werewolf, werewolves and lycans

13

Deadly Silver and Full Moons

You ask and I deliver! Over on our Facebook page I asked you, my fantastic werewolf fans, what you wanted me to write about and you replied that you want silver.  More specifically, you want to know what’s up with werewolves and silver. We all know the story about silver bullets being the only way to take down a werewolf and you want to know if there’s any truth to that. So I gathered up all of my books on werewolves, mythology, superstitions and so on (I have a lot) and found out what I could on silver and werewolves. Here are my findings…

1152_silver-bullets-wallpaper1Killing a werewolf with silver does NOT come from folklore or age-old stories – it comes from the movies. Yes, it’s true, the whole werewolves vs. silver thing was thought up by Curt Siodmak, the man who wrote the script for The Wolf Man in 1941. He is also the one who made up the bit about transforming on the full moon. Silver bullets AND the curse of the full moon came from this man’s head.

Was Siodmak inspired by folklore and superstition? Possibly. There are plenty of beliefs surrounding both the moon and silver (moon myths here). For example, silver was considered one of the most precious of metals and was said to both ward off evil and bring good luck. It was once common practice to keep a silver coin in your pocket for good luck (some still do this, particularly brides on their wedding day). And oddly enough, while there aren’t any folktales about people killing werewolves with silver, I did find that some people once believed that silver could kill vampires. So originally, silver could be used against vampires, but it was the movies that changed that to werewolves. There was a time in history when some even used silver nails to nail down coffin lids in order to prevent the corpse from rising as a vampire.

So all in all, it was Curt Siodmak, the man behind the original Wolf Man film, who came up with the moon curse and silver bullets.

– Moonlight

About the Author
Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to werewolves and other supernatural beasties. She writes for top genre sites like Vampires.com and Werewolves.com. You will most likely find her huddled over a book with coffee in hand. You can stalk her via her Twitter.
One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.

Curt Siodmakfull moonmoon mythssilverSilver Bulletthe wolf manwerewolf historywerewolf lorewerewolf myth

moonlight • August 18, 2013


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  • lee hopkins

    I think that unless you are a real werewolf, one can never know.

  • mikhail kerrigan

    beast of Gevaudan 1767 as the legend goes goes said to be a werewolf, a farmer Jean Chastel with a priest he blessed three silver slugs and went off to kill the monster. With one shot the beast died. in Gevaudan there is still a monument and a bust of Jean Chastel…And relatives The filmmaker Curt Siodmak drew his inspiration from this legend..

    • The only reason he used silver is because he ran out of things to melt down….and the blessing was done on everything.

  • mikhail kerrigan

    P.S. I Love your site!

  • Morgan Murchison

    Dear All,
    The silver bullet belief is made to look a lot more realistic & believable in the film ‘The Beast must die’ with Calvin Lockhart & Peter Cushing & also the way in which people transform into werewolves,sounded very scientific,clear & believable.I live in Hungary & I am curious about werewolf legends here,I have only found one so far.

    • nightfang

      Hey im a were :) (a-a-at-w-w-wok! *shivers*).

  • L

    older cultures don’t have the silver myth

  • FINALLY! This was one of my (were)wolf facts of the week….that Curt Siodmak is responsible for 99% of the wolf folklore that people believe that is truth from history.

    And as far as the Beast of Gevaudan, Jean Chastel had run out of all his bullets and everything else he may have had to use as a weapon, so he took the last of what he knew he could melt down and use for bullets, and that was his silver, the fact that this happened is just coincidence…..and like stated above, that is where C. Siodmak got his inspiration.

    He also got the idea for the story from the relationship of silver and the moon…..cuz silver is a moon metal. The alchemical symbol for silver is a symbol of the crescent moon.

    But that’s all it is, is part of a story. Another myth he helped create was that one can be changed by bite, when in fact, you can not.

    The famous poem….

    Even a man who is pure in heart: and says his prayers by night: may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms: and the autumn moon is bright

    That is also his.

    Thank you for this article cuz a lot of people need to really research the true(were)wolves in history, and not believe everything on tv and in the movies.

  • moonlight

    I wrote about the Beast of Gevaudan on our FB page, I will copy and paste what I said there…It wasn’t the silver bullets he blessed. He melted down a blessed chalice that happened to have been made of silver. According to to my research it was the blessing that killed the beast, not the silver part.

  • Nightwolf

    I had done some research of my own and came up with the same results. Silver does not kill werewilves. In fact, I believe I mentioned this on another posting on your web site before. Anyway, people should not believe everything they see on t.v. and movies.

    • nightfang

      TURE!!!!!!!!! and weres transform not at the full moons but like how we go to bed. *says soopkyly* you go to bed and we come so stay asleep…

  • bazerkerblood

    no he is right but however werewolves hate it since silver is a pure and said to be a holy metal

    • nightfang

      FALSE!!!! we just hate hunters (not you hunter you are my best pal :)).