Weretiger – distant cousin of the werewolf
Weretigers are werecreatures that are referenced in legends and myths in a few countries – in particular in Indian and Asian folklore. They are creatures that appear human, but can – at will – transform into tigers (they are not dependent upon the moon). Depending on the region, weretigers can be described as being violent, vicious creatures which feed off humans (China), or they can be described as non-violent creatures that stay to themselves unless they are hungry or provoked (Indonesia and Malyasia).
How does one become a weretiger? Like becoming a werewolf, legends and methods vary. They include:
One interesting legend from China says that if a human is killed by a tiger, then that person becomes a vindictive ghost that is intent upon making other people get eaten by tigers – in order to do this, the ghost transforms people into weretigers.
In some parts of Asia it is believed that there is a genetic trait for the weretiger which is passed down through families. The gene is said to be dominant, resulting in entire families carrying the weretiger trait and passing it down generation to generation. Because of it’s dominance, and its reluctance to skip generations, it is said that there are entire villages in Asia made up of weretigers.
Other legends in China claim that there are certain people that though they live as human, their “true” forms are those of animals, and so sometimes they simply “revert” back to there tiger form (hence becoming known as weretigers – or other were-creatures).
Like werewolves, there are some legends that say that one can become a weretiger by someone casting a spell or a curse on them. Some legends say that there are certain rituals that can be performed which will also cause the change.
Pure will power. There are some legends that claim that becoming a weretiger is simply a matter of choice, and that a human can simply choose to be one. It is said that this requires an extremely strong will power, but with extreme practice and persistence can be accomplished.