A werewolf is a human being who possesses the ability to alter his or her shape in order to assume the physical characteristics of a wolf. The clinical term for this condition is lycanthropy.
Becoming a werewolf Edit
There are several ways that a victim may become a werewolf; the most common of which is if he or she falls victim to a curse. Curses are elaborate and the nature of which can vary from caster to caster.
Another means of becoming a werewolf is through willful ritual. In this matter, the person in question (universally of an evil nature), engages upon a ritual that involves a belt made from the pelt of a slain wolf. Wearing the belt and invoking the necessary dark powers will allow a human to transform into a wolf for brief periods of time. Removing the belt, and immersing the target in cold water, will reverse the effect.
Properties of a werewolf Edit
The characteristics surrounding a victim of lycanthropy can vary. Those who find themselves victims of a curse will transform only on the nights of the full moon, while those who become a werewolf through ritual can shape-shift on any evening, regardless of the phase of the moon.
Cursed werewolves appear as bipedal monsters, who can stand upright, and walk and run, just like a regular human being. Ritual werewolves transform fully into an actual wolf and are subject to the same physical restrictions that a normal wolf is.
Curing a werewolf Edit
There are several theorized means of curing a victim of lycanthropy. Almost all of them stem from ancient folklore and cannot be considered effective.
- Saluting a werewolf with the sign of the holy cross
- Calling the werewolf three times by his or her baptismal name
- Three blows to the head with a knife
- Three drops of blood removed from the underarm
- Forcing the werewolf to kneel in one spot for one-hundred years.
- A fatal wound made by a silver weapon (This will cure the werewolf, but will unfortunately, also kill the victim).
Known werewolves Edit
- *Melissa Henry assumed werewolf characteristics through the use of magic, and was not a true werewolf.
- This article only relates to the properties of a werewolf as detailed in the continuity of the Marilyn Ross novels. Although Ross’ werewolves share many similarities with those featured in the original Dark Shadows television series, there are a few notable differences.
- Citation: All of the current information supplied about werewolves and its relationship to the Dark Shadows novels comes from The Foe of Barnabas Collins