Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Games: World of Warcraft and Werewolves

Hello and welcome again everyone! After a series of werewolf trial accounts and some songs, I present you now with a – slightly changed – article I wrote in September 2009 concerning the motif of werewolfism in the extremely popular MMO franchise, World of Warcraft. 2009 was a good time to talk about lycanthropes in WoW, following the announcement of the game’s third expansion which would feature Worgen – the werewolves of the WoW universe – as one of the two new playable races. I have made some changes to the article, however, to more reflect the current, post-Cataclysm state of things. So without much ado, here we go.

Worgen as NPCs (Non-Player Characters)

Let’s start from the beginning. Surely every player, Alliance or Horde, has sooner or later come across Worgen during their adventures in Azeroth. What are they? There probably isn’t a person in the world who, seeing them for the first time, wouldn’t involuntarily call them werewolves. From appearance they look like your usual crinos werewolves – bipedal wolf-human hybrids with long claws and fangs, a bit hunched stature, with a small demonic spicing in the form of red eyes. By all means, they can be called werewolves, but why my question was ‘what’ and not ‘who’ I will answer in a moment. But for now, let’s focus at the subject at hand. For the first time, we meet the Worgen as hostile creatures divided in a few clans, distinguished by colour and sometimes armour, too.  Like all good fantasy werewolves (and what Blizzard likes to take advantage of in its games) the names of the particular clans are wolf, silver, or moon-related. The same applies to places where they can be found. And so, on our way we encounter the following clans: Nightbane, Moonrage, Terrorwulf, the Wolfcult, and Greymane. Examples of place names are then: Silverpine Forest, Silverbrook, Pyrewood Village (a reference to pyres that the Holy Inquisition burned those accused of werewolfism and witchcraft on?). When fighting against the Worgen, most of the time we learn that they are cruel monsters that delight in torturing and murdering of other creatures, for which reasons they are considered a threat to the inhabitants of the nearby settlements. And so it is from Eastern Kingdoms, through Kalimdor, to the snowy reaches of Northrend that Worgen are regarded as corrupted and wild monsters that are to be wiped from the face of the world.

Pyrewood Village

Before I continue, let’s stop for a moment in Silverpine Forest in the Eastern Kingdoms. It is there that a village by the name of Pyrewood is located. Despite the entirety of Silverpine literally crawling with the Worgen and worgs (large wolves), Pyrewood Village is an interesting place in a different regard – curious things happen here, about which many players don’t even know. The village is home to many seemingly ordinary people found in other villages – we have craftsmen, an apothecary, even a mayor. These villagers, however, are cursed – every day at sunset (which usually happens on the servers between 8pm and 9pm) they transform into Worgen. In this form, even though friendly before, they become hostile to both factions. They remain shapeshifted until dawn, when they return to their human forms. Lycanthropy, however you would look at it.

2012 edit: After the release of Cataclysm, the Pyrewood I speak of in this article no longer exists. It has been taken over by the Forsaken and turned into one of their many camps for the production of the plague.

Silverbrook

Another interesting place where we encounter a story concerning the Worgen and their curse (or at least the Alliance does) is the Grizzly Hills region of Northrend. While doing quests there, we are eventually sent to Silverbrook – a seemingly ordinary human encampment. Initially, we are sent there to help its inhabitants who give us various, increasingly suspicious, tasks – first, we have to get rid of Horde spies who supposedly endanger the settlement, then we are ordered to pluck out wolfsbane from the area surrounding the village under the claim that it is vile to other plants, and finally we are sent to kill a woman captured by the Orc spies, who we in the end rescue. This woman reveals to us the truth about Silverbrook and warns us about the curse, having made sure that we are not members of the Wolfcult by asking us if we had been bitten by anyone or anything (a clear reference to werewolf lore). As we progress through the story, we end up running away from Silverbrook on horseback through the woods, chased by packs of bloodthirsty Worgen in their true forms. Another werewolf motif we can add to our collection in our adventures across Azeroth.

Bloodmoon Isle (2012 entry addition)

As we continue the story from Silverbrook in our quests, we learn that Archmage Arugal (who will be described in more detail later in this article) was raised from the dead by the Lich King, following his defeat in his former stronghold of Shadowfang Keep, with the purpose of spreading the Worgen curse across the lands of Northrend. In his undeath, Arugal is then found by the player and defeated, this time for good, in his keep situated on Bloodmoon Isle, to the eastern coast of Grizzly Hills. We also learn from the questline that many of the trapper communities of the region had willingly joined the Wolfcult and those who refused had either been killed or cursed with undeath.

The Howling Vale (2012 entry addition)

Located in the north-central part of Ashenvale, in Kalimdor, the Howling Vale is another good example of a place where one could find the Worgen before the release of Cataclysm. What used to be the Shrine of Mel’Thandris, became the Howling Vale due to the Worgen of the Terrorwulf clan that had taken up residence there. During the questing in Ashenvale, the player used to be sent there in search of sentinel Velinde Starsong’s legacy, of which a few words are written in the latter part of this article. Unfortunately, now there are no more Worgen in the Howling Vale and the cave entrance to it has collapsed (though there is a way of entering it regardless), the vale itself being overrun now by hostile Ancients.

Blizzcon 2009 and the Revelations of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

A Worgen Rogue.
Like every year, also in the summer of 2009 in the USA the convent of the WoW creators, Blizzard, was held. As early as a few weeks before the event, there appeared on the Internet supposedly leaked content that was to be part of the upcoming new expansion to the game. The expansion was to not only reshape the appearance of Azeroth, but also introduce two new playable races. The rumoured leak caused a stir among the community (like it usually happens before the official announcement of the next expansion). Having heard about it, some players began jumping up in joy, others frowned upon it, keeping to the mindset that nothing is true until it has officially been announced by Blizzard themselves during Blizzcon. On August 21st 2009 it became official – not only did Blizzard announce Cataclysm as the third expansion to its MMO, but all of the changes that had leaked out the weeks before were confirmed. I will not discuss the details of the expansion here, because what is of most interest to us are the Worgen. Quite a big surprise here that gave wings to the Alliance – the Worgen were one of the new playable races to be added in the new expansion. How is it possible for the Worgen to join the Alliance? Let’s take a look at the story presented to us by the creators of the lore themselves…

Greymane, Gilneas and the Alliance – Allies of Old?

Up until then quite little was known about the relationship between the Alliance of Lordaeron and the Worgen. Till the times of Wrath of the Lich King it was known that during the time when Lordaeron was being overwhelmed by the plague of the undead under the leadership of Arthas Menethil, the future Lich King, the subjects of king Genn Greymane fell victim to a cruse which made them turn into savage beasts, the Worgen.

