Wednesday 22 July 2020

The legend of the Loup-Garou or Canadian Werewolf.

Loup-Garou, the werewolf, is found in French Canadian folklore .The Loup-Garou is not always a wolf or dog, but may also take the form of a calf, a pig, a cat or even an owl.
In 1767  a terrible creature was reported as stalking through the streets of New France. The Gazette de Québec published an article saying  that a werewolf , a Loup Garou, was in the area. This was not the werewolf we normally associate with changing on the full moon.These creatures had to transform every night for101 nights. If a Loup-Garou attacks you, the advice is to throw rocks at it or stab it with a knife because if you manage to draw blood, the curse will be broken and the monster will revert to its human form.
The loup-garou  had apparently been stalking the area for years. The Gazette’s first report had been published in June, the werewolf had been seen outside the walls of Quebec City. It was  disguised as a beggar, to confuse its prey. The most recent sighting suggested the creature was heading in the direction of Montreal. The newspaper warned its readers to be careful. “It is recommended to the Public to be as cautious of him as it would be of a ravenous Wolf.”
The Gazette reported that  the people of New France organised to fight the Loup Garou in the autumn  of 1767. In October, they set their dogs upon the werewolf over and over again, seriously injuring the “monster.” On November 3, the newspaper reported that “he received such a furious Blow… that it was thought they were entirely delivered from this fatal Animal… as it soon Time after retired to its Hole, to the great Satisfaction of the Public.”
A few weeks later, the Loup Garou was back. In early December, the Gazette reported, “This Beast is not entirely destroyed, but begins again to show itself more furious than ever and makes terrible [havoc] wherever he goes.” The paper gave a chilling warning: “Beware then of the Wiles of this malicious Beast, and take good Care of falling into its Claws.”

From The Quebec Gazette, July 14, 1766 and December 10, 1767.
“One learns of Saint-Roch, near Cape Mouraska (Kamouraska) there is a werewolf running coasts as a beggar, who, with the talent to persuade it ignores and promising what he can not keep, was the one to get what he wants. It is said that this animal, with the help of his two hind feet, arrived at Quebec on the 17th and last he returned the next 18, intending to follow his mission till Montreal. This beast is said to be in its kind as dangerous as the one that appeared last year in the Gévauclan *, which is why we urge the public to be wary as a ravening wolf.

Kamouraska, December 2, we learn that a werewolf , traveling the province for several years, and did a lot of damage in the district of Quebec, received considerable number of attacks last October by various animals that had been armed and unleashed against the monster, and in particular the three following November, he received a furious blow with a small lean animal, which is believed to be fully delivered from this fatal animal, as he remained some time retired to his den, to the great satisfaction of the public.”

 After this it seems to have disappeared. Perhaps transformed back to a human? It was thought that the werewolf story or perhaps the Loup-Garou itself arrived on the ships with the early French settlers. It could, of course, have simply been a wolf .What do you think?

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