For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fondness for werewolf stories. I read werewolf books, I watch TV shows with werewolves, I even wrote a small, unfinished book called My Life As A Teenage Werewolf. Before today, I never really thought about why I like these particular supernatural beings so much. I just sort of accepted as a fact that this was something that I loved in my life. However, while taking a shower (where all my best ideas come from), I started thinking to myself “Why do I just love werewolf stories so much?”
If I had to put a “starting point” on where my love of these creatures started, I’d probably guess that it starts with my (usual) love of dogs. Growing up, we had 3 dogs in my house. The first was a big English Mastiff we called Gordo (Spanish for fatty, basically). This was one BIG dog. We used to use him as a little pony during parties. He was a very friendly dog, from what I remember. However, this dog was so huge that he once leaned on the fence, tipped it over, and ran away. I never saw him again. Then we had two Rottweilers we named Jewel and Niles. They were very friendly too and I loved them to bits. These dogs were sold after we got a pool.
Still, because of my early exposure to dogs and how friendly they could be, I always had a fascination with them. While I’m no psychoanalyst, if I had to guess, I’d say that my love of dogs transferred into a love of wolves somewhere down the line. Wolves are probably my favorite animals. Even when I was younger and would read about them in animal books, I always found them to be fascinating creatures. I always liked that they wandered around in packs and had all these certain behaviors. They just seemed like really cool animals to me.
Stepping away from the animal side of things, the other reason I like good werewolf stories is because they often revolve around a certain type of story: the Jekyll and Hyde story. I always thought that kind of story was interesting: two halves of the same person battling for control, one logical minded, the other completely animalistic. Heck, one of my favorite villains of all time is Two-Face from Batman, who embodies this completely. For me, all good werewolf stories have this element to them. And I really love watching that conflict play out, studying how the character reacts, watching as the two sides try to cope with or destroy each other.
The fact is, werewolves, as we’ve created them, are extremely complex supernatural creatures. While vampires are (usually) just demonic creatures, werewolves are (usually) people who are trying to cope. These complexities, these conflicting natures, are what I enjoy most about werewolves. They are without a doubt my favorite subset in the horror genre. Now, I’ve said my piece. If you’ll excuse me, I suddenly feel like howling at the moon…