Few cases of lycanthropy are so intertwined with witchcraft as that of Pierre Bourgot and his accomplice Michel Verdung. The case was heard by the Inquisitor General for the diocese of Besancon, where the two men were on trial for witchcraft and cannibalism. It wasn’t long before Bourget offered a full confession that was terrifying in its details. He admitted to killing and eating parts of a number of victims, including children, whose flesh he found to be delicious. All of his statements were corroborated by Verdung.
Bourget claimed that, around 1502, there had been a terrible storm which had served to scatter his flock of sheep, his only livelihood. He was desperately searching for them, enlisting the aid of other peasants, when three black horsemen rode up and asked him what the matter was. On describing his misfortunes, one of the strangers promised that Bourget’s flock would be under the protection of his master if he pledged to serve him. He did so, after finding out that the master in question was the Devil, renouncing all tenets of Christianity. He remained in this service for two years, enjoying the success of his flock, until he started to tire and eventually went back to church.
It was at this point that Michel Verdung entered the picture and tempted him back to his previous practices with promises of money. They went into the woods and ostensibly met up with a coven, where Bourget had a salve applied to his naked body. It was his belief that he then transformed into a wolf. Re-application of the salve resulted into a return to his human form, no worse for wear. It was in the form of a wolf that Bourget claimed he and Verdung stalked human prey and cannibalized them, although he did kill at least one girl while in human form.
As a result of his confession, Bourgot was convicted and sentenced for execution.