In researching werewolf lore for the novel "Wild Evolution" I came across some interesting tidbits of information.
Lycanthrope is derived from the Greek language meaning wolf and man.
It seems that there is werewolf lore in all cultures.
Only in the American movie culture does the werewolf change over involuntarily to the werewolf state because of a full moon.
The Norseman believed that a man would possess the characteristics of the animal if they wore the hide of that animal, such as a bear or a wolf.
In American Indian culture it is called the skin walker, it is considered taboo by some Native American cultures.
Werewolf myths say that you can spot a werewolf by these characteristics:
They were born on December 24th,
They have red hair,
Their index and middle finger are the same length,
And they love to eat raw meat.
I had an uncle that possessed some of these characteristics but I don't believe he was a werewolf.
The most unusual tidbit of information about werewolf tales from around the world came from Argentina. They believed that the 7th son would become a werewolf. Many parents killed the seventh son or gave them up for adoption.
In order to stop this practice they finally made it a law in the 1920's that the seventh son would became the president's godson at baptism and receive a gold medal.
This just scratches the surface of werewolf lore from around the world, but many of the myths have similar characteristics, I found that to be very interesting.