17th Century: Werewolf on Trial


Sennertus [Daniel Sennert, 1572–1637], on the authority of a respectable man, informs us that a certain woman was apprehended on the suspicion that she was a werewolf; which she also acknowledged. The magistrate promised to spare her life, provided she would shew him how she effected her transformation, which she promised to do, provided that he would send to her house for a certain pot of ointment. On its being brought to her she anointed her head, neck, shoulders, and other members with it, and immediately fell down before him in a profound slumber, which lasted three hours. On her awaking, she was asked where she had been in the interval, and what had kept her so long. She replied that she had taken the form of a wolf, and had proceeded to a neighbouring town where she had first torn a sheep and afterwards a cow. The magistrate, by way of ascertaining the truth of her statement, sent thither to inquire, when he found that this precise damage had actually been done.

Major P. I. Begbie, Supernatural Illusions (London, T. C. Newby, 1851)

Image: Frans Snyders (Flemish, 1579-1657) (attributed to): “The Wolf” (after Rubens’ Whitehall Ceiling, London) (date unknown) (source)

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