Peter Stumpp the Werewolf of Bedburg

Peter Stumpp (Peter Stube, Pe(e)ter Stubbe, Peter St├╝bbe or Peter Stumpf) was a Rhenish farmer, accused of being a serial killer and a cannibal, also known as the "Werewolf of Bedburg". In 1589, Stumpp had one of the most lurid and famous werewolf trials in history. After being stretched on the rack, he confessed to having practiced black magic since he was twelve years old. He claimed that the Devil had given him a magical belt, which enabled him to metamorphose into "the likeness of a greedy, devouring wolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body, and mighty paws." Removing his belt, he said, made him transform back to his human form.

Whilst in wolf form, he is said to have gorged on the flesh of goats, lambs, and sheep, as well as men, women, and children. Being threatened with torture he confessed to killing and eating fourteen children, two pregnant women, whose fetuses he ripped from their wombs and “ate their hearts panting hot and raw,” which he later described as “dainty morsels.” 


The execution of Stumpp, on October 31, 1589, and of his daughter and mistress is one of the most brutal on record: He was put to a wheel, where "flesh was torn from his body", in ten places, with red-hot pincers, followed by his arms and legs. Then his limbs were broken with the blunt side of an axehead to prevent him from returning from the grave, before he was beheaded and burned on a pyre. His daughter and mistress had already been flayed and strangled and were burned along with Stumpp's body. As a warning against similar behavior, local authorities erected a pole with the torture wheel and the figure of a wolf on it, and at the very top they placed Peter Stumpp's severed head.

After the executions, a real wolf’s body was hung in public, his head replaced with Stubbe’s head as a warning to anyone else contemplating lycanthropy. It is unknown how many, if any crimes Stumpp had actually committed, though there is suspcion he was simply framed by local, jealous villagers.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Stumpp



Written By Tripzibit on Jan 8, 2016 | 23:04

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