermore, in 425 BC, greek historians claim there was a tribe of magical men who were known to change into wolf shapes at certain points during the year.
Since the beginning, werewolves have been associated with religion, witchcraft, and the devil.
However, it is important to remember that back in the day when people and animals were killed or went missing, people were desperate for answers. They didn’t have access to the technology we have today.
It is possible that werewolves were used as a way to explain what was happening to livestock and people that went missing such as the Pierre Burgot and Michel Verdun case.
In 1574, a man named Gilles Garnier or “The Werewolf of Dole” was a cannibalistic serial killer in France.
In his trial, he claimed that a spirit offered him an ointment that would allow him to turn into a wolf so that it would be easier to hunt.
To learn more about werewolf history, watch this video.
Can Werewolves Be Killed?
Yes, they can be killed. When it comes to any incredibly dangerous predator, we always want to hear that they can be killed.
However, just because they can be killed, doesn’t mean it would be easy.
Werewolves are incredibly fast, strong, and have super senses that makes them almost impossible to track down, let alone kill.
The best way to take out a werewolf is to wait until he or she has gone back to a human form because then they will be weaker.
Be sure to confirm that it is, in fact, a werewolf before taking any action. You don’t want to accidentally hurt your eccentric neighbor or his big dog.
How Does One Become a Werewolf?
The most common way to become a werewolf is to be scratched or bitten by one. However, there are less popular ways too.
If you drink the water from the paw of a werewolf or from a puddle in a footprint left by a werewolf, legend has it you might turn into a werewolf.
Are There Any Cures?
Yes! If you have recently been bitten by a werewolf and feel yourself losing control at midnight, there is some good news.
The werewolf lore has been around for centuries and fortunately, the cures have been around just as long. However, the cures aren’t always that successful and some of them end pretty badly.
In Europe, where the lore is most common, they believe that surgeries and exorcisms could cure the human from becoming a werewolf.
In Italy, they believe that metal objects are the best werewolf remedy around. According to the Sicilians, if you hit a werewolf on the head with a metal object or knife, or pierce both of his palms, he would be cured.
Just like in the vampire lore, werewolves are incredibly sensitive to silver. If you are looking to cure a werewolf by taking its life, a silver bullet or silver sword is the only way.
In Germany, they believe in taking the non-violent route. They said that if you are in the room with the werewolf and say his or her name three times, they will be cured.
Last but not least, one of the most common remedies to cure a werewolf is to keep them physically active until they have exhausted themselves. For this remedy to work, the werewolf must be in human form.
The physical activity is supposed to exhaust the human body to the point where it does not have the energy to do the conversion to a wolf.
Over time, the part of him that turned into a werewolf will vacate the body after being neglected for so long.