My intention, a few years back, was to test potential French collaborators on various projects by giving them an assignment that would be tough.
Having proven beyond any real doubt just what The Beast of Gevaudan and what the Girt Dog of Ennerdale had been, I tried long and hard to identify or even get additional information on a French case of 1800. If an investigator could come up with more than a non-French speaking/reading English idiot could then I'd assume he was acceptable.
With a little extra, here is the account as given in Some More Things Strange & Sinister.
Believe me, I have spent five years trying to find out more about this report . I have scoured as many of the newspaper titles as I can from the United Kingdom at that time. However, in the early days news was received in letter form from Englishmen or travellers abroad –everything from food shortages, crime and much more.
It may well be that some other newspaper also published a piece on this but it is more than likely only one did!
This is where French researchers who know the newspaper/local record system can help.
“A Letter from Nantes,dated July 19,says,
“Yesterday evening about eight o’clock,a wild
beast devoured two girls,one about twelve,and
the other seven years of age,the daughters of a
farmer in the Commune of Chevroliere. The
animal immediately after took shelter in the fo-
rest of Faudiere. It appeared to be larger than
a wolf,had a snout about a foot long,and a very
formidable set of teeth.”
Of course,folk,especially those living in the country,knew what a wolf looked like. And certainly no wolf would devour [not wholly I assume] two children even if small and young –running off with a body would be more like it.
So,if not a wolf, just what was The Beast Of Faudiere?
Certainly there were a lot of "Beast of---" back in those days -and there still are! But the Beast of Benais has been covered well by John Knifton:
But the beast of Faudiere....maybe one day!
1. The Caledonian Mercury,2nd August,1800
2. Some More Things Strange & Sinister http://www.lulu.com/shop/terry-hooper-scharf/some-more-things-strange-sinister/paperback/product-18763730.html