A Gilnean Worgen as portrayed on the cover of
the Curse of the Worgen comic book.
The cause of this curse was to lay in the person of an Archmage of Dalaran, Arugal, who had summoned the Worgen to Azeroth from a different dimension in order to use them as a weapon against the undead armies. It turned out, however, that the Worgen could not be so easily controlled as Arugal had hoped and they soon spread their curse to the inhabitants of Gilneas. Having realized what he’d done, Arugal lost his mind, proclaimed the Worgen as his children and took to the recess of his keep, Shadowfang, in Silverpine Forest, drowning himself in darkness. Killed later on in his own keep by a band of heroes, Arugal came back in Wrath of the Lich King, along with some of his minions, in the service of the Lich King and, known under the name of the Shade of Arugal, was tasked with spreading the Worgen curse in Northrend.

King Genn Greymane fighting the vicious Worgen.
Cataclysm sheds some more light on the fate of the kingdom of Gilneas during the plague of the undead. The kingdom of Gilneas, though officially being part of the Alliance of Lordaeron, prided itself on great independence and king Greymane himself was viewed as a grim king unfavourable towards king Terenas Menethil’s kingdom. When the undead armies walked into Lordaeron, Gilneas initially resisted their attack hand-in-hand with the people of Lordaeron itself. When, however, it became obvious that the enemy’s force is too strong for the Humans to defeat, Archmage Arugal (called here by Blizzard ‘a patriot’) decided to summon the Worgen, possibly from another dimension, into Azeroth to help with fighting off the attackers. In time, this goal had been achieved and the undead were chased out of Gilneas, but by that time the Worgen had irreversibly become a part of the kingdom. Bloodthirsty and without foes to battle, the Worgen reacted with hostility towards the mages controlling them. After a while, a new plague had begun to spread among king Greymane’s subjects – this time not of undeath, but of lycanthropy, the curse of the Worgen, which turned ordinary men into uncontrollable creatures that were no longer a guarantee of safety, but constituting a danger to those who they were meant to serve. Seeing what was happening, king Genn Greymane decided to confine Gilneas and its people behind the great Greymane Wall, which was to serve as a barrier between the outside world and the cursed kingdom. With the return of the dragon Deathwing, who had been banished from the world thousands of years before, and the destruction he lay to the world, the Greymane Wall was shattered and the link for the Worgen of Gilneas to the rest of the world reopened.

Relationship With the Night Elves (updated)

Watching the official trailer of Cataclysm we see that it is the Night Elves who introduce the Worgen to the Alliance after the fall of the Greymane Wall. The Worgen themselves are called “old allies”. What connection do the inhabitants of Darnassus have with the werewolves? Well, it turns out that roughly at the same time when in Lordaeron Archmage Arugal decided to summon the Worgen to the Eastern Kingdoms, in Kalimdor’s Ashenvale the Night Elves were waging their unending war with the demons of the Burning Legion. One of the Sentinels – Velinde Starsong – was ordered to rid the primordial forests of Ashenvale of the demons’ presence. As an answer to her prayers, the Night Elf moon goddess Elune sent Starsong a gift in the form of the Scythe of Elune, which enabled her to summon the Worgen to Kalimdor. Taking advantage of it, Starsong summoned a great number of the creatures to fight the demons of the Burning Legion, however, after a while it turned out that more Worgen arrived in Kalimdor than the Sentinel had planned. It was almost as if the Scythe of Elune could summon Worgen without Starsong’s consent. Noticing the growing problem, she ordered the Worgen to remain at the Shrine of Mel’Thandris in Ashenvale, while she herself went to search for Archmage Arugal who she had heard had also been summoning Worgen. She then travels to the Eastern Kingdoms, but news of her is lost somewhere in Duskwood and the Scythe’s location becomes unknown. It is said that it then became of interest to the Black Riders of Deadwind Pass (of whom very little is known since there are only mentions of them in the lore), who arrived in Duskwood and began murdering the families of the people living there in order to find out about the Scythe’s location. The Black Riders weren’t the only ones, however, who began to show interest in finding and claiming the power of the Scythe for their own – a sorcerer by the name of Morganth, who after Archmage Arugal’s death stole from his possessions Ur’s Treatise on Shadow Magic which originally helped Arugal summon the worgen.

Worgen Druids in bear form, cat form and humanoid form.
In the third expansion the story of the Scythe of Elune is expanded. During the Worgen starting zone questline, the player learns that the Scythe at one point came into the possession of the Worgen Druids of Blackwald, but had then been stolen by the Forsaken during their assault on Gilneas. The questline then leads the player to recovering the Scythe for the Worgen and since then it remains in the hands of the Druids of the Scythe. Not much of an expansion (and how did the Scythe even get to Gilneas from Duskwood?), but it’s as good as it will get.

Speaking of the Druids of the Scythe, as the Worgen Druids call themselves, druidism is another link between the Worgen and the Night Elves. It turns out that the Night Elves’ connection to the Worgen is even deeper than it would seem.  Cataclysm revealed that the first Worgen were, in fact, a group of Night Elf Druids who, during the War of the Satyr that the Night Elves fought after the War of the Ancients in the past advocated shapeshifting into feral wolf-monsters using the power of the Wolf God, Goldrinn. These original “Druids of the Pack” became, however, consumed by the instincts and rage of their wolf forms and eventually became the first Worgen. Tearing through friend or foe during the war, these Druids made other Night Elves contract a virulent curse that would also change them into Worgen. When the situation began going out of hand, Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage banished the Druids of the Pack to a pocket dimension of the Emerald Dream, where they were to stay in slumber forever. Millenia afterwards, they were summoned back to Azeroth from that dimension by Arugal and Velinde Starsong – and the rest is history.

Who are the Worgen… in the Alliance?

What might the inhabitants of a kingdom whose ruler had long since proclaimed he does not need the help of Humans want from the Alliance? First of all, they are in a dire need of a place to be – during the starting area quests we see that the Forsaken attack and take over Gilneas, the cataclysm’s tidal wave finishing the job for them. Without their old home, they are now searching for a new destiny outside of the Greymane Wall. And secondly, the Worgen, with the help of the Alliance, strive to preserve their humanity. How much of the humans they once were has remained? Or have they completely submitted to the beasts within? Will they ever be able to find a cure for the curse? These are all the questions that the Worgen seek answers to as part of the Alliance.

