According to ancient Greek folklore, a person could become a wolf (or werewolf) by eating wolf and human flesh together, while in later centuries, the causes varied between supernatural curses, conception during a new moon, sleeping in the light of a full moon and consuming specific herbs. In some cases, it was believed that merely drinking water that had been touched by a wolf would be enough to effect the transformation.Know More
The moon has long been associated with mental health, or at least the deterioration thereof. Even today, despite a significant lack of supporting evidence, the belief that people act more deranged during a full moon phase survives.
It is thought that the folkloric notion of the werewolf may have been a manifestation of at the time unclassified medical conditions. Hypertrichosis, for example, causes abnormally thick facial and body hair growth, and porphyria, a sensitivity to light accompanied by symptoms of seizures and anxiety, may have been responsible for keeping people indoors during the day.
The folkloric belief in werewolves has been responsible for many executions in history — particularly during the Middle Ages when werewolves were considered the result of witchcraft. In Germany during the 16th century, for instance, Peter Stubbe was tortured and decapitated for his alleged use of a wolf skin belt to turn himself into a werewolf and kill people.Learn more about Folklore
Countess Elizabeth Bathory of Hungary was called the Blood Countess because she reputedly killed hundreds of young peasant and servant women in the 16th and 17th centuries. She allegedly bathed in their blood in order to remain youthful and beautiful.Full Answer >
Robin Hood was probably an amalgam of different outlaws living sometime during the 12th and 13th centuries, not long after the Normans conquered England. Later medieval chroniclers seem to believe he was real, but their stories of him change too much to ascribe reliability to them.Full Answer >
Wishing someone good luck on their future endeavors is a friendly and polite gesture that can be done in a variety of ways, preferably by sending a handwritten note. The note may be accompanied by wishing the recipient well either in person or on the phone, depending on the relationship to him or her.Full Answer >
The Jack Sprat of the famous nursery rhyme about eating fat and lean is likely not a real person. Rather, the content of the rhyme seems related to the contrast between two people who like dramatically different things and yet complement each other because of these differences.Full Answer >