It was of no surprise to me while researching werewolf legends in Texas to find an abundance of information on the wolf- human hybrid creatures; Texas is a hub of lycanthrope activity. The werewolf can be found across many different cultural legends including several Native American legends and deep within ancient Greek mythology.
The oldest known tale of a werewolf is believed to come from the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest forms of Western Prose. In the Epic of Gilgamesh there is a story of a simple shepherd who is enamored with a goddess. Later, the cruel goddess becomes bored with the shepherd and turns him into a wolf.
Another root for werewolf mythology comes from early Nordic folklore in the form of Fenrir, a monstrous god in wolf form. Fenrir is the son of Loki according to Norse mythology, and legend has it that Fenrir will swallow up Odin, the senior god of Norse mythology. There is a wealth of information regarding Fenrir, especially in the Prose of Edna, where it reads that Fenrir was bound by the gods because of his unnatural growth.
Moving on to modern lore, it is commonly known that the werewolf is either a natural born shapeshifter, mainly a wolf, or a regular human created into the creature from a bite of another human suffering the curse of the werewolf. The details of the curse of the werewolf according to some legends can be pretty sinister.
I found several tales regarding the werewolf specific to the state of Texas. The first, being of the Cleo Face of Kimble County, Texas. The face is a stone carving of a monster, with snarling teeth and a strong werewolf likeness created by N.Q. Patterson in the latter part of the 1800s. Many wonder where Patterson had come across the inspiration to carve such a hideous face and some speculate that the idea for the carving came after Patterson had a face to face encounter with an actual werewolf.
Another story, somewhere in the time of the 1800s or early 1900s, comes from the southwest area of Texas around San Antonio. There is a spine-chilling tale of a rugged rancher who lived rough and off the land. The rancher had a son that was a little too soft for his liking so, he decided to toughen the boy up and sent him out into the wilderness to hunt. The boy came home stressed and scared to death, claiming to his father that there was a monster out beyond the ranch, stalking him. The boy, forced to go out into the wildness again, does not return home a second time. The rancher becomes afraid and guilt ridden, goes to search for his son, only to find his half-eaten corpse in the clutches of a werewolf.
A more current story, dated around 1960 was actually an article in Fate magazine; a magazine with over 70 years of covering unexplained phenomena and paranormal mysteries. In the 1960 issue of Fate, there was the startling testimonial of Mrs. Delburt Gregg of Greggton, Texas. Mrs. Greggton, goes on to tell Fate that it was a dark and stormy night and she was at home, alone, when she started to hear noises outside her bedroom window. When she walked over and looked out her window she saw a huge beast, wolf like, with mournful, glowing eyes. Mrs. Gregg, grabbed a flashlight and ran outside (brave woman!) only to find the beast gone. She heard some noise in the near by bush, she pointed her flashlight in the direction of the noise. A completely naked man ran out of the bush and into the dark of night. It is believed that Mrs. Delburt Gregg, had witnessed the transformation of a werewolf.
Myth or fact, there is certainly enough lore regarding the werewolf in Texas to make you think twice about going out at night when the moon is full. Usually, where the legend is abundant there is some truth buried at the root of the story. The truth of the werewolf could very likely be buried in the vast state of Texas.