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Pyrenees Witchcraft and Witches

    The Basque region of the Pyrenees was a remote area but was a supposed region inhabited by witches.

    The inquisition had singled out the Spanish Basques. They sent in many spies to find out if their was any witchcraft going on in this region. They found that there was a high amount of witchcraft activities going on.

    In the 17th century the French sent a lawyer by the name of Pierre de Lancre to the Pays de Labourd, Bearn to root out and destroy those who worshipped pagan gods. This was done with much zeal, claiming as many as 600 Labourd witches in a period of 4 months. One execution was that of a local priest Pierre Bocal who was rumoured to perform rituals of both christian and non-christian faiths. He was suppose to have worn a goat's head mask when officiating in the worship of the old gods which in itself was enough to have him proven guilty as a witch and in 1609 he was burned alive.

    In the end the slaughters of this region proved too much for the population. When 5000 of their fisherman returned from their fishing they found that their loved ones had been killed this entail sent the men into a rampage, and their was further discontent when three more priests were burned by Lancre. Lancre came to the conclusion that the entire population was infected by the witchcraft contagion, but he could not allow himself to kill the whole region.


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