Worgen are able to become every class apart from Paladins, Shamans and now Monks. The characteristic trait of the race is that, like the usual werewolves, they can swap between their human and wolf forms according to a player’s will, but only out of combat. The playable Worgen went through two model changes in order to be made more customizable. As can be seen, they are significantly different from their originals and, what is worth mentioning, with the coming of Cataclysm nearly all old Worgen models were swapped to the new ones, so there are very few places still where the old model can be seen. Of course, like with every playable race, there also has to be a female character – something that wasn’t needed in the past (yes, the old Worgen didn’t have any gender differences). Comparison images below.

Original Worgen model, early Beta model, and the current model.
The old and the new/current Worgen female model.
And that’s all for now when it comes to Worgen and World of Warcraft. If you’re interested in the topic of Worgen, however, I encourage you to pick up the game itself, or the comic book Curse of the Worgen.
Click here to shop for the
Curse of the Worgen comic
book on Amazon!


Since I am now part of Amazon’s Affiliate program, you can directly support Werewolf Theory by purchasing a copy of your own of DC Comics' Curse of the Worgen comic book from Amazon! Should my article spark your interest in the story of the Worgen, please consider buying the comic using the link provided next to this message. Simply click on the cover of the comic on the right-hand side and you will be sent to a page listing all the offers related to it! Thank you and enjoy!


Like the Worgen say, “let the light of the new moon guide you”!

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Tailor of Chalons, 1598

December 14th 1598

In the same year that the trial of Jacques Roulet was held, on December 14th 1598 the Parliament in Paris sentenced a tailor from Chalons to death for having transformed into a werewolf. He was accused of luring children into his parlour and attacking them when they got lost in the woods, and subsequently devouring their bodies. One of the pieces of evidence in the trial was a chest full of bones. Not much else is known about the trial, as it was abundant in so many atrocities that the judges ordered its files to be burned.

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Trials: The Werewolf of Allariz, 1853

Manuel Blanco Romasanta is most probably Spain's first documented serial killer. At the age of 35, he was charged with the murder of a constable of León who had attempted to collect debt from Romasanta for merchandise he had purchased. Judged guilty by default for failing to appear in front of court, Romasanta fled to Portugal for fear of imprisonment. The small village of Rebordechao was to become the scene of his future murders. While there, Romasanta worked as a cordmaker, a cook, and a weaver (originally, he was a tailor and a travelling salesman). He also moonlighted as a guide leading people who wanted to cross the mountains to Castille, Asturias, and Cantabria. During his stay in town, a number of women and children who had hired him as a guide disappeared. As it later turned out, Romasanta murdered them and tried to sell their clothes to the locals, avoiding immediate suspicion by delivering fake letters to their families, saying that they had successfully arrived at their destinations. A formal complaint was eventually put forward in 1852. The same year, Romasanta was put on trial in Allariz, in the province of Ourense, and accused of murdering thirteen people. Romasanta admitted to committing the murders, but he claimed that he had committed them in the form of a wolf, maintaining that he suffered from the curse of werewolfism. It is worth noting that at the time Spain was suffering from one of the worst periods of famine in the 19th century.

The first time I transformed, was in the mountains of Couso. I came across two ferocious-looking wolves. I suddenly fell to the floor, and began to feel convulsions, I rolled over three times, and a few seconds later I myself was a wolf. I was out marauding with the other two for five days, until I returned to my own body, the one you see before you today, Your Honour. The other two wolves came with me, who I thought were also wolves, changed into human form. They were from Valencia. One was called Antonio and the other Don Genaro. They too were cursed... we attacked and ate a number of people because we were hungry. 

- Manuel Blanco Romasanta, from El hombre-lobo de Allariz (Ourense), 1853: una visión desde la psiquiatria actual by David Lorda Gerardo Menendez

Thinking that this might provide the country with a clinical case of lycanthropy, Queen Isabella II annulled his initial death sentence so that doctors may study him. Not having found anything, the doctors discredited his claim, also concluding that he was not insane, but a cold-blooded murderer. During the trial itself, the prosecution asked Romasanta to demonstrate his ability to transform, but he replied that the curse only lasted for thirteen years and that it had expired the previous week. In the end, Romasanta was acquitted of four of the murders, which were determined to have been caused by real wolf attacks, but he was found guilty of the remaining nine. In April of 1853, Romasanta was sentenced to death by garrotte, but his penalty was subsequently reduced to life imprisonment by the Territorial Court in A Coruna. Due to an appeal of the prosecution, however, the original verdict of death by garrotte was upheld. A few months after arriving in prison, Romasanta died in what were initially considered mysterious circumstances. In 2011, it was determined that he actually died in prison in 1863 from stomach cancer.

Two movies have been made on the basis of Romasanta's case: El bosque del lobo (The Wolf Forest) in 1968, and Romasanta: The Werewolf Hunt in 2004.

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Trials: Werewolf Theiss, 1692

The trial of a Russian man named Theiss, accused of werewolfism, is much different from other such trials and it is probably thanks to this that it has its place among the most famous werewolf cases. The whole difference is contained in the statement that the accused gave. Theiss told the court an interesting tale about himself and his wolf companions. He claimed that werewolves were the defenders of human communities, fighting against demons and evil witches with the aim of protecting all good people. In the end, the court believed Theiss and he was released without consequence.

On the basis of: A. Devine, Magia Księżyca, Wrocław 2002

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Myths & Legends: The Beast of Gévaudan, 1764-67

Though originally this article was part of the Trials section of my old website, I decided to put it into a different category here due to it not being, strictly-speaking, a usual werewolf trial.

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The case of the Beast of Gévaudan is one that to this day baffles many cryptozoologists – it features an animal similar to a wolf, but the size of a cow, which terrorized the French district of Gévaudan (today’s Lozčre) from 1764 till 1767. The small province, situated in the mountains of Margeride in mid-southern France near such towns as Langogne and Mende, was haunted by the beast for the first time in 1764.

That month, a young woman was attacked by a large, wolf-like monster in Forét de Merçoire near Langogne. She was one of a few people who survived the encounter with the beast. In October of the same year, two huntsmen approached the creature and fired at it at a close range. The animal was shot four times, but appeared to have not suffered any physical damage. Captain Duhamel, who lead nearly sixty soldiers, began the hunt for the monster, wounded it a few times, but never managed to kill it.

