Jacques Roulet, Werewolf of Angers

In 1598,

in a wild and unfrequented spot near Caude [in the vicinity of Angers, France], some countrymen came one day upon the corpse of a boy of fifteen, horribly mutilated and bespattered with blood. As the men approached, two wolves, which had been rending the body, bounded away into the thicket. The men gave chase immediately, following their bloody tracks till they lost them; when suddenly crouching among the bushes, his teeth chattering with fear, they found a man half naked, with long hair and beard, and with his hands dyed in blood. His nails were long as claws, and were clotted with fresh gore, and shreds of human flesh. Although the miscreant was immediately arrested on the basis of the physical evidence, exactly how the authorities determined that the “gore” under Roulet’s fingernails was human flesh (an impossible task without a modern forensic laboratory) is never mentioned.

The suspect, a beggar and vagabond, admitted under severe duress that he was able to transform himself into a wolf by means of a salve given to him by his parents. He also revealed that in the company of his brother Jean and cousin Julien–shapeshifters as well–he had killed numerous women and children and devoured their flesh. The lieutenant criminel of Angers condemned Roulet to death for werewolfism, murder, and cannibalism; however, on appeal to the Parliament of Paris, Roulet was committed to an insane asylum for two years because the authorities in Paris deemed his confession to be unrelieable on account of his feeblemindedness.

Castle Deep

Castle Deep 
 
In the darkness Raven takes wing
secrets whisper from the shadows
listen to deaths chorus sing
come out and play the laughter bids 
 
Midnight strikes upon this hour
mark as the candle flame turns blue
rise high the spires of power
come out and play laughter bids 
 
Enchantress let her spells be cast
souls all rise for moonlit dance
looking deep into the distant past
come out and play laughter bids
 
Haunted this castle may still stand
from the walls eyes always watching
a skeleton against the dead land
come out and play laughter bids.

Eloko

The Eloko is a man-eating dwarf of the Nkundo who lives in the hallow trees in the dense rain forest of central Zaire. The Eloko is hairless but covered in a coat of grass that grows over his face and body. His clothing is made of leaves and he has eyes like fire, as well as snouts, clawed fingers and although very small, thier jaws can open wide enough to consume an entire human being.

Thier remarkable power is in thier music. The Eloko bewitches its victims by rigning tiny magical bells while walking camoulfaulged through the forest.

The bell is also associated with the god of death. The Eloko may have originated as one of his retinue.

Matthew Hopkins, the Witch-Finder General of Essex

 

In 1644, Matthew Hopkins began his successful career as the self-styled Witch-Finder General by questioning old one-legged Elizabeth Clarke of Manningtree. By the time he had finished with her, thirty-one others had been accomplices to witchcraft.

English witches were not burned at the stake or tortured in the popular continental manner. Death at the stake was a fate reserved for traitors and heretics, and under the Witchcraft Act of 1563, death by hanging was reserved for those found guilty of murder by sorcery. Despite these setbacks, Hopkins managed to have between 200 and 400 people executed. In Suffolk alone, Hopkins had 68 people executed.

Hopkins’ primary means of inducing confessions included tortures which shed no blood. His primary “torture” was sleep deprivation. In one instance, John Lowe, 70-year-old vicar of Brandeston, was “swum in the moat,” kept awake for three days and nights, and then forced to walk without rest until his feet were blistered. Denied benefit of clergy, Lowe recited his own burial service on the way to the gallows.

Being the witch-finder general was financially lucrative. In a time when daily wages were as little as 2.5 pence, Hopkins was raking in £15 to £23 per town cleansed of witches. Hopkins dressed fashionably in Puritan tunic and cloak, and was able to employ two assistants to help him with his work in East Anglia.

Hopkins’ specialization seems to have been extracting confessions of witchcraft from elderly women with pets. “Faith Mills, of Fressingham, Suffolk, admitted that her three pet birds, Tom, Robert, and John, were in reality familiars who had wrought havoc by magically making a cow jump over a sty and breaking a cart. She was hanged.”

Not above using trickery to prove guilt, Hopkins employed such witch-finding tools as the spring-loaded knife. Since witch spots did not bleed when pricked, Hopkins would stab at such marks with a retractable blade. The victim would be left without a mark–clear proof of sorcery.

Eventually, opposition to Hopkins’ bloody persecutions grew. In 1646, Puritan minister Reverend John Gaule of Great Staughton, wrote a pamphlet called Select Cases of Conscience towards Witches and Witchcraft, an exposé of Hopkins’ methods. Gaule also preached against Hopkins’ brutality from the pulpit, and hinted that Hopkins himself was a witch.

