Gandillon Werewolves (1598) A French family of Werewolves. The bizarre case of the Gandillon family involved a sister, her brother, and two of his children who ravaged the Jura area in wolf forms.
The case unfolded with Pernette Gandillon, a poor girl who ran about on all fours in the belief that she was a wolf. One day while in her wolf madness, she came upon a boy and girl, siblings, who were out gathering wild strawberries. A blood rage came upon Pernette, and she attacked the girl. The girl’s four-year-old brother successfully fended Pernette off with a knife. Pernette turned on the boy and dealt him a fatal slash to his neck. The girl identiﬁed Pernette as the attacker. Enraged peasants seized Pernette and tore her to pieces.
Soon thereafter, Pernette’s brother, Pierre, was accused of witchcraft. He was said to kidnap children and take them to witches’ Sabbats, to make damaging hail, and to transform himself into a wolf. The transformation was made possible by an Ointment he had received from the devil. On one occasion, Pierre changed into a hare, but usually he was a wolf, with long, shaggy gray hair.
Pierre readily acknowledged that these charges were true. Furthermore, while in the form of a wolf, he had killed and eaten animals and humans. When he wanted to resume his human form, he rolled in dewy grass.
Pierre’s son, Georges, confessed that he too had used the ointment to become a wolf. Once he had killed and eaten two goats. During his adventures as a wolf, his human body would lie in a cataleptic state for hours in his bed. Once this state had lasted for three hours, during which he went off to a witches’ sabbat.
Both Pierre and Georges had terrible scars upon their faces, arms, and legs, the result of dog bites they had received while in the form of wolves.
Pierre’s daughter, Antoinette, confessed that she had sold her soul to the devil, who had appeared to her in the form of a black cat. She made hail and attended sabbats.
In prison, Pierre and Georges behaved like raving maniacs, running about their cells on all fours and howling. They did not change shape into wolves, because, it was believed, they did not have their magical ointments with them. All three—Pierre, Georges, and Antoinette—were convicted, hanged, and burned.
See also : Lycanthropy.
- Baring-Gould, Sabine. The Book of Werewolves. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1865.
- Otten, Charlotte F., ed. A Lycanthropy Reader: Werewolves in Western Culture. New York: Dorset Press, 1989.
From: the Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley -a leading expert on the paranormal -Copyright © 2005 by Visionary Living, Inc.