Werewolf Syndrome, is it real

For centuries, people have documented and depicted human werewolves with great interest. Legends and modern movies characterize these werewolves with fangs, hairy bodies, and danger, but are werewolves just the stuff of legends? Actually, these stories are probably referring to people who suffer from werewolf syndrome, or congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa (CHL).

Entertained by Werewolves

The big reason you don’t hear about everyday cases of hypertrichosis is that it’s not a common condition. In fact, scientists have documented less than 100 cases worldwide, making it a hard one to study and understand.


The first reported case of werewolf syndrome goes as far back as 1556. Petrus Gonzales of the Canary Islands was born with an abnormally hairy face and body, and his appearance intrigued people in his era.

Gonzales’s condition drew so much curiosity that it brought him to the courts of King Henry II where he became a type of entertainment. Eventually, Gonzales did get married and have two children, both of whom also inherited the skin anomaly.

Throughout their lives, the family continued to draw much curiosity, traveling throughout Europe and making several appearances in kingly courts. Many early cases of CHL repeat such a story, traveling as entertainers individually or with circuses.