In retaliation, Hopkins published his own pamphlet entitled The Discovery of Witchcraft. Nonetheless, the tide had begun to turn against him. Two accounts exist of Hopkins’ demise: one, that he was himself accused of witchcraft and hanged, and two, that he died in his bed of tuberculosis.

Evolved

I am taking a break from my usual topics to make a speical announcement.

 I have been published.

This is my book Evolved.  It is a sci-fi/aventure story novella.

It is the adventurous story of a pair of twins, Alleandra and Jay, who have been living within the safety of the Dome all their lives, ever since terrible disease has wiped out the majority of the population. The world outside the Dome has long been feared and believed to still hold traces of the deadly disease, but the restless Jay and dedicated Alleandra venture outside of the Dome into the unknown and undiscovered wilds. Having no idea what to expect, they face unimaginable dangers and must rely on each other’s strength to survive. Together they will uncover a remarkable and shocking secret.

It was released January 21 and is avilbale at.

www.amazon.com

www.barnsandnoble.com

www.bordersstores.com

Just type in my name Amberly Mason, in the keyword search, and the book will come right up.

Joseph Glanvill, King’s Chaplain

Joseph Glanvill (1636-1680) pointed out the dangers of witchcraft in Sadducismus triumphatus (1681). He was groundbreaking on psychics and mediumship and, because he was the king’s chaplain and a captivating storyteller, he was very influential.

Protestantism looked askance at relics and miracles of saints and papist practices. The Reformation announced that all before had been superstition, that the age of miracles was long over. Where, then, to find evidence of the supernatural? In witchcraft and demonology. Joseph Glanvill set out as a member of The Royal Society to convince the scientists of the reality of the Other World, “to regain a parcel of Ground which bold Infidelity hath invaded.” “Those who dare not say,” he wrote in what came to be known as Sadducismus triumphatus, “There is no GOD, content themselves (for a fair step and Introduction) to deny that there are Spirits and Witches.” Thus once again heresy and magic were connected and the enemies of society becamse the enemies of God Almighty. Convinced that The Devil and his “Dark Kingdom” would triumph if no one believed what The Enemy of Mankind was up to, Glanvill undertook to present arguments from both scripture and reason and to catch and convince with a “choice collection of modern relations.” He offered these stories as proof that The Devil was alive and active even in an Age of Reason.

Glanvill’s aim was to give Protestants not only a sense of sin but a sense of the spiritual through an emphasis on the supernatural. After all, the Bible was the cornerstone of the Protestant religion, and did not scriptures as well as tradition demand a belief in the supernatural, in The Devil and all his works and pomps?

Soberly Glanvill undertook to answer half a dozen objections to the existence of witchs: “that the notion of ‘spirit’ is itself an absurdity,” “that the actions attributed to Witches are absurd or impossible,” “that ’tis very improbable that the Devil…should be at the beck [and call] of a poor Hag,” that to believe the stories of children victimized is “to accuse Providence” of not protecting innocence, that though the reasonable man must “scorn the ordinary tales of Prodigies” the appearances of angels (especially bad angels) are undeniable and not uncommon, that there can be diaolical as well as divine miracles.

He coined the phrase “the climate of opinion.” If the climate of opinion in his time was turning from God as it turned toward science, he was going to turn it back, even at the cost of launching a crusade against The Devil in which many of his fellow Britons would die.

In a time when science threatened faith, not unlike the nineteenth century (when Darwin elaborated Glanvill’s recognition that things in nature evolve gradually), this divine was anxious that man not lose sight of the supernatural as he strove to understand and control the natural world.

