“The Damnable Life and Death of Stubbe Peeter” – A True Story? Edit
There are many folktales about werewolves and some of these folktales and werewolf beliefs date as far back in the 15th century. Similar to how witches were thought to be real, so were werewolves. There are many documentations of stories telling of werewolf killings, and one of the most popular werewolf story found is that of Peter Stubbe, “The Damnable Life and Death of Stubbe Peeter”, by George Bores.
The story of the “The Damnable Life and Death of Stubbe Peeter”, is about a farmer in the 16th century who since he was young was persuaded by evil and practiced dark magic. The devil himself recognized the evil that Peteer had and they created a pact, which led to the devil giving him a girdle with wolf skin. This girdle gave him the abilities to shape shift to a werewolf, and Peteer would wear the belt during the night and rape and murder young women and children and even murder livestock. With the belt off, he would be in human form and no one would expect that it was him that created the murders. It is not till the people started hunting for this werewolf, where the hunters followed the werewolf to Peteer Stubbe’s home and instead of finding a werewolf form they found Peteer as a human. The hunters than arrested him and he then soon confessed to the murders and stated that he was given a belt from the devil that gave him the abilities. He then was tortured horrifically, laying his body on a wheel and breaking his bones, and burning his skin off. The town then created a remembrance of the horrific time, and to remind everyone else who lives the way of evil and to show that good will conquer that evil.
The Truth: Edit
Witches and werewolves were thought to be a true thing during this time. No one will ever truly know what happened in this story. We do know that there were documentation of a serial killer named Peter Stubbe and he did actually claim of having the abilities of a werewolf, though there is no real evidence. He was later considered the werewolf of Bedburg. Peter Stubbe’s story can be considered just another story which has been since then tainted with folktales of werewolves. Even though many of us won’t believe that he was truly a werewolf, there are theories of what happened. One theory is that he was serial killer that had mental illness and had clinical lycanthropy. Another theory is that this story is a political trial because this was the time of when the Protestants were defeated. People who were thought to be witches were captured and killed and the same thing would happen to people who were thought to be werewolves. There is truth in Peter Stubbe’s story though, but the complete truth we may never know.
Ashliman, D.L, ed. "The Werewolf's Daughter.", 2000.
Bores, George. "The Damnable Life and Death of Stubbe Peeter." London Chapbook of 1590.