Tall, hairy, resembles a wolf, long sharp teeth, crawls on all fours or can stand on two legs. Has unmistakable and frightening howl.
Anyone in its vicinity.
Swamps, dark woods, the English moors, your backyard!
A werewolf is a terrifying creature. Although it resembles a wolf, it is more muscular, taller and more powerful in every way. The werewolf can run as fast as a wolf and has an acute sense of smell. There is not much hope for a victim who endures a werewolf's ferocious attack. A person who is bitten by a werewolf and lives will become a werewolf. The werewolf is most powerful on nights where there is a full moon.
When the sun rises, the werewolf will transform back into a human and will possess all the same weaknesses of a normal human. The only way to kill the werewolf and be sure its dead is to shoot it with a silver bullet or beat it with a silver-headed cane. The three plants that have been known to ward off werewolves are wolfsbane, rye and mistletoe.
Werewolves, also known as lycanthropes, are shape-shifters. Shape-shifting means they are human by day then will transform to a wolf at night. The werewolf has no real enemies and are completely normal while in their human state. However, after their transformation, they don’t remember being human and become beast-like with one goal in mind…to feed on human flesh. It seems that a werewolf has no control over his victims, but this is not always the case. Some werewolves are aware of their abilities and can even transform at will. A good example of this is a scene from The Howling (1981) where the werewolf transforms in front of the woman he is stalking and intends to kill.
It seems that it is seldom the wish of a person to become a werewolf. This would mean that the werewolf is actually an unfortunate victim of circumstance. I mean who would enjoy that horrendous transformation from human to wolf. If your not familiar with this process, watch the transformation scene from the movie An American Werewolf in London (1981). Looks terribly painful. The howl of the werewolf is also something that sounds horrifyingly frightening, but might just be the last release of anger, sadness, or frustration the human victim feels as he loses the last human part of himself after he transforms. Then again it might just be the animal claiming its ownership of the night.
It is interesting that werewolf legends have remained fairly consistent through time. There are various theories of how one becomes a werewolf. Some people are born cursed, others may have been bitten by a werewolf which inflicts them with the same fate. In the classic film The Wolfman (1941), the gypsy woman Maleva warns “Even a man who is pure of heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright.” This is consistent with the idea that the full moon can act as a catalyst for the transformation of the werewolf.
The portrayal of werewolves have changed only slightly throughout movie history. In the beginning, the werewolf was a man that had fur all over his body. However the werewolf still wore human clothing (minus the shoes). His hands were big, but the eyes were still very human. This became the classic version of the werewolf monster. Then in the 80’s, the werewolf was changed into a more wolf-looking creature that did not resemble a human at all. This is the case in the movies The Howling (1981) and An American Werewolf in London (1981). Special effects have gotten better but the werewolf has not changed much in appearance since then. It remains as one of the top classic monsters of all time.