Q:

Is it true that there are wolf spells that really work?

A:

Quick Answer

There are no wolf spells that really work. People can not turn into werewolves or any other creature, but some people believe they have done so. Some scientists speculate that certain medical conditions serve as the basis for werewolf myths.

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Full Answer

Werewolves have long enticed the human imagination. European folklore is rich with werewolf mythology based on the belief people could change into wolves through various techniques, not just through spells. Ancient Greeks, for instance, believed that eating a mixture of wolf and human meat turned a person into a werewolf irreversibly.

Even though people can not turn into other animals, there are documented cases of persons believing they have done so. This type of delusion is called clinical lycanthropy. Since 1850, medical literature cites more than 50 published cases of clinical lycanthropy, but only a minority of people had delusions of transforming into wolves. Other patients had delusions of transforming into dogs, hyenas, horses, foxes and tigers, in addition to cats, frogs, snakes, birds and even bees.

Scientists speculate that several medical disorders, such as hyperthrichosis, masculinizing ovarian tumors, Stein-Leventhal syndrome and adrenal virilism, served as a basis for the werewolf myth. Severe cases of hyperthrichosis, which is characterized by abnormal amount of hair growth over the body, are informally even named werewolf syndrome.

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