In 1765, king Louie XV sent an experienced wolf hunter by the name of Denneval to Gévaudan so that he would kill the beast. Before Denneval tracked down the creature, a man named Chaumette had spotted the animal in the vicinity of his home, near St. Chely. He and his two brothers shot the beast twice, but it would still not be killed. In June of 1765 Denneval abandoned his fruitless search. A month earlier, king Louie had sent to Gévaudan his commander of weapons transport – Antoine de Beauterne. On September 21st he had commenced his hunt in Béal Ravine, near Pommier. He had killed something that he had considered to have been the famous beast. It had been an unusually big wolf, six-feet-long (circa 1,8 metres). The animal was on display at the Natural History Museum in Paris till the beginning of the 20th century.

However, something was still killing people. In the summer of 1767, hundreds of villagers made pilgrimages to the Notre-Dame de Beaulieu cathedral in the vicinity of Mount Chauvet to pray to God for the salvation from the monster. They regarded it as divine punishment or a werewolf (loup-garou). One of the pilgrims was Jean Chastel, who was carrying a gun and three baptized bullets.

On June 19th 1767, a local noble organized a great hunt attended by three hundred people. Chastel lay in wait for the monster in Sogne d’Aubert. When the beast appeared, he fired the three bullets at it and the monster was finally slain.

In the end, what was the monster? French villagers believed that it was a kind of demon,  but at the same time English scientists concluded that it was a cross between a tiger and a hyena. Others spoke of a wolverine, bear, even of a baboon. However, in recent times the remains of the animal killed by Chastel were found in the magazine of the Natural History Museum in Paris – even though at the time the beast was classified as a wolf, a zoologist Franz Jullien studied what remained of the creature and concluded it to have been a striped hyena (Hyena hyena) which normally live in Africa.

While there can be observed a specific similarity of the striped hyena to a wolf (especially to 18th-century European folk who had probably never seen a hyena before in their lives), it has a closer relation to a bear than a wolf, like other hyenas. The striped hyena is also the second-smallest subspecies of the family (other being the aardwolf), measuring at most 130 cm length, 80 cm in height, and weighing around 55 kg. The contemporary descriptions of the beast vary, but it was said to have reddish fur with a streak of black on its back - this description, in turn, brings to mind the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), which, by the way, is a wolf only in name. Whatever the creature might have been, it is yet another mystery how the animal got to France and how it suddenly started to freely roam its terrain. The claim that it was immune to bullets can as well be attributed to the people’s lack of sharpshooting skills. However, much of this case remains – and will continue to remain – a mystery as to its true nature. That said, nowadays it is presumed that – due to the vast area in which the attacks took place – that the famous beast was not a single animal, but a couple of wolves or even wolf packs that resorted to hunting humans who were increasingly encroaching on their territories. Coupled with the already-existing mass hysteria concerning wolves and wolf attacks during the 18th century, it is possible that such isolated incidents started being perceived as the work of a solitary, demonic monster. This theory is reinforced by the fact that with the drastic reduction of the wolf population in France during that century, the attacks on humans ceased.

A monument was erected in the village of Auvers to honour those who fought against the beast.

The story of the Beast of Gévaudan was the premise of a 2001 French movie, Le Pacte des Loups (a.k.a. The Brotherhood of Wolves).

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Trials: Jean Grenier, 1603

An ordinary judge from Chatellenie and the barons of Roche Chalais […] led an investigation on May 9th 1603. The accusation was based on the statements of only three witnesses, one of whom was the thirteen-year-old Marguerite Poirier. She claimed that she had had the habit of looking after her livestock in the company of the aforementioned lad, Jean Grenier, who swore to her numerous times that whenever he felt like it, he could shapeshift into a wolf, that he had caught and killed some dogs, ate a part of one and drank some blood, but he did not like it as much as that of small children and girls. He had also told her that it had been a while since he attacked a child whose body he had bitten into and had thrown the remains to another wolf that was wandering nearby, and a girl who he had devoured whole except for shoulders and back.

She added that one day, while she was looking after her livestock, some kind of wild beast attacked her, grabbed onto and tore off her skirt near her left hip. She, in turn, struck it on the  back with a stick, noting that the beast was larger, but shorter, than a wolf, had rust-coloured fur and a short tail. After the blow, the beast leaped away from the girl some ten or twelve steps, sat up on its hind legs like dogs often do, and gave her a furious look that made her run for her life. She had also noticed that the animal had a smaller head than that of a wolf.

Another witness was the ten-year-old Jeanne Gaboriout who reported that one day, while she was guarding her livestock along with other girls, Jean Grenier had approached her and had asked which of the shepherdesses was the prettiest. The girl asked him in turn why he wanted to know that.

“Because,” he answered, “I want to marry a shepherdess; and if it is you, then I want to marry you.”

She then asked him about his father.

“He’s a priest,” he replied.

During the conversation the girl told him he was very tan. He answered that he had looked like that since not long before. She then asked if he had become so tan due to heat or cold, to which he replied that it had been caused by the reddish wolf pelt he had been wearing. So the girl asked him where he had gotten such a pelt and he explained that it had been one Pierre Labourutt who had given it to him. The shepherdess wanted to know who that was, so Jean told her he was a man who kept an iron collar that brought suffering to him, that he kept various people in his house on burning chairs, others on burning beds, and others yet who burned – ones stretched out as if on a roast, others in a large oven. The house itself was said to have had rooms that were huge and dark.

Jean Grenier said that when he put on the wolf’s skin he turned into a wolf, or any other kind of animal which he wanted to become, and that while shapeshifted like this into a wolf he had killed a few dogs and had sucked out their blood which, however, did not taste good, and added that small children and girls were much tastier. He said he would run in the form of a wolf during every setting of the moon, on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, and only one hour during the day, near evening and in the morning. He would roam the vicinity with the other nine like him, some of whom he had named, always on the same days and at the same hours. This information became the confirmation of his arrest. He was captured, interrogated and during questioning he admitted guilt to more crimes than the ones reported by witnesses.

He said that he had met a young man by the name of Pierre du Tilhaire on the main road leading from Coutras to Monpon, who told him of a man from the forests of Saint Antoine that wished to speak with him. The young man persuaded Jean to go see him, so they went there together and eventually came across a lone, tall man clothed in black on a black horse, standing in the middle of the forest. They bid good morning to him, as it was dawning, and he, having dismounted his horse, kissed them both with unusually cold lips. Then he mounted up again and they soon lost sight of him. Riding off, however, he managed to persuade them to promise him that they would come to him whenever he sent for them.

