The Beast of Gévaudan
The Beast of Gévaudan – France
It was no fairytale or pub yarn, but instead a national panic across France from the Summer of 1764 through to 1767, with a number of recorded victims. Peasants panicked, mobs were formed, and King Louis XV took direct action to hire hunters as well as send his own personal Lieutenant of the Hunt to stop the mankiller.
All to no avail.
Sightings of the large reddish coloured wolf-like creature kept coming. As did the attacks, the injured, and the dead.
Eventually a group of three hundred hunters was formed to finally destroy the so-far unstoppable beast, and as the stories go, nothing was good enough until Inn keeper and organizer of the hunt Jean Chastel finally shot the Beast with a bullet its hide didn’t turn aside: a silver bullet, in what may be the origin of this weakness everyone around the world now knows for werewolves.
A slightly cheeky link this week, as here is my folklore podcast LukeLore on The Beast of Gévaudan for more details:
Written by – Luke Greensmith
Art by Wanda Fraser – THOU