Else of Meersburg was brought to trial in Lucerne in the mid-fifteenth century on the charges of weather magic and riding on wolves and dogs. She was accused of causing hailstorms over many years by throwing water from a stream and calling upon her demons, Beelzebup and Krütli. The human hand and leg on Else’s wolf steed refer to Early Modern period (c.1500-1800) witness accounts of suspected werewolves. Expert werewolf researcher, Caroline Oates provides an example: “One victim of a severe fright said that the wolf had human toes on its hind paws, while another, who later died of his injuries, stated that his attacker's paws were hairless on the under-side and looked like human hands.”
The largely feminine crime of wolf riding helped to establish a connection between witches and were-wolves in the lead-up to the werewolf trials through out Early Modern Europe, particularly along the French-Swiss border. There is some suggestion that Else’s wolf was executed alongside her.
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