As we approach Halloween, things get a little creepier here in the States. It’s not uncommon to see people walking down the street in full costume or be passed by a vampire driving a car while flipping you off because you’re moving too slowly. Full moons typically only appear once a month and the October full moon has, unfortunately, already come and gone. I didn’t know how to make a full moon interesting, so we have this little bat flying by one to liven things up a bit. This is mostly because the wolf I drew first looked more like a deranged dog. What I find most interesting about full moons are the many myths that surround them. Obviously werewolves are supposed to come out, but people claim all sorts of weird things happen during the full moon. There’s no scientific proof that strange behavior occurs any more frequently during full moons, however, so perhaps it’s just the increase in light that makes people better notice the weird things that are already happening all the time.
Many maternity nurses and moms will swear that more babies are born during a full moon. Police officers will also tell you that crime increases. Interestingly, none of this has ever been conclusively proven, but that hasn’t stopped people from believing it. For centuries, when something odd happens, people will sometimes ask, “was there a full moon?” as though an answer in the affirmative would be all the explanation you need. Like all good myths, this long tradition of belief in lunar lunacy is all it takes to make people continue to believe it’s true. People don’t actually believe the moon is made of green cheese, of course, but that was never an actual belief. It was just something people said, ironically, about people who were willing to believe just about anything without any real proof or knowledge.
Stories survive beyond proven facts. That’s what makes them so brilliant. It’s nearly impossible to make someone truly believe differently once a story has taken hold. That’s their power. Even if you don’t actually believe in werewolves, they still exist. Each story that makes them real, makes them matter. When I look back, it’s those tales of vampire bats and ghosts around Halloween that made me want to tell my own stories. I didn’t want to scare people, so I knew my stories would be different, but I was fascinated by how real the impossible could become. The strangest of behaviors and the oddest things in the world can be easily explained in stories, but if for any reason they can’t, you can always blame it on the moon.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!