Are Werewolves Real?
The werewolf phenomenon may have a medical explanation. Take Peter the Wild Boy, for instance. In 1725, he was found wandering naked on all fours through a German forest. Many thought he was a werewolf or at least raised by wolves.
Peter ate with his hands and couldn’t speak. He was eventually adopted by the courts of King George I and King George II, and lived out his days as their “pet” in England.
Research has shown Peter likely had Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, a condition discovered in 1978 that causes lack of speech, seizures, distinct facial features, difficulty breathing and intellectual challenges.
Other medical conditions that may have encouraged werewolf-mania throughout history are:
- lycanthropy (a rare, psychological condition that causes people to believe they’re changing into a wolf or other animal)
- food poisoning, eating of tainted bread
- hypertrichosis (a rare, genetic disorder causing excessive hair growth)
- hallucination, possibly caused by hallucinogenic herbs
Throughout the centuries, people have used werewolves and other mythic beasts to explain the unexplainable. In modern times, however, most believe werewolves are nothing more than pop culture horror icons, made famous thanks to Hollywood’s 1941 movie, The Wolf Man. Still, werewolves have a cult following, werewolf sightings are reported each year, and werewolf legends will likely continue to haunt the dreams of people throughout the world.