As many of you are aware, werewolves or lycanthropes feature in a LOT of books with fantasy or supernatural elements. They vary from these half-demonoid creatures to full on shifters, who are bigger or the same as their wild counterparts.
Most in modern film or books are bitten, scratched, or have curses placed upon them to become the hybrids. Often with the transformations happening by the full moon.
A common origin of this transformation can be found in Proto-Indo-European mythology, where it was used as an initiation for the warrior class.
Like the witchcraft trials, the trial of supposed werewolves emerged in the early 15th century and spread throughout Europe in the 16th, peaking in the 17th and subsiding by the 18th century.
After the witch-trials, the werewolf became of interest in folklore and emerged in the Gothic horror genre. We can now find it across several genres. From Romance to gore.
The first being, The Werewolf, which was made as a silent film short in 1913. It is considered the first werewolf film and was directed by Henry MacRae.
Now we see them popping up not just to scare adults, but for children to love and enjoy. Much like the wolves in Hotel Transylvania and Scooby-Doo and the reluctant Werewolf.
For myself, I used these wolf-creatures to keep with my supernatural theme in book 2, along with the vampires.