Fireside Chats: The Beast of Gevaudan
People during the Black Death and during other outbreaks of plague tended to attribute the disease to God, painting a pretty lousy picture of the Almighty. There are idiots—sorry, during this time of strained nerves, I’m not pulling any punches—right now who are arguing that coronavirus was sent by God to punish us. Well, they may get off on the idea of a sadistic god before whom they can grovel and accept their just punishment for existing in the first place, but I don’t believe that such a deity exists.
Anyway, during the reign of terror of the Beast of Gevaudan, people also attributed *it* to the wrath of God. Priests in pulpits assured congregations that, because of their sins, they deserved the predations of the Beast. (I wonder if those priests ever questioned if they too deserved a visit from the Beast?) God did not send the Beast, no. But somebody might have.
Looking at a map where the attacks are recorded, some of them are too perfectly spaced, laid out in straight lines, to have occurred naturally. At least the odds are much against it. This would suggest that someone, some human, was in control of the Beast, and was releasing it at specific times and locations. This scenario was explored in the film THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF. If true, it could explain why eyewitness accounts of the Beast were sometimes so at variance. One account seems to clearly describe a lion; another is a near-perfect description of a hyena. Might a person, or persons, have had control of more than one kind of exotic animal, an animal the poor peasantry of France would have never seen or heard of, and might these animals have collectively been the Beast of legend?
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!