Who is Jean Grenier?

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Jean Grenier was a boy living in Gascony in south-west France.  In the early 1600′s a number of children disappeared, including a baby stolen from its cradle.  The people of the area blamed wolves for the disappearances.  One young girl managed to survive an attack from what she claimed was a wild beast.  Later the boy Jean Grenier (about thirteen years old) claimed that it was he who had attacked this girl.  He also claimed to have already eaten several children.

Jean Grenier claimed to be the bastard child of a priest, and that he had a ‘wolf’s skin’ which when he wore turned him into a werewolf of sorts.   Grenier also claimed there were nine other werewolves in his coven who would hunt during twilight.  The boy also claimed to have killed many dogs, drinking their blood.  In 1603 Grenier was brought to court where he freely confessed to committing hideous crimes in the guise of a wolf.

Grenier’s story in court explained that he had run away from an abusive father and met another youth, Pierre de la Tilhaire, who took Grenier into the depths of the forest to meet the lord of the forest.  Grenier described this lord as a tall dark man dressed all in black.   Grenier gave himself to this man, becoming his bond-slave.  This was the man that gave Grenier his wolf skin which he donned when hunting young children.  The children that survived Grenier’s attacks confirmed the confessions he made.  The court deemed Grenier mentally ill claiming he suffered from lycanthropy brought on by demon possession.

Years later Grenier was described as a lean gaunt man, with small deep-set black eyes, long sharp teeth, and hands like claws.  He even seemed to be more agile on all fours than on just two legs.

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