Picture a werewolf howling at a full moon. It’s such a classic for horror flicks, right? A bloodthirsty beast strolls in the night, ready to rip innocents with its powerful jaws and sharp claws. As a kid, you may have heard of such stories more than you’re comfortable to admit.
Werewolves in movies
In the history of horror movies, werewolves are no strangers. Since the first silent movie, The Werewolf, released in 1913, werewolves became a kind of a staple for horror flicks. The Wolf Man, released in 1941, arguably set a high standard for werewolf movies. It depicted the tragic story of a kind man who ended up being a beast that murders innocent people during the full moon.
The reboot of The Wolf Man in 2010 garnered a warm welcome from supernatural movie lovers too. The story was predictable for any horror movie buff, but it’s still quite entertaining. Some even called the movie an underrated masterpiece. Reportedly, Universal is already preparing another reboot titled Wolfman with Ryan Gosling as the main cast.
Werewolves in video games
Video games also have their own share of werewolves. You should check out the new Resident Evil 8 coming out next year. The protagonist, Ethan Winters, travels to a distant European village shrouded with occult elements, magic, and of course, werewolves. This is the first time werewolves have ever appeared in the game franchise.
Let’s not forget about Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood set to release later this year. Cyanide Studio, the game developer, promises gamers a true werewolf experience in a video game. However, the cinematic trailer doesn’t show much as Cyanide keeps a tight lip about the gameplay. What we know so far is that you will need to switch between your human and werewolf forms to complete the various challenges.
By the way, if you’re a fan of werewolves, you should check out the many werewolf ambient sounds at ambient-mixer.com. Invite your friend for a sleepover and play the sounds as you share scary stories before bed.
Where did the werewolf myths come from?
Like many other mythical beasts, the origin of the werewolf is hard to track since the tale varies depending on the region where the story grew. That said, a strong candidate as the first-ever story of a man turned into a wolf was the Epic of Gilgamesh — a poem from the ancient Mesopotamia. In one part of the poem, Gilgamesh abandoned a potential lover because she turned her past lover into a wolf.
There was also Lycaon of Arcadia in Greek mythology. According to the myth, Lycaon served Zeus the remains of Lycaon’s own son to test if Zeus was all-knowing. For his hideous deeds, Zeus turned Lycaon into a wolf. This story has at least nine different versions with varying details.
“But werewolves are real, right? I’ve seen it on TV!”
The so-called real werewolves are people suffering from a gene mutation that causes excess hair disorder called Hypertrichosis or “werewolf syndrome”. In the American Journal of Human Genetics published in June 2011, scientists revealed that the culprit for the disorder was likely the gene called SOX3. The gene resides in the X chromosome and plays an important role in hair growth.
People with Hypertrichosis sprout thick hair on their bodies, faces, and eyelids. However, they have no tendency to howl at the moon and maul humans so people should not feel intimidated while being around them.