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A good year for werewolves

On December 14, 1598 in Paris, a tailor was burned at the stake.

This guy could have given Sweeny Todd a run for his money. He was known as the Chalons werewolf, and he had a taste for flesh–any kind, so long as it was young.

His MO was to lure kids into his shop (You have to figure there was some candy involved because what kid would go into a tailor’s shop?), where he’d slit their throats and then chop them up like meat. You can guess what he did with them after that.

You’re probably wondering where the ‘werewolf’ part comes in–right here.

Apparently it wasn’t enough for this guy to keep barrels of drying bones in his basement, he was rumored to have roamed the woods outside Paris in the form of a wolf. Just for fun, he’d attack people and rip out their throats.

After his trial and execution, something even stranger happened.

This guy’s crimes were judged to be so awful that the court ordered all records of them, and of the trial, to be burned.

Now that would all be odd enough, except for one more little thing… Actually, make that two.

Our Demon Tailor was not the only werewolf around that time. 1598 was a bumper year for les loups-garou in France.

One Jacques Roulet had been caught with the fresh blood of a fifteen year old boy under his fingernails, earlier that year in Angers, less than 300 km outside Paris, to the east. Roulet was sentenced to death, but he appealed and was sent to an insane asylum for a couple of years instead.

And an entire family of werewolves, the Gandillons, were identified in St. Claude, in the Jura region, also that year. They were all burned at the stake, despite the fact that only one of them was proven to have killed somebody.

Now here’s the thing. If you plot Angers, the Jura region, and Paris on a map, you’ll notice something. It makes a nice little triangle. If you had a car (which would wouldn’t have in 1598), you could get to each of these places in a single day.

Now maybe the tailor was just your average serial killer, Roulet merely crazy, and the Gandillons had rabies. Or each of these people were visited by someone just passing through…

Since those court documents were destroyed, we’ll never know.

Next week on Demon of the week–Vampires we know and love: Baobhan sith. Scottish vampire fairies (So cool!)

– Teresa

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About teresawilde

Author of Young Adult Paranormals, Paranormal Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, tragical- comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, and poem unlimited.

8 responses to “A good year for werewolves

  1. I’ll be adding this to my must reads. A fresh, and welcome addition to the blogging world. Sher

  2. Fascinating and creepy! I wonder what it was about France that made it the werewolf capital, back in the day.

    • teresawilde ⋅

      Just wait until I get into Greek vampires! Greek lore has dozens of different kinds. I had to make an entire category just for them

  3. This is so fascinating, Teresa! I’m looking forward to your next creature feature.

    • teresawilde ⋅

      Nice website, Gerri! Next week, Scottish Vampire Fairies! It just doesn’t get much cooler than that.

  4. And thus is born a story from a writer’s imagination. The werewolves history is fascinating, Teresa. I’ll be looking for your posts as much as I can. Great job.

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