The boy was then questioned as to how long it had been since he had become a servant of this master, if he had marked them in any special way, how many times they had answered his call and what had later happened to them. Jean replied that it could have been three years from their first meeting – during the time of questioning he was thirteen or fourteen years old, so back then he could have been ten or eleven – and that they had been marked with the use of iron that the man had held in his hand, in the shape of a small, round stamp on their left buttocks. He added that when they wanted to speak with their master, they went into the forest to find him, and it happened three times. One such time when they arrived there, their master allowed them to brush the hide of his horse with a comb, promised them money and gave them a glass of wine which they drank and then went away.

He confirmed that the entirety of Marguerite Poirier’s statement was true. He confessed to all the acts of rape and other crimes he was accused of with the exception of drinking the blood of a white dog he had killed. Asked about the children he had killed and devoured while in the form of a wolf, he answered that one time, while he was walking from Coutras to Saint Anlaye, having passed the villages of Double, he entered one of the abandoned houses and found there a one-year-old baby lying in a cradle. He grabbed it with his fangs by the throat, dragged it out of the house and away from the garden fence and ate as much of it as he needed to sate his hunger, leaving the rest to another wolf roaming nearby.

Jean also said that in the vicinity of the presbytery of Saint Antoine du Fizon he had snuck up to a girl herding sheep, who was dressed in a black robe, killed her and began eating her; after he was full, like the other times, he left the rest for a nearby wolf. What is worth noting is his statement that he had taken off the girl’s clothes and had not torn it off, which is an interesting fact as it points to the fact that contradictory to average wolves which tore their victims to pieces with their claws werewolves bit them to death and, like humans, were able to undress girls and women they would then devour, without tearing up their clothes.

Jean Grenier said that when he wanted to run, he would put on a wolf pelt that he had been given by the Lord of the Forest. In addition to that, he would rub an ointment into his skin, which he kept in a jar and which he had also gotten from the man. Before that, he would take off his clothes, which he hid usually among the bushes. He explained that he would run when the moon would set, one or two hours a day, and a few times during the night.

After a while, a second investigation was carried out to find out if, during the time that the accused had pointed to have been the time when he killed the children, anyone had heard about someone being murdered in the village Jean had mentioned in his statement. Fathers of children killed by werewolves were questioned and their accounts compared with each other. Finally, it was concluded that the statements of the above witnesses and of the accused matched.

Asked if he had ever roamed the vicinity with his father and whether or not they both wore the wolf skins and committed some of the crimes together, Jean answered that his father accompanied him a few times. Once, two years earlier in May, they met a girl dressed in white who was herding geese in the vicinity of the village of Grillaut. They captured her, dragged her among the grain fields and there devoured. Later, however, Jean would go on his escapades alone, without his father. Additionally, he said that the Lord who had gifted the pelt to him, forbid him from murdering with the use of his left hand’s claw because it was thicker than the rest, and that during the time when he would take on the form of the wolf his master would never lose sight of him and followed every event until he would become a human again.

Pierre Grenier, Jean’s father, was arrested, questioned and confronted with his son. Jean changed a lot in his statement and it was visible that the long incarceration and poverty had made him a bit dull. Nevertheless, after he was allowed to rest, they were confronted again and the son confirmed all the incriminating statements against his father.

What remains to be found out is whether this transformation, or transmutation, of a man into an animal can come to pass in reality. In case of it being real, what punishment awaits those who become werewolves, and those who admit having served the mentioned Lord of the Forest (who is none other than the devil himself) and committing, in the form of a wolf and under the disguise of the pelt they had been given, countless acts of infanticide and other crimes?

[…] The court of law, having taken into account the age and the mental limitations of the boy, who was a witless idiot […] reached a decision and passed its sentence: that there would be no appeal to the sentence, and that on the basis of the events shown during the trial it sentences Jean Grenier to life-long confinement and service at the local monastery. When it comes to the above mentioned Pierre Grenier, his father, and Pierre called Tilhaire, the mentioned court of law has decreed that within a month’s time a new, thorough investigation concerning the two will be launched.

After Grenier had been locked up at the monastery, people numerously reported the sightings of a strange  creature that resembled a dog, which bit to death people and animals in the vicinity, but was never caught. Jean Grenier died at the above mentioned monastery in 1610.

On the basis of: P. De Lancre, Tableu de l’Incostance de Mauvais Anges et Demons, Paris 1612, p. 211n

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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Songs: Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) by Moonspell

Taking a short break from the accounts of werewolf trials, here is a song, one of many more to come, that fans of the Portuguese metal band Moonspell know all too well. Coming from the 1995 album Wolfheart, Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) over the years has become a cult classic. Not only this song, but the whole album, revolves around the themes of lycanthropy and vampirism and is a very interesting listen. It's also not the only werewolf song in Moonspell's musical history, other such tracks being, for example, Full Moon Madness from their 1996 album Irreligious.

Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)
Moonspell



She brought the night, hidden in her sad wolf eyes
The perfume of a twilight, her strongest scent
Half-wolf, half-female - what a strange wedding
Mother nature has offered us to see...

Her mask lays lost in the fatal dawn
Closed were the eyes of the sun. He sleeps.
And in the name of her father
She will kill. My child kills.

Your nightly birth. A requiem god can't forget
For your life is just a celebration of his death
Without his thorns in her heart, she wears a shadow as face
A werewolf masquerade. In her eyes the wolfshade.

She brought the night and by the night was brought
We are but children of the powers she had set free
Strange are the ways of the wolfhearted...
Click here to shop for
Moonspell's album Wolfheart
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Since I am now part of Amazon’s Affiliate program, you can directly support Werewolf Theory by purchasing a copy of your own of Moonspell's album Wolfheart from Amazon! Should my post spark your interest in the album or the song itself – or should you want to listen to it yourself – please consider buying it using the link provided next to this message. Simply click on the cover of the album on the right-hand side and you will be sent to a page listing all the offers related to it! Thank you and enjoy!


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Trials: The Werewolf of Angers, 1598

August 8th, 1589

In 1589 a trial was conducted against Jacques Roulet, a vagabond from Claude in the vicinity of Angers. His behaviour in custody showed that he was mentally ill and was epileptic. The tribunal took lycanthropy for the real reason for these aberrations of mind, thanks to which the accused avoided the death penalty.

Roulet’s confessions during the trial were contradictory and improbable. He claimed that his brother John and cousin Julien were involved in committing the crimes, however, it was then concluded that both of them were many miles away from him at the time. Roulet was accused of having been found in the form of a werewolf (by a soldier and three villagers) among bushes, half-naked, with untidy hair, hands covered in blood and fingernails sunken in the remains of human flesh. The mutilated body of a fifteen-year-old boy by the name of Cornier lay nearby. Roulet admitted to the murder of the lad and described in detail the victim as well as the circumstances of the murder.

