Saturday, January 23, 2010
A true discourse Declaring the damnable life and death of one Stubbe Peeter, 1590
The full title: A true discourse. Declaring the damnable life and death of one Stubbe Peeter, a most wicked sorcerer who in the likenes of a woolfe, committed many murders, continuing this diuelish practise 25. yeeres, killing and deuouring men, woomen, and children. Who for the same fact was taken and executed the 31. of October last past in the towne of Bedbur neer the cittie of Collin in Germany.
Werewolves were a huge social problem in 16th century Europe. They were everywhere! Germany seemed to be especially afflicted. Apparently, this fellow Peter Stubbe, "careles of saluation, gaue both soule and body to the deuil for euer." Problem was he didn't really want riches or fame. He was a total asshole/serial killer to start with, and he only asked the Devil to make it so that he might "woork his mallice on men, Women, and children, in the shape of some beast, wherby he might liue without dread or danger of life." Long story short, SHABLAM! WEREWOLF! Dude started killing everybody, and "oftentimes the Inhabitants found the Armes & legges of dead Men, Women, and Children, scattered vp and down the feelds." It was the worst.
Anyway, some folks finally see Peter Stubbe and arrest him for suspicious werewolfy-type stuff. Then they tortured him on the rack and surprise surprise! He confessed everything! Werewolves absolutely hate torture, but then the townsfolk killed him (and his daughter and the town gossip, whom he implicated) in a fairly torturous fashion anyway. One point for God. P.S., if you'd like to read more about this fairly famous case, I recommend this article from Early Modern Whale. It's pretty interesting.
Can you honestly say you're "Team Jacob" now? I didn't think so.
(By the way, in the vein of Pride and Predjudice and Zombies, which I read and really liked, I think that Wuthering Heights and Werewolves is an obvious next step. Heathcliff is basically already a werewolf anyway. Someone get on it!)