Throughout history, mankind has shown an ability to allow the darker side of the mind to take control, whether it be in awe or fear, and thus causing unspeakable acts to be committed both in the name of justice and in lawlessness. In the early 1500’s in France, one such case occurred in which a man named Pierre Burgot was out one evening gathering his sheep before a storm.
Burgot claimed (in 1521 at his trial) that on one fateful night, three men in black accosted him. They demanded Burgot denounce God and all things Holy. In agreement, the men would grant Burgot riches and guarantee the safety of his lost flock. Burgot reluctantly agreed, but after a while began to regret his decision. It was at that time Burgot met Michel Verdun; a meeting that would forever change his fate.
Verdun convinced Burgot to accompany him to a meeting of supposed warlocks. During their rendezvous, the two stripped down naked and applied a salve over their bodies.
Soon after, Burgot claimed he and Verdun grew beast-like fur over their bodies, and that their hands and feet became clawed. The pair became werewolves and together went on a murderous rampage that gripped the French countryside of Besancon in terror. Legend has it some of the children they abducted were never found; their young corpses assumed to have been consumed by the evil duo.
After the two alleged werewolves had been found guilty (which was easy, since they confessed to the crimes), they were burned alive on stakes. Their fate wasn’t unexpected since their terrible crimes occurred amidst the notorious inquisitions and witch trials. Perhaps the evils perpetrated by these two men helped fuel the persecution of the innocent.
The question remains, however, as to whether or not the tale of the Burgot and Verdun werewolves was real. Some suspect their salve was a high-grade hallucinogen, which made them kill under the notion they were werewolves, while others hold onto the idea that these two deviants were Lycanthropes put to death by the church.