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Gilles Garnier and Peter Stubbe – Real-Life Werewolves

Gilles Garnier and Peter Stubbe – Real-Life Werewolves

There is an old superstition that any child born on Christmas Day is cursed since their birth detracts from the full attention due to the observance of the birth of Christ. They are afflicted with lycanthropy unless they lead a life of piousness in thought, word, and deed.

Though the birth dates of Gilles Garnier and Peter Stumpp are unknown, they led deviant lives and committed acts of murder and cannibalism that many attribute to their condition as ferocious shapeshifters: werewolves.

Gilles Garnier

Gilles Garnier, “The Werewolf of Dole”, was a hermit who lived a solitary existence in a forest hovel in the French village of Dole in the sixteenth century. He married a woman named Apoline and had several children but was unable to provide for his family. Possibly cracking under that pressure, he stalked and killed several children, allegedly in the guise of a wolf-man.

Real Life Werewolves-GillesGarnier-01 / Fair use doctrine.

Gilles Garnier, The Werewolf of Dole

His first victim, in October of 1572, was a 10-year-old girl. He strangled her, dragged her into the woods, and devoured flesh from her thighs and arms. He was said to have brought some of the flesh home for his wife to cook.

About a week later, several peasants walking by a meadow heard frightened screams and bestial snarling. They found a young girl being attacked by what some of them said was a wolf but others saw Gilles Garnier. The thing fled on four legs and the girl was saved but later succumbed to her fatal injuries.

His next victim was a 10-year-old boy, on November first. He strangled the boy and ate flesh from his limbs and torso. He ripped one of the boy’s legs off and again brought the meat home to his wife.

A week after that he abducted and strangled a 12-year-old boy and would have eaten his flesh but heard people approaching and fled.

In January of 1573, he attacked another child whose screams drew people to them. Garnier fled but was identified and tracked down. He and his wife were arrested and tortured until Garnier confessed to being a werewolf. He said the Devil had given him a magic ointment that transformed him into a werewolf. His wife confessed to helping him in his crimes. They were both burned at the stake on January 18th, 1573.

Peter Stubbe

Peter Stubbe, “The Werewolf of Bedburg”, had a higher body count than Gilles Garnier and was much more depraved.

Real Life Werewolves-Peter Stumpp/Peter Stubbe - exemplore / Fair use doctrine.

Peter Stubbe, The Werewolf of Bedburg

He was born in 1525 and said to have practiced “wicked arts” from the age of 12. He was a widower with a farm in Epprath, Germany, in the 1580s when his terror spree began. He started with his own family, sexually assaulting his daughter Sybil and having a child with her, before progressing to murder. Though more specifics are known about Gilles Garnier’s crimes, the details that are available about Peter Stubbe’s crimes are horrifying. He murdered and, in some cases, cannibalized 14 people. Two of his victims were pregnant women; after he killed them he was said to have ripped the fetuses from their bodies and eaten them. The majority of his victims were young children, including the child he fathered with Sybil. He lured the boy into the woods, bashed his skull open with a rock and ate his brains. He raped most of his female victims, and his lust was so rampant he claimed to have been visited by a succubus.

The townspeople wanted to find the beast that was savaging their neighbors. They used dogs to track the wolf they thought was responsible. Once they had the animal cornered, witnesses claimed it turned into Peter Stubbe and got away from them. They went to his house, arrested him, and tortured him on the rack until he confessed. He admitted all his crimes, saying that he wore a wolf pelt, given to him by the devil, that turned him into a beast.

His fate was as grisly as that of his many victims. On October 31st, 1589, he was placed on a wheel where his arms and legs were broken. Red hot pincers were used to tear off his flesh. After the torture, he was executed by beheading.
Real Life Werewolves-Peter Stubbe or Stumpp-Horrorpedia / Fair use doctrine.


Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, WEREWOLVES, 0 comments