On August 8th 1598 judge Pierre Herault was interrogating the prisoner:

Judge: What is your name and your craft?
Roulet: My name is Jacques Roulet, I am thirty-five years old, and am a poor beggar.
Judge: What are you accused of?
Roulet: Of theft; of blasphemy. My parents gave me a certain ointment, I don’t know its contents.
Judge: Did you become a wolf when you rubbed it in your skin?
Roulet: No, but thanks to it I killed and devoured son Cornier. I was a wolf.
Judge: Were you dressed as a wolf?
Roulet: I was dressed as I am now. My hands and face were bloodied, because I ate the boy’s flesh.
Judge: Did your hands and feet become the paws of a wolf?
Roulet: Yes!
Judge: Did you head become similar to that of a wolf, and your jaws become larger?
Roulet: I do not know what my head was like then; I was using my teeth. My head was like it is now. I injured and devoured many children. I also took part in a Sabbath.

Secular court sentenced Roulet to death. What is curious, however, is that he appealed to the Parliament in Paris, which exchanged his death sentence to two years of stay at the St. Germain des Pres asylum, so that he would be re-educated on the subject of religion “which he had forgotten about in his huge poverty”. […]

On the basis of: E. Petoia, Wampiry I wilkołaki. Źródła, historia, legendy od antyku do współczesności, Universitas, Kraków 2003. Own translation into English. Will update with the page details once I get my hands on the book itself, as I have left it in another place.

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Trials: The Lycanthrope of Padua, 1541

In the year 1541 in Padua, there lived a man who, believing that he was a wolf, would attack many people out in the fields and murder them.

When he was eventually captured, he desperately kept maintaining that he was a genuine werewolf, but that he did not take on the appearance of a wolf because his fur was growing wholly into his skin.

Because of this, some of the people who held him captive, deprived of all human feelings, but wanting to know if what he was saying was true, mutilated him by cutting off his arms and legs. When they found out about his innocence because they did not find any fur under his skin, they led him to a doctor to be healed, but the man died a few days later. Taking into consideration what had been done to him, it is surprising he even lasted as long as a couple of days.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Trials: The Werewolf of Poligny, 1521

December of 1521

A trial against Pierre Bourgot and Michel Verdung

The trial carried out in Poligny, France, against Pierre Bourgot and Michel Verdung is one of the most famous werewolf trials. It was led by a Dominican brother Joan Bodin. Johan Wier (Weyer/Wierus; 1515-1588), the defender of witches, claimed that the confessions were obtained under duress. Despite that, the accused were found guilty and burnt on a stake, to Bodin’s great happiness.

Pierre confessed that around nineteen years earlier, on the day of a faire in Poligny, there came over the town a storm so violent and wild that not only had the faire been destroyed, but also the herd animals he had been looking after had scattered in all directions and he did not know where to find them. Along with fellow townsfolk, he then tried to find and round up the missing herd, but he lost his way and arrived at a certain place. There, on the road, he met three riders all clad in black. One of them asked him: “Where are you going, friend? You seem much troubled by something.” “It is true,” Pierre answered, “and the reason for this is that during the wild and violent storm my sheep scattered here and there and went missing and because I do not see any light of hope to find them, my spirit is broken.” The rider forbid him to despair, promising that if he pledged himself to him and became his servant, never again would his herd be attacked by wolves or other beasts, suffer any damage and not even one of his sheep would die. After that he added, to gain as much of the man’s trust as he could, that he would find the missing sheep; apart from that, he promised to give him some money. Pierre agreed to these terms, swearing that he would return to the same place in four to five days’ time.

And so, he returned to searching for the sheep with his fellow townsfolk, found the herd he was looking for and after four days returned to the same place where he had met the rider. The rider asked if Pierre had decided to become his servant, but when the latter wanted to know exactly who it was that he was dealing with, the former said, “I am a servant of the great devil of hell, but do not fear this.” And so Pierre offered his services to the demon on condition that he keep his promise of looking after the herds and provide him with other benefits. The rider then told Pierre to stop believing in God, Virgin Mary and All Saints that resided in heaven, baptism and confirmation. Having done so, he extended to him his left hand for him to kiss, black and cold as though it belonged to a corpse. Pierre fell to his knees and, revealing his head, swore allegiance to the devil, calling him his master. He did not even resist reciting a credo.

Thus he devoted himself for two years to the service of the devil and did not cross the threshold of the church at any other time than at the end of a mass or at least after the blessing with holy water which he did not want to be touched by. He had been ordered to do so by his master who until then kept his name a secret, but finally revealed it to be Moyset. During that time Pierre was not informed how his mare would be protected, as it seemed that the devil was only fulfilling the promise of keeping his sheep safe – whenever they were attacked by wolves, they did not suffer any harm. 

With the passage of time, having freed himself of the need to herd sheep, Pierre began to neglect the devil’s orders with ease, went to church, amd recited the credo. In such a way he carried on for eight or nine years until he was once again commanded by Michel Verdung in the same place to obey his master, and he agreed on one condition – that the master would give him, as he had promised, money.

For that, they met one evening in the forest in the vicinity of Chastercharlon, where Pierre saw other strangers conducting dances and entering them. He also saw a green candle in someone’s hands, from which emanated a dark-blue light. Among many different things that Michel had promised him was also a promise that if he joined his faith he would be able to run with incredible lightness whenever he wished to. Pierre agreed to this only on condition that these promises be kept and that he would get his money. Otherwise, as he said, he would think that all of it was just a fraud. Michael swore that he would see to it that Pierre got a large sum of money. After that, he anointed the naked Pierre with an ointment he had brought. Then, Pierre noticed he was immediately turned into a wolf and he was struck with horror at the sight of his limbs covered in fur and changed into a wolf’s paws. In spite of being afraid, he noticed he could run faster than a breeze of wind – something he could not have achieved without the help of his master. 

Not long after that, he and his master began their flight to raid, though Pierre did not see his master until he was restored to his human form. […] After about two hours following this metamorphosis, once again anointed by Michel, in the blink of an eye they returned to their former shape. They received the ointment from their masters, Michel Guilemin and Moyset, Pierre’s master. As soon as he was so tired he could barely stand from running, Pierre went to his master to complain. The latter answered him that it was nothing and at once saw to his healing.

