Sunday, October 30, 2011

6 Ways to Become a Werewolf by Tricia Schneider

Even the man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers by night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the Moon is pure and bright...

-Famous lines in "The Wolf Man," 1941

The word werewolf is most likely derived from two old-Saxon words, wer (meaning man) and wulf (meaning wolf). As I researched legends and myths of the werewolf for my novella, The Witch and the Wolf, I discovered there’s more than one way to cause the transformation from man into beast. Here are a few:


Being the seventh son of the seventh son, such a person could be born with the ability to change into a werewolf. This also applies to the seventh son with six girls as older siblings. The werewolf ‘gene’ could also be passed to children whose parents turn into werewolves. Other methods include being a child conceived under a new moon; being born on a new moon; being born on a full moon Friday; being born on the winter solstice or Christmas Eve; and being born on Friday the 13th. 


The curse of the werewolf, also known as the Lycaeonia Curse, can be bestowed by a person who is wronged in some way, using witchcraft, sorcery, evil spirits, or divine punishment. This would cause the person cursed to involuntarily change into a werewolf. The earliest story of such a curse can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses where the Greek God, Zeus, is angered by King Lycaon of Arcadia and dooms him to turn into a werewolf. 


Another method for turning into a werewolf is to be bitten by one. Bacteria in the saliva of the werewolf find its way into the blood stream. Alternately, a person could also be infected by a scratch. This is more commonly found in fiction, being rare in legend for there was seldom much left of a victim to become a werewolf.


A person desiring to become a werewolf could easily remove their clothes and put on a belt or girdle made of a wolf-skin. Skinwalkers are also found in Native American Indian lore where the person wears the pelt of the wolf to complete the transformation.  

Magic Salve

Another voluntary method is for the person to rub their bodies with magic salve or ointment to transform into a werewolf. The ingredients of the salve vary, but generally contained plant ingredients like nightshade, belladonna root and henbane. Sometimes other ingredients were included, such as bat’s blood, aconite, celery, soot, calamus, parsley, poplar leaves, and opium. For solvent, they used pig fat, turpentine and olive oil and then after the distillation of spirits was perfected alcohol served the purpose. This method was often combined with the wolf-skin to become a werewolf.


There are ceremonies and rituals that can be performed to achieve the desired results of transforming into a werewolf. These could include devil worship or asking evil spirits to assist in the change. Performing a ritual to invoke the spirit of the wolf or if the spirit of the wolf calls to the person are other methods.  

There are so many interesting legends and myths about werewolves spread across cultures and history giving us plenty of inspiration to work with when creating our own stories. I enjoy reading about them.


Comment for a chance to win a .pdf copy of my paranormal romance novella, The Witch and the Wolf! Happy Halloween!

The Witch and the Wolf

Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.

Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...

~For more information about paranormal romance author Tricia Schneider and her books check out her website

~Find her:

 *Moon photo courtesy of Lady Dragonfly Gifts and Photography, © copyright 2011 Michele Nelson


The Brunette Librarian said...

I had never heard of the 7th son of a 7th son way to become a werewolf. I'm the 1st daughter of a 4th daughter of a 3rd son. Guess I'm not gonna get wolfy anytime soon....unless there's some special salve out there. :)

Thank you for sharing!

rachie2004 AT yah00 *d8t* c-m

Annie Nicholas said...

Love this post!

*yadkny* said...

Very interesting post! Loved the famous lines from "The Wolf Man".


heather said...

Awesome post :) The book sounds good!

elaing8 said...

Interesting post.
The Witch and the Wolf sounds good

Pretty Eyes said...

I loved the different legends - very interesting. Shapeshifters are some of my favorite paranormal characters. Loved the ebook premise!


Mima said...

i really enjoyed this post. informativ folklore, my fav.

Shonna said...

Wow! A lot of new thoughts to think about.

Shonna said...

The Witch and The Wolf sounds like a really good read!!!

Jennifer Mathis said...

wow i hadnt heard of a few of them . but the birth one wow anyone could be . I mean really you have good odds there

mnjcarter said...

Werewolves are my absolute favorite to read about!! Even before I started reading paranormal books, I had wolf pics and stauea of wolves all over my house! I just find them to be an amazong animal!

Arianne Cruz said...

that's awesome! haha ways to become a werewolf!! :D
email: cruz042 at csusm dot edu

Eva's Flowers said...

Some of those I'd neve heard of, very interesting to read about them though :)


June M. said...

I do love reading and learning about different old legends. Thanks so much for sharing with us.
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Great post!

I have a wolf-by-birth story that is in the Bleeding Hearts series...still eeking out the gooey details.

harder to make stuff up without getting the willies!Sometimes, being a mom makes it

Annie Nicholas said...

contest is closed