Monday, November 1, 2010

Tidbits About Werewolf Folklore

Author and guest blogger C. Fern Cook (The 'Wild' werewolf series) has this to say:

When I first developed the story for the first novel in the Wild series, Wild Evolution, I wanted a rancher that shared his land with all creatures including the dreaded wolf pack. I wanted the rancher to interact with the wolf pack. Naturally, this fell into the werewolf genre.

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 folklore in all cultures.
* Only in the American movie culture does the werewolf curse cause an involuntarily transform 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. The belief is similar to the Norseman; if you wore the skin of the animal, you would possess their attributes. In many Native American tribes, it is considered taboo to don the pelt of a wolf.

To spot a werewolf, look for these characteristics:
* born on December 24th
* has red hair
* the index and middle finger are the same length
* and has a craving of raw meat

I had an uncle that possessed many of these characteristics but I personally don't believe he was a werewolf. The most unusual tidbit of information about werewolf myths from around the world came from Argentina. They believed that the seventh son would become a werewolf. Many parents killed the seventh son or gave them up for adoption.

In order to stop the practice they finally made it a law in the 1920's that the seventh son would become the president's godson at baptism and receive a gold medal. This law is still enforced today. This just scratches the surface of werewolf folklore from around the world, but many of the myths have similar characteristics, I found that to be very interesting. I also found it very interesting that almost every culture has legends or myths about the werewolf.

I picked the skin walker folklore because of the Native American connection. My grandfather came from the Blackfeet tribe but would have nothing to do with the reservation or the U.S. government's Indian government programs. He said they were disgraceful. In his time they were.

I had an uncle who was from the Kickapoo tribe; between him and my grandfather, we spent a lot time out in nature. I have had an attraction to the Native American folklore because of my grandfather and uncle; so, the Native American skin walker legend is the one I chose to go with.

In Wild Legacy, I have chosen to continue on with this and expand the story to include the skin walker legend from the Norseman region. The continuation of the series will expand on this aspect of the legend, reaching back to the old country folklore in the next book.

C. Fern Cook
Wild Evolution
Wild Justice
Wild Legacy

(books available in print through and ebook and print from online retailers including

1 comment:

  1. I love the skin walker thing.
    Nothing else I read in the paranormal scene is like it.


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