Once upon a time it happened that Pierre, anointed on Michel’s orders and turned into a wolf, grabbed with his teeth a six or seven-year-old boy in order to bite him to death, but the screams and the ruckus forced him to flee; he came back to where he had left his clothing and there, according to Michel’s guidelines, he retook his human appearance by rubbing herbs over his skin. He confessed that, with Michel, they continued trying to do similar things and that one day, in the form of wolves, they killed a woman who was gathering peas. At that time, they unexpectedly came across one mister de Chusnee and, wanting to kill him as well, assaulted him numerous times, but to no avail. Both of them related that, being in the state of lycanthropy, they murdered a four-year-old girl and devoured her whole, except for one arm; they also confessed that Michel’s taste was met by flesh, even though he ate it in small amounts and that it did not upset Pierre’s stomach even though he ate it almost all the time. They admitted to cutting the throat of one girl, drinking her blood and biting through her neck; thus they murdered their third victim, in whose belly Pierre’s hungry jaws had torn a hole. Another time, Pierre told of having killed an eight or nine-year-old girl in a vegetable patch by biting through her neck. […] In addition, he confessed that he had butchered a goat in a nearby field belonging to one Pierre Bongre, bit through its throat and cut it with a knife. Michel, as a wolf, was sometimes clothed, Pierre was naked. To their confession they also added that they happened to come into sexual contact with female wolves with almost as great a lustfulness as if they were copulating with their own wives. Apart from that, they confessed that they had been given an ash-coloured powder that, when rubbed into the skin of the left arm, allowed them to disappear if they encountered any animal.

However, it is worth remembering that both of the accused answered the same questions in a confused and often varying from each other ways.

On the basis of: De Lamiis, J. Weir

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Trials: The Damnable Life and Death of Peter Stubbe, 1589-90


In the year 1590 in London, there appeared an anonymous biography describing the life and death of Peter Stubbe – a lycanthrope executed on March 31st of that same year in Bedburg near Cologne for the atrocious crimes he had committed in the form of a wolf. It is probably one of the most famous werewolf trials and it became notorious because of the brutality and number of crimes involved. Below is a brief description of the sinful life of the accused.

Peter Stubbe was born in Peradt and lived in Bedburg near Cologne in Germany. Ever since the age of twelve, Stubbe had been prone to evildoing to such a degree that, taking a particular liking to magic, necromancy and witchcraft, he turned away from Christian faith and gave his body and soul into the hands of the devil and other “impure” powers. In exchange for revoking salvation, he asked the devil for numerous pleasures in his short life, as well as the possibility of becoming famous all around the world, even for the price of heaven. The devil agreed eagerly to fulfilling Stubbe’s wishes, but as it was later shown, these wishes did not relate to such things as wealth and success in life, for his lust could not be satisfied by any worldly means. Because of the cruelty of his heart and soul that were particularly merciless and bloodthirsty, Stubbe limited his wishes to the possibility of venting his foulness according to his liking, on men, women and children under the likeness of a wolf, and the possibility of living in such form without fear of being recognised as the culprit of the bloody acts he was going to commit. The devil, who saw in him a perfect instrument of evildoing, gave him a strap which, when put on, instantly gave the person the appearance of “a ferocious wolf, strong and powerful, with large eyes that glow at night like silver fire-bands, huge and wide jaws, teeth of unheard sharpness, a gigantic body, and massive claws”. Having been taken off, the strap would change the perpetrator back into a human as if nothing ever happened. Stubbe rejoiced at the devil’s gift, because the appearance of a wolf that he could assume whenever he wanted to ideally suited his nature, which was prone to acts of cruelty and bloodshed. For this reason, he then indulged himself in bestial and disgusting acts of murder.

Whenever a person annoyed or crossed him, an anger and thirst for revenge began to burn inside him, which would leave him only after, in the form of a wolf, he had killed that person or one of their relatives. Having tasted crime, Stubbe began to try out new ways of spilling blood and so he roamed the village both day and night, committing hideous crimes.

While in human form (when he did not occupy himself with killing), he would walk the streets of Cologne or Bedburg dressed elegantly and very often one could meet people greeting him; the same people whose children or relatives he had ripped apart, but who would not hold a grudge against him due to their ignorance. Strolling, he would observe people and his potential victims. Whenever he spotted women, girls or children that he liked and whom his soul desired, he would wait for them to leave town and would then follow them. If he managed to encounter them alone, he would kidnap them, drag them into the open fields and kill them brutally under the guise of a wolf. It also often happened that, while roaming far away from the town, he would notice groups of girls playing in the fields. On such occasions, transformed into a wolf, he would leap at them, grab one and then, having satisfied his disgusting lusts, kill her immediately.

Such was the extent of his cruelty that the whole vicinity became terrified by the wickedness of the bloodthirsty and insatiable wolf. Continuing his monstrous activities and still committing hideous acts, over the course of a few years he murdered thirteen children and two young pregnant women, from whose bodies he had ripped out the fetuses in the bloodiest and most inhuman way imaginable and devoured their hearts, warm, raw and beating, which he considered a meal most delicate and suitable for his monstrous appetite. Stubbe, however, was not satisfied by human prey alone – he would kill many lambs and kids, devouring them raw, just like a wolf, so that nobody would suspect the killings were done by a sorcerer rather than a wolf.

During that time, he lived with his daughter – a beautiful and young girl whom he loved in the most unnatural of ways and with whom he had an incestuous relationship. In fact, he had been in this relationship with her even before he succumbed to evil. Her name was Beel Stubbe and her charm and beauty evoked the admiration of everyone who knew her. Stubbe’s lust and disgusting desires towards her lead to them having a son, and he lived with her day by day as though with a concubine. Peter, as lustful and devoted to evil a creature as he was, also lived in such a way with his sister. One time, a woman came by to him for a chat. Before she left, he managed to seduce her with sweet and charming words and influence her so much that he slept with her and later on she was always ready to fulfill all his desires. The woman went by the name of Katherine Trompin and enjoyed an excellent reputation among her acquaintances.

Unfortunately, all of his immoral desires could not be sated by even such a large company of women and because he was not satisfied with the beauty of any woman, the devil finally sent to Stubbe an evil spirit in the form of a woman so beautiful and attractive that she was reminiscent more of a heavenly sylph rather than an earthly being. The woman stayed with him for seven years – until it was revealed that she was nothing else but a demon.

A cruel murderer that Stubbe was, he would not be sated by corporal sins and he would consider a day lost if he did not kill anyone or anything – be it human or animal. And he killed for nothing else than pleasure, as it was later on described.

