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Angéle de la Barthe (1230-1275) was SUPPOSEDLY the first person to be put to death for heretical sorcery- however- only recently, it has been discovered that everything about this woman was fabricated (mmm… maybe.)

The story says that she was a noblewoman living in Toulouse, France and was accused by Inquisitor Hugues de Beniols for having sex with the devil and giving birth to a monster with a wolf’s head and serpent’s tail. This monster ate babies (slaughtered by Angéle or dug up from graves). She confessed to all of it (claiming her baby-eating monster flew away in the night to avoid capture) and was burned alive in Toulouse.

Researches have questioned the entire story due to the fact that A. There is no mention of the trial in court records and B. Having relations with the devil was not yet a crime. uh… ok.

The real story is probably somewhere in the middle- I’m guessing Angéle was a bit of an outcast, or maybe extremely outspoken. She was most likely tried by the townspeople taking matters into their own hands during some sort of turmoil (bad crops, disease, political upheaval, religious strife). Pair that with a masochistic Catholic priest who sought to make a name for himself – and voila- the execution of poor Angéle.

Mon dieu!