Son of God or Ancient Magician

 I do believe that it is very possible that there was in fact at one point in time a man whom walked the earth known as Jesus, but does that make him truly the Son of God? He could very well have been an historical figure but most the alleged evidence of his divinity suggests that he may just very well have been a powerful magician of the day.
I have made a brief mention of this before, but I am going to go into it in a bit more detail now. All the alleged miracles that are said to be proof of his divine heritage are in fact common tasks that any magician living at that time was believed to have the ability to perform.
I will start with perhaps one of the biggest, and what might seem at first one of the hardest pieces of evidence to get around, and that is the concept around his miraculous birth. There is in fact a chance, that his so called miraculous birth might have been the result of a misinterpretation. We all know that the Bible was changed, altered and edited through the years while it was passed down from hand to hand.
Now I know I have heard this on the History channel once, but it was a long time ago, and I will be honest and say I do not clearly recall all the exact details, but I do know that it was one of these two things:
The original words for virgin in Hebrew, back in that time period did not have the same meaning as the word does for us today, and as it came to be understood in later years. But in fact the Hebrew word for virgin as it was written in the original Bible before all the translations and changes which were made, was simply another word for maiden.
That is to say, it did not originally, specially mean a woman whom had not had sex, but merely referred to a young woman.
It was either that, or many different languages often use the same words to mean two different things, or will have the same spelling of two different words, and it is how the word is said, and where the emphasis is placed that make the difference, so it could be that the word for virgin, and the word for maiden in Hebrew appeared to be the same word and so one could easily misinterpret or mistranslate. So it might if only meant to say that Mary was a young woman, but because of the similarity of the words, it was implied to mean that she was a woman whom had not engaged in a sexual act. 
As well within the Bible it does not actually specify that Mary had never engaged in sex. It states she had not made sins of the flesh. Though they may sound the same, the difference is that Marry was a married woman, and so if she had engaged in the act of sex with her husband, it would not have been looked on as a sin, but as her wifely duty.
Now for the actual acts the Jesus had committed, and once more I am sorry for repeating myself a little bit here but sense many of my topics overlap, it is sometimes necessary to restate things. All of the so called miracles: Healing the sick, making wine of water, walking on water. Were all in fact to be abilities that magicians whom lived in that time period were said to be able to perform. Indeed there have been others whom were said to have accomplished the very same feats that Jesus has been said to commit.
Also any references Jesus made of himself as the Son of God would not be uncommon for the magicians of the day. They often thought of themselves as being a part of the divine and most of their initiation rites included rituals which made them one with a chosen deity. So in a symbolic way, the magicians of the old could easily view themselves as being the sons of the God whom they pledged themselves to.
Now last but not least is the claim of the resurrection of Jesus. Even this could in a way be justified and explained. There was a known ritual of magicians in which they would perform a reenactment of being dead, and then reborn again by the grace of the God they serve.

Nicholas Eymeric, Papal Inquisitor of Aragon

 

Papal Inquisitor Nicholas Eymeric (1320-1399) was instrumental in the relaxation of torture regulations, circumventing “the prohibition of repetition by allowing its continuation at a later time.” A Catalan Dominican, in 1376 Eymeric wrote an inquisitorial manual called Directorium Inquisitorium. This work read like a scholastic disputation, and was a forerunner of the Malleus Maleficarum.

In Directorium Inquisitorium, he pointed out three types of witchcraft:

  1. “The witchcraft of those who practise Devil-worship, making sacrifices, prostrating themselves, singing prayers, lighting candles and burning incense, etc.”
  2. “The witchcraft of those who merely respect the devils and mention them in litanies along with the saints, asking for their intercession with God.”
  3. “The witchcraft of those who summon up devils by tracing magical signs, by placing a child in the middle of a circle, by using a sword or a mirror.”

Eymeric firmly believed that all forms of demon conjuration and Satanic pacts were to be condemned. Before this, it had been popularly believed that even saints would occasionally sign pacts with demons and devils for the greater good of humanity. St. Theophilus signed one such contract with the Devil and gained magical powers as a result.

The Werewolves of Ossory

 

Of the Prodigies of our Times, and First of a Wolf Which Conversed With a Priest

By Giraldus Cambrensis (1187).

I now proceed to relate some wonderful occurrences which have happened within our time. About three years before the arrival of Earl John in Ireland, it chanced that a priest, who was journeying from Ulster towards Meath, was benighted in a certain wood on the borders of Meath. While, in company with only a young lad, he was watching by a fire which he had kindled under the branches of a spreading tree, lo! a wolf came up to them, and immediately addressed them to this effect: “Rest secure, and be not afraid, for there is no reason you should fear, where no fear is!” The travellers being struck with astonishment and alarm, the wolf added some orthodox words referring to God. The priest then implored him, and adjured him by Almighty God and faith in the Trinity, not to hurt them, but to inform them what creature it was that in the shape of a beast uttered human words. The wolf, after giving catholic replies to all questions, added at last, “There are two of us, a man and a woman, natives of Ossory, who, through the curse of one Natalis, saint and abbot, are compelled every seven years to put off the human form, we assume that of wolves. At the end of the seven years, if they chance to survive, two others being substituted in their places, they return to their country and their former shape. And now, she who is my partner in this visitation lies dangerously sick not inspired by divine charity, to give her the consolations of your priestly office.”

