video. When the wolf devoured the children of Sarth | mail

Historian Benoit Hubert believes that seven deadly attacks by a wolf between 1 May and 30 September 1753 are the work of a single animal. © Samuel QUIGNON / Le Petit Courrier – Echo of the Loire Valley

that it Grandparents’ fear Which left our lands today but haunts its inhabitants for centuries Campaigns from France : the wolf.

depends on Sarth In Le Mans, historian and Researcher Discover Benoît Hubert in different Archives Local people, a series of deadly attacks by a cannibal wolf killing at least seven children At Bellinois and the Loire Valley in 1753.

Fifteen years ago, I discovered a manuscript of Marin Routier de Madrille in the archives of the Society of Agriculture, Science and Arts of Sarthe preserved in the Media Library of Le Mans. In his story, this local lord referred to two predatory children. I wanted to check if it was marginal or if there were other cases.

Benoit Hubert, historian

Seven children were killed

the first hurtful Listed on 1 May 1753 relates to Magdalene Frontolte, 11 years old, who lives near the town of Saint-Ouen. The next day a 12-year-old orphan devour turn by wolf Saint Gervais en Belen.

A few weeks pass and on May 29, again a little girlMary Ferret, 8, was the target of a ‘wolf deer’ during a procession which you attend. They rescued her but she died a few hours later. On June 6, it is located across from the Bercé Forest in Parigné-l’Eveque That the monster kills the boy Pierre Bellon, 7 years old.

parish register

On June 8, in Changhe, “Joseph Lebarbier was devoured by the beast,” as he points out a priest in his parish register.

The next day Julian Tornesak, also 8 years old, was buried after being “devoured by a ferocious beast ” to me Britt Les Pins.

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beast min

Finally, on September 30 Request He was struck by a “carnivorous beast” devouring Jane Robert, 9 years old.

For Benoît Hubert, who teaches history at Marguerite Yourcenar High School in Le Mans, all these attacks have been carried out by Single even wolf cannibal Which he calls “the Maine beast”.

Two women attacked but didn’t kill

According to his research, the same monster eating man He also allegedly attacked two women, one of whom was taken to the mission in Saint-Ouen-en-Belen In his clothes, including a whalebone collar That the animal failed to withdraw.

Second, attacked in Saint Beez on Belen On the same day, she was able to eagerly fend for herself.

More than 3000 deadly attacks in France between 1580 and 1830

To conduct his research, the historian also relied on the work of the academic from Caen, Jean-Marc Moreso, who appears to be specialized. His work unearthed 3,000 death certificates of people devoured by wolves in France between 1580 and 1830. (Updated work appeared in 2022 Evil wolf story.

Still dangerous?

With the wolf back in the area, Benoit Hubert took an interest in this animal which he considers wonderful.

“If he comes back Can you take it on a man ? There have been no more wolf attacks in France since the beginning of the 20th century.And century, but it still happens that this is the case in Asia and in Russia for example. »

From corpses to cannibals

At that time, there were two types of wolves feeding on humans. The first celebrity deer wolves (large wolves capable of attacking deer) that would have gained a taste for human flesh by feeding on them corpses left after great epidemics or some Conflicts Like the frond.

During these periods “the population was slaughtered and not necessarily buried. These wolves n firstzabaleen will become cannibals. »

mad animals

In the second case, it concerns rabid wolves.

“But this the animals Attack any target especially men. The attacks of rabid wolves were recorded in Sarthe during the mid-18th century.And to me boiler And Falun sur J. »

Researcher’s approach

what methodology He hires Benoit Hubert to find traces of a wolf that eats children?

As for the case of the Maine monster, based on the handwritten document of the master of Bellinoy, Mansu found the victims in parish records Then the mentioned municipalities expanded the scope of the research precisely to include neighboring municipalities, and then to the following municipalities.


Observer reports are also valuable, they contain an amount Granted rewards For those who killed the wolf.

The animal’s claw brings a month’s wages to the day laborer,

Benoit Hubert

recurring patterns

The Statistics From a total of 3000 cases of wolf attacks made it possible to prove some Graphs.

Another wolf eating children in Percy Forest

Perusing the very rich diocesan records, Benoit Hubert believes he’s found another baby-eating wolf in Sarthe. So far, death certificates of five children killed by wolves have been found. “I recorded an attack in Changé, then an attack at Ecommoy, two at Marigné-Laillé and a final attack at Mayet, a 6-year-old cut-off. But there are certainly others. They have been there for months,” says the historian, who will now set out to look for other attacks around Percy Forest during this period, “I think it’s the same monster.”

“This occurs mainly from April to October: when the vegetation cover allows to hide the approach of predator There are people outside. But we also see that in the vast majority of cases, this is so poor children who are worried because they are raising a cow, a goat…”

The legend of the werewolf in Sarth

The myth Sometimes a wolf is credited with eating children gyro (or gairoux), humans have been cursed: the famous werewolves.

The Maine monster was struck about ten years before the famous Givaudan monster which some attribute to evil forces.
The Maine monster was struck about ten years before the famous Givaudan monster which some attribute to evil forces. (© maléfi © Engravings from Treatise on Physiognomy by Charles Le Brun and Louis Morell d’Arlo, 17th century)

Louis Simon invokes this legend in his memoirs, explaining that he does not take credit for it.

story beast min It will be taken up and romanticized at 19And a century. In the journal published by the Episcopalian, Min . Countythe Marquis de Mailly took matters into his own hands: he made a son-in-law a silver bullet entrusted to the L’Hermitage Gamekeeper who managed to kill the beast. All this did not happen but it tells us about the society at the time. After the revolution, the clergy, anyway This is the clergyhighlights a God the avenger Benoit Hubert analyzes.

Horror in Turin

The researcher explains that the monster was made horror rule in the Loire Valley and especially in Turin. From January to June 1693, almost one or more wolfs committed 150 attacksincluding 77 people killed around Banays.

Other rounds of attacks occurred near the present Lauer et Sher From 1742 to 1755.

horrific scenes

They were shocked by what they saw, and priests Sometimes it takes time to detail a file scars The wolves left her.

This is particularly the case on June 9, 1751 in Nowsley, north of Tours, where a dead body was found 15 years sponsor.

This is the description given by the churchman: “They brought to the church the mournful remains of his corpse wrapped in a woman’s apron and covered with her clothes covered in blood. La Peste cut off the tracheal artery and part of his right cheek, and ate a thigh separated from his body to the knee; The top was meatless Like If he has scrape on purpose a knife. The beast ate his entire stomach and bit his ribs. ”

Benoit Hubert will give a lecture entitled wolf are you there? Summer Killer for a Maine Monster (1753) Thursday, May 12, 2022 from 4 pm to 6 pm at Crédit Agricole de l’Anjou et du Maine, 48 place de la République in Le Mans. free entry. Reservations are required at the following address:
Other topics about history, heritage and culture in Sarthe and Maine can be discovered with the Society Studiae Cenomanensis.

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