There are as many legends surrounding werewolves as there are werewolves themselves but most recently it was the Christmas myth that intrigued me. Apparently, being born on Christmas Day either makes you more prone to being a werewolf or is a sure sign that someone you’re in contact with is a werewolf, should that happen to be their birthday. So I wondered what the big deal was with Christmas Day and why this particular holiday was chosen as being significant to the werewolf. The answer it seems, goes back to a movie from 1961 titled The Curse of the Werewolf. The movie is a British film and stars Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Catherine Feller, and Yvonne Romain.
The Curse of the Werewolf is a story about how a prisoner is captured by a Spanish king and held captive for 15 years. When the jailer’s daughter gets thrown into prison at that time by the same king, the long-imprisoned man rapes her and dies. The girl flees the prison in poor shape but is eventually nursed back to health and gives birth to a child named Leon. Before finding nurses that help her through her pregnancy and birth, the girl lived in a forest for some time and acted and lived like an animal.
This fact, combined with the fact that the child was to be born on Christmas Day, which was the curse of the werewolf, the nurses were unsure as to just what type of child they would be delivering. The significance of being born on Christmas Day, the nurses explain, is that it is an insult to Jesus Christ, who was also born on Christmas Day and that it was this insult that deemed one worthy enough to receive the curse of the werewolf. Leon was born on Christmas Day and the curse started immediately, with his mother dying in childbirth.
The remainder of the movie seems to be Leon emerging as a werewolf, with people paying particular attention to the different signs and of course, climaxing to the point at the end of the movie where Leon is a full-blown werewolf and the movie even ends with a classical picture of Leon climbing up a bell tower.
All of this is just a synopsis that I have gathered but it certainly has me piqued to watch the movie. And for now it’s quenched my curiosity on where the myth of Christmas Day came from.