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What to See in Beast of Gévaudan Territory

It was in Gévaudan that this wild beast had established his everyday encampment…Nevertheless, this monster repeatedly made incursions into Auvergne, especially in the region of Saint-Flour, where it devoured numerous victims. And to save themselves, the parishes of Auvergne joined forceswith those of the Gévaudan… -François Fabre The isolated highlands of pre-Revolution Gévaudan and Auvergne […]

Occult Auvergne: 5 Spine-Chilling Legends

“Among the Auvergnats a host of tales and legends has grown up, including circumstantial accounts of wizard meetings on the puy de Dôme, stories of curious and unaccountable phenomena of earthquakes, each attributed to some occult power and giving rise to bloodcurdling narrations about ghosts and ghouls…” -E.C. Vansittart In his iconic Gothic novel Dracula […]

Superstitions of Auvergne: Part 2

“In Auvergne, too, you will find again the homely farms, with great hearths and cupboard-beds…the strange superstitions and beliefs; the markets, the picturesque processions and dances, the music, the songs, the stories.” -Frances M. Gostling  This is the second part of our abridged version of Antoinette Bon’s list of Auvergne superstitions: If one on his way […]

Superstitions of Auvergne: Part 1

“All nations have their omens drear,  Their legends wild of woe and fear…” -Sir Walter Scott (1808) An interesting list of Auvergnat folk traditions was collected in the nineteenth century by the French folklorist and writer Antoinette Bon.  The English version, translated by Mary Osborn, first appeared in 1890. I have abridged the list slightly, […]

A Werewolf in Auvergne: A Poem

Auvergne has a long tradition of loups-garous (werewolves). In fact, one of the most famous loup-garou legends first appeared in Discours execrable des Sorciers (1602), a book by the French magistrate Henri Boguet. In Boguet’s tale — which is set in 1588 — a man hunting near the village of Apchon (in modern-day Cantal) is trapped by a […]