Every Halloween, wolfish creatures that walk like men step from the shadows of film and TV to haunt the liminal spaces of our minds. Most people consider these seasonal scare-fests safe and fun, since werewolves are only a myth.
Yet, what if there is something to the ancient belief that certain, hard-bitten individuals can morph into beasts? Almost every civilization in the history of the world has included some type of human-animal blend in its art. And if these creatures were indeed real, self-preservation would likely be our first order of business. We would need to learn who among our family, friends, acquaintances, or co-workers was out in the woods dodging silver bullets once a month.
In the Middle Ages, standard methods of werewolf detection were well known. Two common giveaways were hairy palms and unibrows. In these modern days of depilatory creams, electric razors, and full body waxes, however, such simple tests are long outmoded. Here’s a list of updated hints for unmasking the contemporary lycanthrope:
- The jogger that normally sprints down your street in Spandex shows up in shredded blue jeans and a buttonless plaid shirt.
- Your elderly uncle keeps catching his claws on his crocheted lap robe.
- A frequent customer in your pet supply store often buys a gross of live hamsters.
- The next-door neighbor has a new fur coat she never takes off—and it’s mid-August.
- There’s a man at the dog park that seems to be walking himself.
- Your secretary sheds all over the printer.
- The soloist in your church choir often throws back her head and howls the high notes.
- Your brother-in-law has developed such bright eye glow that he no longer needs the headlights on his car.
- Your spouse now rides with head out the window, tongue flapping over the long fangs you never noticed before.
- Your children can grow their own Halloween costumes.
Halloween is a time t0 face spooks and frights head on in a fun-natured manner, but Linda Godfrey addresses many real life encounters with werepeople and other creatures in her books MONSTERS AMONG US and REAL WOLFMEN, available now:
Barnes & Noble
Also check out “3 Simple Steps to Avoid Becoming a Creature of the Night.”