Legends of the Werewolf
"Stories about humans shape-shifting into wolf-like creatures are contained in ancient folklore of various cultures, while legends about savage, super-hairy, woods-dwelling men known as Wodewose date back to medieval England. Images of Wodewose have reportedly been found in church carvings. In other parts of Medieval Europe, hundreds of people were executed during witch and werewolf trials. One man, Peter Stubbs of Bedburg, Germany, admitted he was a blood-sucking wolf and reportedly confessed to killing and eating more than a dozen children and two pregnant women. It was later determined that some people accused of being werewolves might actually have suffered from a disease called St. Anthony's Fire, which resulted in delusional behavior. Lycanthropy, the belief that one is a werewolf, is now a recognized psychosis. In another case in Europe, the "Beast of Gevauden," described as a giant wolf, terrorized a region of France in the 1760s, killing some 80 adults and children. Researchers now suggest the murders were committed by a serial killer (or killers) or a pack of hungry wolves. "
- from History.com