In the early summer of 1764 in the Mercoire forest, a young woman was guarding her herd of cattle during they pasture, when suddenly noticed a gruesome beast charging at her. The creature was being driven off by the bulls and they allowed the frightened woman to escape with her life. Luckily, she saved herself and later told everyone in Gevaudan that a deadly unknown beast is lurking nearby the province and warned them to beware.
In the months following the first attack, the Beast of Gevaudan continued its killing spree.
In the autumn of the same year, two hunters spotted the beast and shot it from a distance. It fell to the ground but immediately after that sprang to its feet again and escaped to a nearby wood. The creature seemed immortal, like sent from hell.
The next month hunting parties were organized by a captain Duhamel. He and all the peasants couldn't live in numb fear anymore. But the creature escaped every time when the 57 soldiers appear to have it cornered. The organized army even went as far as to dress some of the men like women to lure the beast out of hiding. But captain Duhamel's traps proved soon useless. The Beast of Gevaudan was smarter and more cunning than the people who wanted to kill it.
In February of 1765, a Norman hunter named Denneval began tracking the beast with six of his bloodhounds. He was soon joined by Jacques Denis, a son of a local farmer who was eager to kill the monster because of his hijacked and killed younger sister.
The dogs lead Denneval straight to the creature, he attacked it violently with his bayonet, seemingly unfazed by Jacques' attacks the beast leaped at the young man. After the attacks on his friend, the Norman hunter gave up his hunt for the beast. It won again.
Not long after Denneval's departure, the beast went on a rampage. At a local market, it killed this time a teenage boy and a 45-year old woman. Now, more than ever, the whole region of south central France has lived under great terror and under the shadow of a painful beastly death.
. . .
Jean Chastel, an acquaintance of Jacques Denis, joined another organized hunt. He brought his gun loaded with blessed silver bullets. There were rumors that the creature is unbeatable and so strong because acquires werewolf-like features. Chastel, who was known in Gevaudan as an outsider, positioned himself in a prime location, opened his prayer book and waited for the beast to show:
-I beg you, Lord, give me strength to kill the beast, protect me and all the people in the region, save us from the deadly creature....
That were some of his thoughts, when a sudden rustling at the edge of the woods were heard. The creature emerged from a tree, just a few yards away from Jean Chastel. He stopped and looked at it. Chastel raised the gun and fired two silver bullets. The beast from hell died instantly. It happened on June, 19th, 1767.
This year, for the first time in three years, the people of Gevaudan could spend the rest of the year peacefully. But Jean Chastel was pronounced a hero.