Since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd or insane behavior, including sleepwalking, suicide, illegal activity, fits of violence and, of course, transforming into werewolves.
Indeed, the words “lunacy” and “lunatic” come from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride her silver chariot across the dark sky each night. For thousands of years, doctors and mental health professionals believed in a strong connection between mania and the moon.
Hippocrates, considered the father of modern medicine, wrote in the fifth century B.C. that “one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon.”
In 18th-century England, people on trial for murder could campaign for a lighter sentence on grounds of lunacy if the crime occurred under a full moon; meanwhile, psychiatric patients at London’s Bethlehem Hospital were shackled and flogged as a preventive measure during certain lunar phases.
Even today, despite studies discrediting the hypothesis, some people think full moons make everyone a little loony.