Tag Archives: Werewolf

The Beast of Gévaudan

25 Aug

Legends of werewolves have haunted the wilderness of Europe since the Middle Ages and the origins of such stories go even farther back in our shared mythos across the world. But no story comes as close to the terrifying reality of an animal (or animals) that became known as the Beast of Gévaudan. The creature, which to this day has not been fully identified, began a campaign of terror on the people of Gévaudan, a small province in southern France during the 18th century. The mysterious and gruesome killings became the most fatal series of wolf attacks in the history of the country. Creating mass hysteria and eventually catching the attention of the highest levels of the government, and even the king himself. Almost three hundred deaths were attributed to the beast’s attacks, most with their throats or chests ripped out by something with sharp teeth and claws. News of a murderous monster grabbed the public’s attention. The press reported extensively on the attacks, describing the beast as a wolf-like creature with russet and black fur, a wide chest, a huge mouth and very sharp teeth. The monster’s first victim was Jeanne Boulet, a 14-year-old girl watching her sheep. Her death was followed by others, almost exclusively women and children. Throughout 1764, the brutal attacks—victims with their throats torn out or heads gnawed off—riveted France. The violence was so shocking, news of it traveled from the countryside all the way to the royal palace in Versailles. What was this beast of Gévaudan, and who could stop its reign of terror?

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Time of the Wolf

15 Oct

All over the world it is believed that there are human beings cursed with the horrifying affliction of changing under the full moon into wolf-men and destroying those they love the most. Bound by ancient maledictions, captives of man’s primal side, and bearers of insatiable bloodlust and brute strength, werewolves are nevertheless perhaps the most tragic of all horror’s great pantheon of monsters. Condemned (usually through no fault of their own) to metamorphose during the phases of the moon into bestial killers, werewolves exemplify the classic dichotomy of Good versus Evil which lies at the heart of most great modern horror fiction. It is unsurprising therefore that the werewolf, like its stablemates the vampire, the mummy and the zombie has been successfully adapted into numerous works of literature both short and long.

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The Beast of Glamis Castle

12 Oct

Glamis Castle in Scotland is probably best known today as the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, late mother of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Although a castle has only been here since the 14th century, the site of Glamis has a history which goes back much further, so far in fact that it mixes with legend and myth in the form of associations with Shakespeare’s MacBeth (In 1034 King Malcolm II was murdered at Glamis). The family chapel is said to be haunted by a Grey Lady, the spirit of Lady Janet Douglas, who was burned at the stake as a witch on Castle Hill, Edinburgh in 1537, on charges of plotting to poison the King. The ghost of a woman with no tongue is said to haunt the grounds, and to look out from a barred window somewhere within the castle. The restless spirit of the licentious Earl Beardie, who was rumoured to have gambled with the Devil in life, is said to wander the castle, and there have been reports of children waking to find the figure leaning over their beds. In this long and lurid history, filled with tales of murder, treason and black magic, no account is as chilling as the story of a secret room somewhere within the castle that harbours a dreadful secret: The Beast of Glamis Castle.

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