The Hollywood Record
December 31, 1953
From the Editor's Desk: An Apology for "Wolfman Mania"
By Charles Brooks, Editor-in-Chief
Tonight, we celebrate the arrival of a new year: 1954. As tempting as it is to simply turn the page and declare last year's business over and done with, there is one matter that weighs heavily on my mind; a matter for which I must beg your forgiveness: "Wolfman Mania."
When I gave Joe Shepherd permission to run one of his lighthearted stories mocking the sightings of the wolfman just two months prior, the matter seemed likely to be an attention-seeking fad. Perhaps at worst, it might've been a bout of collective hysteria regarding the supernatural akin to the Salem witch trials. I believed that mockery might not only earn a few laughs from our readership, but perhaps knock a nation gone childish and mad back into the realm of collective sanity.
It never dawned upon me that there might be truth behind these sights and within a month, "Wolfman Mania" would become a matter of interest to the Public Health Service, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the President of the United States. It most certainly never dawned upon me that this silly blurb would become the most contentious, wrong-headed article ever run by this paper.
For that, I am deeply, deeply sorry. The blame lies solely with me as editor-in-chief of the Record.
The blunt fact is that "Wolfman Mania," now identified properly as "Female Clinical Lycanthropy" has infected more than two hundred women in the United States. While no one close to me personally has become infected, I have received phone calls and letters from men who have lost their sisters, daughters, and wives to the affliction. It is a terrible, terrible sickness and I pray daily that scientists soon find a cure.
We live in a more dangerous world than ever before: the dreaded Communist Soviets have the atomic bomb and a sprawling empire of lackeys across the world. Within the borders of our country, we face youth gangs, dangerous narcotics, and treasonous Fifth Columnists. Above it all, threatening the entire world, looms the specter of Female Clinical Lycanthropy, a dreadful disease which seeks to steal the innocence of our wives and daughters.
In the face of such threats, there can be only response: stern determination. Laughter and mockery may liven the spirits, but when the joke wears thin, the danger remains as deadly as ever. To that end, I pledge that this paper will provide the most up-to-date information available regarding Female Clinical Lycanthropy.
I understand that it may not be enough for those directly affected by the disease, but I beg your forgiveness and promise that we will not make this mistake again.
Thank you for your continued readership. May 1954 bring you and your family the best of fortune.