At this word the priest followed the wolf trembling, as he led the way to a tree at no great distance, in the hollow of which he beheld a she-wolf, who under that shape was pouring forth human sighs and groans. On seeing the priest, having saluted him with human courtesy, she gave thanks to God, who in this extremity had vouchsafed to visit her with such consolation. She then received from the priest all the rites of the church duly performed, as far as the last communion. This also she importunately demanded, earnestly supplicating him to complete his good offices by giving her the viaticum. The priest stoutly asserted that he was not provided with it, the he-wolf, who had withdrawn to a short distance, came back and pointed out a small missal-book, containing some consecrated wafers, which the priest carried on his journey, suspended from his neck, under his garment, after the fashion of the country. He then intreated him not to deny them the gift of God, and the aid destined for them by Divine Providence, and, to remove all doubt, using his claw for a hand, he tore off the skin of the she-wolf, from the head down to the navel, folding it back. Thus she immediately presented the form of an old woman. The priest, seeing this, and compelled by his fear more than his reason, gave the communion, the recipient having earnestly implored it, and devoutly partaking of it. Immediately afterwards, the he-wolf rolled back the skin, and fitted it to its original form.

These rites having been duly, rather than rightly, performed, the he-wolf gave them his company during the whole night at their little fire, behaving more like a man than a beast. When morning came, he led them out of the wood, and, leaving the priest to pursue his jouney, pointed out to him the direct road for a long distance. At his departure, he also gave him many thanks for the benefit he had conferred, promising him still greater returns of gratitude, if the Lord should call him back from his present exile, two parts of which he had already completed. At the close of their conversation, the priest inquired of the wolf whether the hostile race which had now landed in the island would continue there for the time to come, and be long established in it. To which the wolf replied:–”For the sins of our nation, and their enormous vices, the anger of the Lord, falling on an evil generation, hath given them into the hands of their enemies. Therefore, as long as this foreign race shall keep the commandments of the Lord, and walk in his ways, it will be secure and invincible, but if, as the downward path to illicit pleasures is easy, and nature is prone to follow vicious examples, this people shall chance, from living among us, to adopt our depraved habits, doubtless they will provoke the divine vengeance on themselves also.”

*Image info: Brooks Nathan, Metamorphosen, 1849

Witch-Hunter of Baden-Baden

A zealous witch eradicator, Dr. Matern Eschbach was one of the most important councillors of Baden-Baden in the early to mid-1600s. From September 16, 1627 to October 3, 1628, he ferreted out witches in the town of Baden. After building a reputation as a witch hunter,

he was called repeatedly, from October 3, 1628, through April 10, 1631, to the towns of B?d Steinbach as well as Baden, where he conducted examinations, advised on the amount of torture to apply, and heard ratifications of confessions (Besiebnungen). During this time, Eschbach and his colleagues established a fierce reputation as unrelenting tortureres and left a trail of some 200 reports by which we can at least gauge their activity.

In 1628, for example, Eschbach found 33 witches in Steinbach, nine of whom were men. One was even the Margrave’s appointed supervisor (Stabhalter), Hans Heinz, in Steinbach, a man who became suspect after his mother and sisters were executed as witches. One can only speculate whether political or religious motives also played a part in the elimination of this government official. In addition, hundreds of denunciations were registered, the inevitable result of asking suspects under torture to name all persons they had seen at the witches’ dance.

In B? short distance from Steinbach, Eschbach was even more successful. There during 1628 and 1629 he found at least 70 persons guilty of witchcraft, including the wife of a member of the B?strict court. Twenty-three of the total executed, or one-third, were men. Denunciations during these trials implicated the local supervisor, the scribe’s wife, the Spitalmeister in Baden (director of the city hospital, which usually served as a geriatric nursing home as well), the church superintendent of Baden, and other honored persons. The trials were noteworthy for bringing denunciations of children by their own parents, and of parents by their children, thus heralding the last phase of massive witch hunts in which children were common participants.

For the town of Baden itself, where Eschbach started, our secondary sources become unaccountably vague. By computation, however, it would seem that Baden tried 97 persons between 1627 and 1630 and executed some 90 of them. Baden was the only town of the three to conduct torture in such a way that at least six could withstand the repeated pain. Even so, an overall average of 3 per cent acquitted must be a near record for efficiency or brutality.