Le Gevaudan is a barren stretch of hills and valleys in a rugged mountain range along the Auvergne palteavin southern France. Neighboring cities Lyons an Toulouse are populous, but Le Gevaudan is sparsely settled. In the 1760’s resident were terrorized by a werewolf. Allegedly hundreds of people were killed during the beast’s 3 year bloody reign.
The screams “Loup-garou!” could be heard throughout the 75 mile stretch of area that was Le Gevaudan. As peasants abandoned the small villages on the out skirts of the beast kept moving towards larger villages while hunting. The creature was described as a hairy -covered in dark bristly hair- beast that walked on two legs.
It was sworn that its face was like satans. Those who were able to escape always mentioned its “evil smell.” Deep claw marks on the victims indicated the monster sucked blood from the corpses.
On Jun 13,1765 during the night a blizzard raged through the mountains. Pierre Chaiteauneuf lit torch and went in search of his son who hadn’t returned from watching the flock of sheep. He discovered the son’s mutilated body near the flock. He carried his son’s body back down the slope and laid the body on the plank wood floor and covered him with a quilt. He sat down and grieved. Later he’d tell the authorities that he saw the beast staring at him through the window.
The werewolf’s eyes were glassy, like a wild animal, its dark face was covered with hair. The angry farmer dashed to the opposite wall lowered the hanging musket and fired point black at the monster. The beast ducked in time to not be hit and ran away.
Chaiteauneuf reloaded and searched for the beast outside. He saw it run towards his orchard. It looked like a man covered in animal skin running away. The farmer reluctantly returned home knowing following the monster would be certain death.
Shortly after Farmer Chaiteauneuf’s son died, Jean-Pierre Pourcher told authorities that he’d been out hunting rabbits when the beast appeared from a nearby thicket, Pourcher said he’d fired at the monster but was shaking so badly he hadn’t been a good shot . He also stated the Beast of Gevaudan could run on all fours, or upright like a human.
Within the week another episode was reported. This time several children were playing hide and seek in a field outside the village of camaleilles Little Jean Pana Fieux ran into some brush to hide. He found himself face to face with the beast. Jean’s cries as feeble as they were with the beast’s hands wrapped around Jean’s neck, were able to alert his companions who ran to the village for help.
Andre Portefaix stabbed at the beast viciously with a pitchfork he’d grabbed other men with clubs and stone joined Portefaix. Together they were able to force the werewolf into the surrounding hills.
To Be Continued… 08/10/2014
**This month’s Full Moon is Called Summer Moon. **