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July 27, 2017

Lycanthropy a.k.a. Werewolf+-ism

Just about everyone is familiar with the legend of the werewolf…traditionally, there were several ways a person could become a werewolf...a person could be transformed by eating the meat of a wolf that had been mixed with that of a human and that the ensuing condition was irreversible…centuries later other stories circulated that were said to create werewolves or perhaps more rationally explained as a condition of clinical lycanthropy as the medical people call it…these including having a cursed placed upon you, or by being conceived under a new moon, or by having eaten certain herbs, or by sleeping under the full moon on a Friday (presumably outside or this would make us all werewolves), or by drinking water that has been touched by a wolf…this was taken quite seriously in medieval Europe…traditionally, there are three methods one can use to cure a werewolf… medicinally (usually via the use of wolfs bane)…surgically or by exorcism…many of the cures advocated by the medieval medical practitioners proved to be fatal to the patients… Lon Chaney Jr. played the title role in 1941’s ‘The Wolf Man’… He was the son of course of movie legend Lon Chaney…the movie was a great factor in the rise in popularity of the wolf man story…Bela Lugosi of ‘Dracula’ fame had a part as a gypsy fortune teller who was also a werewolf…the idea of a wolf man has a widespread belief in European folklore…Bavaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria were the hotbeds of this tale…speaking of Lon Chaney Jr., he was the only actor ever to play ‘The Big Four’ horror characters from Universal…The Wolf Man, and in later incarnations, Frankenstein’s monster, Count Dracula, and the Mummy…he also appeared in ‘The Inner Sanctum’ movie series which was very good.