Werewolf trials

Among the first french werewolf-trials that became known was the one which were about Pierre Burgot and Michel Verdun, two farmers who were put to trial 1521. Burgots story was strange. Nineteen years earlier he had been out with his sheep when a hard storm came. When he ran around and tried to gather the frightened animals he met three men on horses, dressed in black and sitting on black horses. One of them asked what was going on and the breathless Burgot told them about the sheep that had run away and he was frightened that they should be victims to the wolfs. The stranger told him not to worry, and that if Burgot agreed to serve him and see him as his lord and master he would protect the sheep for the coming days and years and also give him money. Burgot accepted the purposal and said that he would met the stranger, who called himself Moyet.

When the meeting occured Moyet presented the full conditions of the agreement: Burgot shouldn't do anything else than to reject God, the paradise, his baptise and his confirmation. Burgot accepted these terms and also swore to not join any devine services or use holy water. Then he kissed Moyets hand, it was cold like a dead man's hand.

While the years passed Burgot got less willing to obey Moyet and because of this he was taken care of by Michel Verdun, who demanded that he should take his clothes off and use a magic ointment, which soon gave the wanted effect and convinced Burgot that he had been transformed to a wolf. He was amazed to see his arms and legs get hairy and his hands and feet changing to paws. Verdun used the ointment as well, changed shape and together did they ravage the town. As werewolves they both did terrible deeds. They attacked a seven years old boy and teared him to pieces, killed a woman who was picking peas, and brought a girl who were four years away to the woods and eat her all up, except for one of her arms. Their blood-thirst got bigger and started to lick up the blood from their victims. They even mated with she-wolfs.

The trials against Burgot and Verdun was held by maitre Jean Bodin, prior at a dominician convent at Poligny in France-Comté, and a big audience came to see it. They so called werewolves and their accomplices was sentenced to death, and pictures of them was put in the church as a reminder to everyone what which evil deeds the man can make under influence of the Devil.

Such warnings had a low effect... obviously. The trials against werewolves only increased in numbers the following years. Val De Lorie by Jacques Rollet, known as the werewolf from Caude, who was sentenced in 1598 for a murder of a 15 years old boy, who he also had eaten up.

After he had been scared away from the boy of city people he was found in the woods, half naked with long, tangled hair and beard, and arms covered in blood and with flesh under his nails. At the trial he told how he had butchered several other people as well, lawyers and jurists. Even though he was sentenced to death the sentence got changed later and he was sent to a mad house were he should stay for two years!

Among the other french werewolf cases one is especially noticed, about a tailor, which name isn't mentioned. If he were under the use of drugs or just a maniac the story doesn't tell either. However, in the twilight and in the shape of a wolf did he prowl around in the woods and threw himself over the passing people to tear up their throats. Like so many other werewolves he had a special love of children, who he tricked to follow him to his store.

There he assaulted them and then cut their throats off before he cut them up. In his cellar did he keep barrels full of bones and, like one historian said, "other horrible and disgusting things". It was told that he died without any regrets.

Just as horrible are a case about a child werewolf, a Jean Grenier from Aquitaire, who were no older than thirteen or fourteen years old when he got arrested year 1603. Even though he was physical immature and mentally retarded he was still saying to be guitly to the fact that other children had disappeared, among them an infant. When he finally got arrested did Gernier - who said that he had eaten fifty youths - have a story to tell which were just as remarkable as Burgots. He said that he was son to a priest but was a son to a day worker, who often had beaten him. He ran away from home to get away from his father. He walked alone, took care of cows, begged for food and lived as the wild creature he were.

One night did another boy Pierre la Tihaire, brought him in to the deep forest and introduced him, Granier said, to the "Forest's Master"; a tall, dark man, dressed in black and sitting on a black horse - very alike Burgot's Moyet. This so called Master sat down from his horse and kissed Grenier on the mouth - his lips were icecold.

During the second meeting did Grenier and Tilhaire commited themselves to the "Forest's Master" and subjected to a sort of "labeling", where the master carved a sign into their thighs with his sharp thumbnail. To celebrate this slavery he drank wine together with them and gave them both wolfskins and told them to always use the ointment before they put on the wolfskin, if they wanted the skins to work as they should. He had two conditions though - that they would let the nail on their left thumb grow long and that they should go to him to get more ointment whenever they wanted to be werewolves. During their coming visits in the forest to get ointment did Grenier at several times meet the so called master in company with four, five men, who all seemed to worship him, maybe they were members of a more developed cult.

Considering Gerniers age and his limited intellectual capacity the judge decided that he should be held in a convent for the rest of his life. Seven years later, when a man called Pierre de Lancre visited him did Grenier have black burning eyes and he was thin. His hands looked like claws, with bended nails, and his teeth was long and they were similar to a dog's. He liked to hear about wolves and imitated them often, walking on his hands and knees.

During his first time at the convent did he refuse to eat regular food so he lived on waste. A year after de Lancre's visit did the poor man die and was always to be remembered in the werewolf-history as the boy werewolf.