Witch Hunting in Berrichonne

Posted on October 17, 2009

Berry, is an historical province in France. Having been the capital of Bourges. The inhabitants are known as Berrichonne. This region has a very rich history of witches, dating from 1450 – 1700. These traditions of “evil practices”, shift-shaping and the foulest forms of magic were there can be no doubt were being practiced extensively throughout the countryside at that era. Three notorious witches being, la Cr�ancier, la Ducatel, la Loysel and a warlock named Picault.

In Berry the practice of witchcraft in the middle ages was subsient to small isolated villages. The country people are very superstitious. They have strange creatures called “brittes”, or a dangerous pack of wolves that poison the cattle. “Brittes” wore wild boar skins or wolves skins on their shoulders, and they haunt the countryside; There is a head “wolf” who commands the pack and they dance in the light of the moon.

Witch Trial in France

Witch Trial in France

Witchcraft in France can be dated as early as 1275. An inquisition was created at this time. The trials of the inquisition led to some being banned from the area or worse yet beheadings. Trials occurred between 1275 – 1400. The majority of the early trials were of Bishops and aristocrats, who were accused of using sorcery against the King Louis X. In 1390 authorities became involved with the inquisition, bringing the cases before a court of law. Beginning during the 15th century, many accused saw the death penalty, it was reported that more than 100 women and 50 men were burned alive for being a witch. This happened between 1428 – 1450.

The inquisition was responsible for a witch-hunt that resulted from the torture of several tortured accused witches, who in turn confessed the identities of other supposed to be witches, charging them guilty. The accused were then forced to walk down the street in clothing associated with heretics, they were then burned alive. The inquisition also had a habit of tricking people into other confessions by promising that if they cooperated they would be set free.

Torture Devices

Torture Devices

Practicing medicine at this time without a permit could also put you into the category of being a witch. The case of Felix Thorel, who claimed to have been influenced by a white witch. He believed he was possessed with powers to create unexplainable occurrences and was put on trial for being a witch. After a trial his powers could not be proven, so he was allowed to go free.�����������������������������������������������

A well known trial in this area was that of Madame Desle, she was accused of being a witch. Her trial was brought upon by the inquisition. The importance of this trial proved how powerful the inquisition was. The case was built upon gossip and he said/she said. Accusations brought up by her neighbors claiming that she was the cause of their misfortune. As a result she was hung and her body burned.

Parliament was also used in witch trials, where the law was used to prove guilt. Torture was used because they believed that the spirit of a person could be seen through this method. The case of Jehenne de Brigue who was accused of using witchcraft to heal another. Jehan de Ruilly was quite ill and it was believed that he was ill because of a spell cast upon him by a lover. The accused denied being a witch, but confessed to using charms, forgetting to say the Lord’s Prayer. It took a bit of time but she finally admitted to being a witch, during her sentencing she told� authorities that she was pregnant. THIS WAS NEVER PROVEN; This is when the torture began she was fastened to a ladder where she confessed to helping to kill Ruilly with the help of his wife. Both women were bound together and burned.

So if you are in Berrichonne stop by the famous witchcraft museum located on an ancient farm dating to the XIX century. Witchcraft is part of everyday life in Berrichonne.

Written by Karen Morfu, Copyright 2009

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22 Responses to “Witch Hunting in Berrichonne”
  1. trolldoll1681 says:

    its sad to think how ignorant people were in the dark ages, guess thats why they call it the dark ages. thanks for the info! those torture devices were horrible!!!

  2. Karen M. says:


    yes it is sad that someones simple word could put an end to someones life. There still is witchcraft here today but thankfully it isn’t being persucuted as an association with the devil no more.

  3. Caretaker says:

    I thought it was a really good article. Some interesting history and trivia and well written too.

  4. Bonnie says:

    I agree with Caretaker, this story is very well written. Karen, thank you for sharing.

  5. Karen M. says:

    Thank-you Bonnie

  6. eyepriestess says:

    I only just saw this, had no idea you had written it otherwise i’d have read it sooner. It’s very good and i enjoyed reading it Karen.

  7. Karen M. says:

    Thank you darling Patsy

  8. eyepriestess says:

    You’re welcome Eddie darling ;)

  9. Bonnie says:

    You’re very welcome, karen.

  10. carla says:

    I believe in this stuff!!,..the innocent’s were alaway’s accused of witchcraft and the evil ones were the ones who got away with there stuff and yes they did laugh at those who did no wrong!!?,…….it is sad yes!!…….man…can you imagine feeling that fire up against you’re toes and then you’re face???………ouch!!!!!………that just curl’s my toes curl thinking about this!!ha,ha……………………..

  11. DarStarr says:

    Karen M.,
    What a facinating article!!! LOVED it, and it was soooo well written! You are the bomb!

  12. Karen M. says:

    Aw thank-you DarStarr!

  13. DarStarr says:

    Karen M,
    NO – Thank YOU for sharing all your wonderful stories and pictures!! Love em!!!!!!

  14. meli�a says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this interesting article Karen!! Those torture devices are horrible to the extreme! It totally must’ve sucked living during those times b/c it was always everyone else’s word against your own. Whether innocent or guilty. Tragic!

  15. Verna says:

    Oh Karen, I haven;t been on the site for a SPELL.(.little play on words there) very very interesting story you posted. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures that go along with the HORROR that went on in that era. I believe the time is coming for more of such activities, just with a modern theme to it. I feel We as Humans are in for much suppression of our thoughts & language again,& I believe it will come from the REALLY EVIL FORM of SPIRITS., & they will be walking among Us materialized as people of this time era. Keep up the good research Karen, let us hear more.

  16. Karen M. says:

    Thank- you Meli�a, I don’t know which was worse the trials in Europe or in Salem, most of the torture devices were designed in Europe.

  17. Karen M. says:


    Ha ha , your comment reminded me of wizard of oz……….thanks!

  18. carla says:

    KarenM. yea!…I understand what you are sayen there,ha,ha,…I remember that scene also,ha,ha…you’re very welcome!!………

  19. Mellisa says:

    Wow!! just look at those torture devices!! just think how many people among them who were actually innocent an not guilty but because of gossip and false accusation were tortured… very sad. maybe among them even admit they were witches just because they couldn’t stand the tortured anymore although they were not witches nor even they practiced witchcraft.
    it’s horrible how they brought the cases upon gossip and he said/she said..

  20. MANIK says:

    Then i don’t know little about witch craft THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION HONEY! ! !
    You had dropped a nuclear bomb in to my house and in to my brain! ! ! as said by DARSTARR! ! !

  21. Karen M. says:


    Yes it was a terrible era to live in thanks for your comment!


    Thank you sweetie!

  22. Caretaker says:

    It is really very sad to think about all the women and young girls who were tortured and killed over nothing. Human beings can be so cruel and heartless….

    By the way everyone, Karen also wrote this:

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