bête du gévaudan sculpture.Sculpture of the Beast of Gévaudan.
©Sculpture of the Beast of Gévaudan.|Sandy Berthomieu - Lozère Tourisme

The legend of the Beast of Gévaudan

An untold story

It’s the middle of the 18th century, and tragedy has struck in Gévaudan, the ancient French province at the beginning of the Aubrac plateau.

All about the legend

de la BêteduGévaudan

Numerous villages were attacked, and entire families of cowherds and shepherds succumbed to the attacks of this “divine scourge”, as it was described in the Mandement of the Bishop of Mende. At first, only a few people died, but within a few years between 80 and 130 people were reported killed…

But who could be responsible for these murders?

A serial killer? An animal?

At the time of the incident, between 1764 and 1767, numerous eyewitness accounts were gathered. At the time, up to 20,000 wolves could be counted throughout the kingdom.

Some escaped unharmed, while others lost their lives, mostly children due to their vulnerability.

The Beast of Gévaudan

A high-profile case

The news spread rapidly in France and abroad. As a result, the King of France was mocked, and Louis XV sent his men to silence them. During this period, many wolves were slaughtered, some of them very large, and one of them became known as “La bête du Gévaudan“. But the attacks stopped for a few months and then started up again, the story no longer interested the gazettes, so the legend was silenced.

The culprit was never found and the investigation remains unsolved.

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Legend or reality?
What does it look like?

the beast

du Gévaudan?

A statue of him can be found in the village of Marvejols.