The Tailor of Chalons
In the 1500s and 1600s the people of France were plagued by the fear of werewolves. There were werewolf sightings, stories, trials and even executions of those who were believed to be a werewolf. It was mass hysteria and many innocents were burned to death all because someone claimed that they were a werewolf. But not all of these condemned individuals were innocent, some of them were in fact terrible criminals. Because of werewolf hysteria, these criminals were instantly believed to be werewolves, which brings you today’s story.
In 1598 the threat of “beast-men” was big and bad and one of the most notable and widely publicized stories this year came from the town of Chalons in the Champagne region of France where a local tailor allegedly committed cannibalistic crimes. He supposedly attacked many children playing near his shop, which was located just within the town’s boundaries, taking their bodies away to the nearby forest where he reputedly ate their flesh “like a wolf.” He then took his poor victim’s bones and stored them among some chests and barrels at the back of his property. These were accidentally discovered by another, the tailor’s horrific crimes were exposed and he was dragged off to the prison in Chalons, accused of being a werewolf.
While this part of the story was largely publicized, what happens next isn’t. What became of the sick and twisted tailor is unknown, but chances are he was burned alive like others who were believed to be werewolves, but that can’t be confirmed since the directives of the court appear to have been destroyed. There is also no record that says the tailor ever really transformed into a wolf, so this could very well be a cannibal case that was turned into a werewolf one due to the fears of the time.
What do you guys think?
One of the writers for werewolves.com, as well as vampires.com.