is a folkloric/mythological being allegedly possessing the ability to
shapeshift into a wolf or wolf-like creature, either intentionally, via
lycanthropic affliction (a bite or scratch) or after being cursed the
transformation often associated with a full moon. 
while endowed with abilities far beyond those of either men or wolves
(super-human strength, speed and senses) are in modern fiction (though
not historically) often vulnerable to weapons composed of silver while
being impervious (unlike vampires) to religious
artifacts such as crucifixes or holy water.
means have been suggested over the years to return a werewolf to human
form. In medieval Europe, traditionaly, three methods were said to cure
a victim of werewolfism: medicinally (wolfsbane), surgically or by
exorcism (the practice of casting out demons). Converting to
Christianity was also supposed to be helpful with a devotion to St.
Hubert (of Liege) being cited as both a treatment and defense from
The same folklore also described the means by
which werewolves could (supposedly) be identified while in human form:
a long loping gait, a single vertical eyebrow, sharp curved
fingernails, ears low-set, a bite mark with canine-like impressions,
bristles under the tongue and if the flesh was cut fur within the wound.
the early twentieth century wolves were the most feared predators in
Europe many scholars arguing that this was the major reason they became
intertwined with the folklore of evil shape shifters. (In geographic
areas devoid of wolves other predators often filled the role.)
1935 film Werewolf of London, starring Henry Hull, was the first to use
an anthropomorphic  werewolf, a debonair scientist who retains, to a
degree, both his manner and facial appearance after his transformation,
but it was 1941's The Wolf Man, starring Lon Chaney, Jr., that imbedded
the werewolf in the public’s consciousness starting a love affair that
has lasted till the present with werewolves appearing in numerous
novels, movies and on television: The Curse of the Werewolf, An
American Werewolf in London, Wolf, Wolfen, Bad Moon, The Howling,
Silver Bullet, Teen Wolf, Dog Soldiers, Dark Guardian, Supernatural,
Being Human, Sanctuary and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are just a few.
There is also a psychiatric condition, called clinical lycanthropy, in
which a person believes they can transform or have transformed into an
animal (not necessarily a wolf).
 The attribution of a human form, human characteristics or human
behavior to nonhumans or non-living things.
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