Werewolf Timeline

werewolf timeline

The history of the werewolf, a creature that transforms from a human into a wolf or wolf-like creature, dates back to ancient mythology and folklore. In Greek mythology, King Lycaon of Arcadia was punished by the god Zeus for serving him human flesh and was transformed into a wolf. In the 4th century BC, Olympic boxer Damarchus transformed into a wolf at the sacrifice of Lycaean (Wolf) Zeus. In Roman mythology, the poet Virgil tells of Moeris being transformed into a wolf through the use of herbs, and the poet Ovid writes about Lycaon being transformed into a wolf by Zeus in his work "Metamorphoses."

Throughout history, there have been numerous accounts of individuals being accused of being werewolves, often facing trial and execution for their supposed transformation. In the Middle Ages, werewolf trials were common in Europe, with many people being accused and punished for their supposed lycanthropy. In the modern era, the concept of the werewolf has been popularized in literature and film, with numerous works featuring werewolves as central characters. These include the film "An American Werewolf in London" in 1981 and the TV show "Teen Wolf" in 2011.


The concept of werewolves has been present in mythology and folklore for centuries. In ancient Greek mythology, the story of King Lycaon of Arcadia serves as one of the earliest recorded accounts of lycanthropy. According to the story, King Lycaon served human flesh to the god Zeus as a test of his divinity, and as punishment, he was transformed into a wolf. The term "Lycanthrope" is derived from this story. In the works of Roman writers such as Virgil and Ovid, stories of individuals who could transform into wolves through the use of herbs or at the sacrifice of the wolf god Zeus can be found. In the Middle Ages, werewolf trials became more common, with many individuals being accused and punished for lycanthropy. In the 11th century, the first recorded use of the term "werewulf" in English occurred. The concept of werewolves has continued to be present in literature and popular culture throughout the centuries, with the 20th and 21st centuries seeing a surge in werewolf-themed media such as films, television shows, and novels.


During the period of 1000-1500, there were several notable events related to werewolves in literature and folklore. In 1020, the word "werewulf" was recorded in English for the first time. In the 12th and 13th centuries, several works of literature featuring werewolves were composed, including the "Lai de Melion" and Marie de France's "Bisclavret". In the 15th century, there were several cases of individuals being tried and punished for alleged lycanthropy, including the "Werewolf of Poligny" in France and the "Werewolf of Allariz" in Spain. These events helped to establish the belief in werewolves and shape the portrayal of werewolves in literature and popular culture.


The years 1500-1600 saw several cases of individuals being accused of and punished for lycanthropy, or the ability to transform into a wolf. This period also saw the publication of several works of literature featuring werewolves, including "Histories of Herodotus" by the traveller Herodotus of Halicarnassus and "Metamorphoses" by Roman poet Ovid. In 1541, a farmer in Pavia, Italy was said to have transformed into a wolf and attacked several men in the countryside. In 1573, Gilles Garnier, known as the Werewolf of Dole, was burned at the stake for his alleged crimes as a werewolf. The "Werewolf of Châlons" and the Gandillon family were also tried in France in 1598. In 1603, Jean Grenier, a teenage boy, was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for being a werewolf.


The years 1600-1700 saw several more cases of individuals being accused and punished for lycanthropy, including the trial of Thiess in Jurgenburg, Livonia in 1692. The "Werewolf of Allariz" was also tried in Spain in 1825, and the "Werewolf of Poligny" was tried in France in 1833.


For the years 1700-1800, our werewolf timeline includes several notable events, including the trials and executions of individuals accused of being werewolves in France and Germany. In 1764, the Beast of Gévaudan terrorized France for several years before being shot and killed by Jean Chastel in 1765. In 1779, Peter Stubbe, the Werewolf of Bedburg, was executed for murder. In 1791, Jean Grenier, known as the “Werewolf of Bordeaux”, was tried in France.


During the 1800s, our werewolf timeline includes several notable events as well. In 1810, Håkon Jonsson was tried and executed in Norway for being a werewolf. In 1825, the “Werewolf of Allariz” was tried in Spain. In 1833, the “Werewolf of Poligny” was tried in France. In 1846, the “Werewolf of Rügen” was tried in Germany. In 1886, the “Werewolf of Mill Valley” terrorized California.


In the 1900s, werewolf stories continued to be popular in literature and film. In 1941, the film "The Wolf Man" was released, featuring Lon Chaney Jr. as the titular character. This film spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs, and cemented the werewolf as a popular horror monster. In the 1960s, the TV show "The Munsters" aired, featuring a family of monsters with a werewolf member named Eddie Munster. In the 1980s, the film "An American Werewolf in London" was released, featuring groundbreaking special effects that earned it an Academy Award.


In the 2000s, the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer became a cultural phenomenon, with its vampires and werewolves capturing the imaginations of readers and viewers alike. The TV show "True Blood" also featured werewolves as a key element in its plot. In 2011, the TV show "Teen Wolf" debuted, modernizing the werewolf story and making it popular with a new generation.


Between 2010 and 2020, there were several notable events related to werewolves in popular culture. In 2011, the TV show "Being Human" debuted, featuring a werewolf character. In the same year, the TV show "Grimm" also premiered, featuring a main character who hunts werewolves and other supernatural creatures. In 2012, the film "The Cabin in the Woods" was released, with werewolves being one of the monsters encountered by the main characters. In 2013, the video game "Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest" was released, based on the tabletop role-playing game of the same name. In 2014, the film "Wolfcop" was released, featuring a police officer who transforms into a werewolf. In 2015, the film "Late Phases" was released, about a blind man who must defend himself and his neighbors from a pack of werewolves. In 2016, the film "The Monster" was released, featuring a mother and daughter who are stranded on a road trip and must confront a werewolf. In 2017, the film "The Wolf Man" was released, a reimagining of the 1941 film of the same name. In 2018, the film "The Ritual" was released, about a group of friends who become lost in the woods and encounter a werewolf. In 2019, the film "The Wolf of Snow Hollow" was released, about a small town sheriff who must confront a werewolf terrorizing the community.