The young and handsome son filled Stubbe with happiness and was called by him the light of his life. For a time, Stubbe elevated the love for his son above murdering. But not for long. Soon, Stubbe began to crave also his blood, so one day he invited the child for a walk around the village. The father parted with the son when they were walking through the nearby woods under the pretext of having to relieve his physiological needs and while the boy walked ahead, he transformed into a wolf using his strap, caught up to the son and killed him. Having done so, he devoured his brain as if it was the most refined way to sate his appetite. It was the most horrible deed ever heard of, as never before had there been word of a criminal whose of such degenerated nature.

Some documents relate that once upon a time Stubbe noticed two men and a woman who he then decided he wanted to kill. He was afraid, however, that he would be discovered and that he might not be able to deal with two grown men at once – that’s why he used deception. Hidden in the bushes, he listened until he learned the name of one of the men. After that, he overtook the three and hid himself among the trees. When the three reached the place where he was hiding, he called out the man whose name he had learnt. The man, having heard the voice call out for him, went to check where the voice was coming from and whose it was. He did not return, for the wolf-Stubbe killed him on the spot. The others waited for his return, but when he did not come back for a long time, the other man went to find out what had happened. This way, the werewolf had a chance to dispose of the second of his victims. The woman, distressed by the absence of her companions, began suspecting that something bad had happened to them. She tried to save herself by fleeing, but the wolf was a lot faster than her, so he grabbed her, raped her and killed her cruelly. The bodies of the two men were later found torn to pieces in the woods, but the body of the woman was never to be found.

In this way, Peter Stubbe lived for twenty-five years – unrecognised and unsuspected by anyone. During that time, he killed and devoured countless men, women and children, as well as sheep, lambs, kids, and other animals. In fact, when he could not lure any human into his traps (as they were becoming cautious), the wild and cruel beast that he was would vent its anger by killing animals and committing unthinkable wickedness, so that the whole of Germany was forced to acknowledge them as being true.

The inhabitants of Cologne, Bedburg and Peradt, followed and plagued by the monster-wolf that was continuously a cause of damage and losses, became afraid to travel from one place to another without a larger number of men and weapons. To their horror, they kept finding the remains of the beast’s victims in the fields – the beast that they could not capture and put to death. That is why, when someone’s child went missing, they would lose all hope of finding them, certain that the wolf had already devoured it.

There occurred, however, an accident showing the “great power and mercifulness of God in uplifting the spirits of all Christian souls”. One day, a few children were playing in a meadow near the town, where cows grazed along with their calves. Unexpectedly, the wolf leaped into the middle of the circle of children and grabbed one of the girls by her throat. Fortunately for her, he didn’t manage to tear it due to the stiff, starched collar of her clothes. The screams of the rest of the children startled the grazing cows which, for fear for their calves, attacked the wolf with such violence that he was forced to retreat, leaving the would-be victim alive. The father of the girl, who lived in London, received a letter with the description of what had befallen his daughter in Germany. The letter evoked mistrust in him, so he asked for another one to be sent to him, this time with more specific details.

He was not the only one who received such a letter – they were sent out to all the parents of children attacked by Stubbe, who lived in London or in any other country, as well as those in Germany. In German cities, Cologne, Bedburg and Peradt, people were praying to God that he free them from the danger of the vicious wolf.

But although they doubled and tripled their efforts to come up with a way to capture and kill the monster, they were powerless against his cruelty until God himself decided of his end. Regardless of their failures, the people were devoted to their cause. In order to track down the beast, wherever there were rumours of its presence, large hounds and dogs of great strength were used. Eventually, the wolf was spotted. The hunters quickly circled around the lycanthrope and unleashed their hounds at him so that he had no way of escaping, a opportunity they had never been able to create before. Stubbe, seeing there was no way out, took off the strap and changed back into a human. The hunters were struck with horror when they saw a man where just moments ago there still was a wolf. They would have surely considered him the devil had they not known him. But they knew him, because he had lived in their town for a long time. They captured him and went to his home to make sure that they were not seeing things. Having made sure that it was him they were looking for and that there was no mischief or hallucination of the mind involved, they led him hurriedly to the authorities so that he would be immediately interrogated.

Thus, captured and led in front of the face of justice, Stubbe was submitted to torture in Bedburg. Afraid of the suffering, he quickly admitted to the wickedness of his whole existence and revealed all the cruelties that he had committed during those twenty-five years. He also confessed how, with the use of magic, he had received from the devil a strap that turned him into a wolf when he put it on. In addition, he confessed that he got rid of the strap by throwing it into the forest ravine during his capture and that it must still be there. Hearing this, the officials sent men to that place, but they did not find anything, so they began speculating that it had returned to where it came from – the devil, who,  having cast the mindless human into this pitiful situation, left him all by himself to bear the punishment that he had earned through his despicable life.

Having put him into custody for a time, the officials discovered, through investigation, that his daughter, Beel Stubbe, and Katherine Trompin were both accomplices in many of the murders committed by the lycanthrope. Peter Stubbe was sentenced, along with his two accomplices, by the tribunal and the sentence announced on October 28th 1589 was as follows: “Peter Stubbe, the main culprit, is sentenced to being broken by a wheel and his flesh is to be torn in ten different places by hot pincers so that it is separated from the bone; then, his legs and arms are to be quartered by wooden sticks or hammers, next, he is to be beheaded and, finally, burnt until nothing but ashes remain.” Additionally, his daughter and lover were sentenced to being burnt on a stake at the same time as his corpse. On March 31st 1590, the sentence was carried out in the city of Bedburg in the presence of many princes and pars of Germany.

After the execution, as a warning to all witches and sorcerers, by the command of the city’s authorities, a pole was stuck into the ground, on top of which was placed the wheel with the convict’s body parts. A little above that was hung a likeness of a wolf and a sorcerer’s head, and many pieces of wood to number all his victims. The same authorities ruled that this all be left on public display as an eternal memento of the crimes Stubbe committed and the punishment he received.

On the basis of: A true discourse declaring the damnable lyfe and death of one Stubbe Peter, a highe Jermaine borne, a sorcerer, who in the likeness of a wolfe committed many murders, twenty-five years together: and for the same was executed in the cytye of Bedburg, near Coleyn, on the 31 of Marche 1590, E. Venge, London 1590

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So after a while I come back again and bring you the translated account of the life and death of one of the most notorious werewolves in history. Initially I wanted to post this here on March 31st, the anniversary of his execution, but unfortunately other assignments caught up to me and I simply couldn't make it in time. Now that I'm posting this here doesn't mean however that things will get easier from now on - just on the contrary. And there is yet so much to be done to make this blog even seemingly close to having the same content as my original website... A lot of work, surely, but hopefully after the final exams are over, I will have some more time to pour some content in for everyone's enjoyment. 

Until then!

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