Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Full Moon Brings out the Werewolves, Not So Far Fetched

How that full moon really can turn you into a werewolf

By Richard Shears

dailymail- You thought werewolves were nothing more than terrifying mythical monsters with a spinechilling howl, be prepared to think again.

A study suggests that a full moon really can bring out the beast in us, turning us into biting, spitting and scratching animals.

While we may not actually transform into the bloodthirsty creatures of fables and movies such as An American Werewolf In London, research suggests we do display worrying symptoms.

A study conducted in Australia found that in the year to July, 91 emergency patients with violent, acute disturbances comparable to werewolves were admitted to one hospital north of Sydney.

And a quarter of these occurred on the night of a full moon, double the number for other lunar phases, according to Leonie Calver, a clinical research nurse in toxicology.

'Some of these patients attacked the staff like animals, biting, spitting and scratching,' she said.

The patients had to be sedated and physically restrained to protect themselves.

Miss Calver's study, reported in the Medical Journal of Australia, said: 'One might compare them with the werewolves of the past, who are said to have also appeared during the full moon.'

Werewolf mythology, she pointed out, included reports of people rubbing 'magic ointment' on to their skin or inhaling vapours to induce the transformation from man to beast.

The main ingredients of the ointment, said Miss Calver, were belladonna and nightshade --substances that could produce delirium, hallucinations and delusions of metamorphosis.

However the 'modern day werewolf' used a different 'potion' - more than 60 per cent of the patients reviewed in her study were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

'Our findings support the premise that individuals with violent and acute behavioural disturbances are more likely to present to the emergency department during full moon,' she said.

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