The “Real” Werewolf on MonsterQuest
- – MonsterQuest recently aired a two-hour episode investigating the killing of over 100 peasants by a werewolf-like creature in southern France during the mid-1700′s. As the slayings occurred over 240 years ago, extensive speculation and reconstruction was involved as provided by a cryptozoologist and a criminal investigator.
The Beast of Gevaudan slaughtered primarily women and children in an often gruesome fashion, at times decapitating the victims, eviscerating them, or consuming limbs. The killings began in 1764, and continued for about three years, drawing the attention of Louis XV whose expert hunters dispatched a large wolf but failed to halt the peasant slayings.
That task was accomplished by one Jean Chastel, who used (–what else?) a silver bullet to kill the beast. Speculation by the MonsterQuest investigators and others has been that the true “werewolf” was in fact a striped hyena, which may have actually been trained to accomplish his mayhem by Chastel himself!
The Beast of Gevaudan will continue to fascinate speculators, and the events form the historical basis for much of the rich present day werewolf sagas, which one hopes will continue for the indefinite future…