Werewolf Sightings with Real Life Repercussions

Werewolf Sightings with Real Life Repercussions

Werewolves are creatures of mystery, immortalized on film and in literature as darkly romantic creatures of the subconscious; civilized man with an animal inside him, representing the deeper, darker urges of sexuality and wildness that he must struggle to contain lest he be publicly condemned…beautiful, poetic, and allegorically true. But what if this wasn’t just a story? What if the wolf man or wolf woman really existed out there in the jungles of time? Europe was particularly vocal about its many werewolf tales but many other cultures were subject to werewolf sightings, including Native Americans who called their werewolves “Wendigo”. Though these encounters are safely held at bay by time, it’s still chilling to imagine these fateful experiences potentially involving hybrid creatures stalking the night.

Michael Verdun’s Alleged Werewolf Sightings

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Werewolves are often seen as symbolizing man’s futile attempts to suppress his primal nature.

In 1521, a man in Poligny, France said he was walking when he got attacked by a wolf. He claims that he managed to badly hurt the wolf and escape, but when he turned back to look there was just a man standing there nursing the same wound he’d just dealt the wolf. Upon reporting his experience and being questioned, this man, Michel Verdun, admitted to making a deal with the devil in order to become a wolf. He claimed that two other men, Philibert Montot and Pierre Bourgot were also werewolves engaging in murder and cannibalism across the land.

The Beast of Gévaudan

During the 1700s a peculiar wolf was spotted in the French province of Gévaudan by a woman caring for cattle. A short time later a 14-year-old girl was found dead, mauled by a wolf. Many people caught sight of this wolf who was referred to as La Bête du Gévaudan (The Beast of Gévaudan). They describe an unusually large wolf with red fur streaked with black. King Louis XV declared that the French state would kill this wolf. Eventually Jean Chastel, an appointed hunter, shot and killed the wolf. A study of the incident found that there were a total of 210 attacks credited to the Beast of Gévaudan with 113 being fatal.

The Confession of Peter Stubbe

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A statue the Beast of Gévaudan. 

In 1589, a man called Peter Stubbe in Bedburg, Germany was tied to a wheel and tortured for information. During his ordeal he revealed that he was indeed a serial killer, responsible for killing 14 children and 2 pregnant women. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he also admitted to a particularly incredible detail of his crimes. He said the devil gave him a kind of magic belt that allowed him to turn into a wolf when he wore it. After the torturing was done, the people of Bedburg cut of Stubbe’s head and placed it atop the wheel used to torture him…directly above the image of a wolf.

While many claim to have engaged in lycanthropy between the 1500s and 1800s it seems just as many state that they made deals with the devil for such murderous gifts! Despite the gruesome nature of these stories, the beauty of these beasts still glows vibrantly in spite of the terrifying implications of serial slayings. Werewolf sightings, though lacking in credibility, continue to be reported even in modern times. Maybe there’s a werewolf out there in the Eastern European forests right now, keeping the lineage of the wolf alive. At least we can enjoy the likes of this mythic beast through the many fantasy shows and films that feature tales of the wolf.

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