Real Cases of Lycanthropy: Jean Grenier

Case studies of lycanthropy are not as steeped in folklore and mythology as they were in the 18th, 19th, and even in the early 20th centuries. Today, we have the science and technology, as well as the psychological skills to understand that lycanthropy is not only a highly entertaining theme in films, but also a recognized mental illness. But almost 200 years ago, in France, –which, unlike England, is saturated in werewolf legends, –there weren’t too many psychiatrists or therapists.

Jean Grenier, dubbed the ‘Werewolf of France’ by historians, was around 14 years old when he announced to his village that he had stalked, killed, and eaten children in the area. Children had been going missing in the area, so Grenier was immediately arrested. Back then, before the separation of church and state, if you committed a crime, you’d have the right to a trial, but you’d be tried and sentenced by primarily church officials. Jean Grenier was declared mentally unfit. The judges concluded that Jean Grenier had been possessed by a demon, resulting in lycanthropy. His sentence was to be sent to a monastery to live for the rest of his life.

Jean Grenier was even examined by the infamous Pierre de Lancre; the man who single-handedly initiated the Basque Witch Trials, –a witch-hunt that killed over 600 men and women in France, almost a century before the Salem witch trials took place in colonial Massachusetts. He also wrote several popular volumes of religious anti-witch guides, and witch-hunting books. After several years at the monastery, de Lancre examined Grenier, and found the boy “diminutive in stature, very shy, and unwilling to look anyone in the face. His eyes were deep set and restless; his teeth long and protruding; his nails black, and in places worn away; his mind was completely barren; he seemed unable to comprehend the smallest things..”

One of the older case studies of Grenier comes from the fictionalized accounts by Sabine Baring-Gould, who almost novelized Grenier’s ordeal. Baring-Gould embellished various different real case studies of demon possession, lycanthropy, cannibalism, and other ‘supernatural afflictions.’ Baring-Gould’s ‘The Book of Were-wolves’ goes from scientific observation, to a collection of stories about real lycanthropy cases.


  1. you fools. do not beleive this blaphsemey. i have spent my whole life knowing and understanding. i suggest you do the same as i, and do not rely on the internet for sources. i have come to this site by mistake, but i can assure you, you may be on the wrong path to such.

  2. It has come to my attention that lycanthropy is a subject for argument. Truthfully there is no argument. Lycanthropy is indeed real. Now, what is preceived from this depends on your preference. Lycanthropy is as simple as homo sapien… it simply means when broken down ” fur-wearing man”. There is a REAL disease without an actual cure where human beings are born and later become covered in fur like hair. That doesnt make them shape-shifters, murders, the damned, or cursed, and it certainly does not mean the moon has sway over them. The werewolf legend was started many many years ago, and depending on the origin you look up, you will get several different stories. Some of them influenced by actual events and some are just stories that were twisted under beliefs. Also some legends that were influenced by actual occurring events were real- Stories of drugs that manipulated people into believeing they were wolves,and ill minded or tortured beings who became feral.- So Hollywood does its share of forming different opinions and inventing supernatural occurrances, but that doesnt mean that all odd stories and unnatural events are fake.

  3. you guys are crazy because lycans and werewolfs aren’t real so why beleive some myth or legend seriously. okay ill admit it would be cool but all it is, is a fantasy so my theory is you people that think or believe you are a werewolf or lycan yur full of crap but if you are real come track me down with your ablites cuz thats the only way i would ever believe because seeing and touching is the only way id believe you guys ever EVER.

  4. biger cabezoypeludo churpias en la obcuridad e pinacate the wolff is cam for you lisen
    wen somebory sock my deck old is Clave .

  5. Lycanthropy is a mental disorder that makes people think the can and do change into animals. Psychologists have done studies and even recorded the subject during their “change” and proven that it’s all in the mind of the individual. Another thing is there is no real proof of someone changing.

  6. if there is a satan. which there is. than perhaps anything is possible through the use of black magik. so, maybe one could transform oneself to some demonic wolf form.

  7. i think every thing humans think of, is possible; so may be were wolfs do exist!!!!…….

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