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Catillon the witch

Catherine "Catillon" Repond, known to the public as Touâscha or "The Deformed One" due to her hunchback, was born August 18, 1663 and lived with her two sisters in the father's family home in Villarvolard.

Poor and uneducated, she remained unmarried at the age of forty. Her notoriety arose from a series of extraordinary events.

One day, a violent storm battered Mt. Moléson, turning the sky a deep crimson from the blaze of a vast fire. All rivers, the Sarine, Albeuve and Trême were like torrents of flame. The flood soon swept away a thousand trees and twenty chalets, until finally spent against the cliffs of Pré-de-l'Essert. While the people were struggling against the fury of the elements, they suddenly beheld a gleeful Catillon dancing in a whirlwind of flaming clouds around the summit of a volcanic Moléson. She wasn't alone, but escorted by two hideous demons. The three were relentlessly trying to dislodge a gigantic boulder from the side of the mountain. Finally breaking loose, it rumbled through the pastures of Petit-Moléson, crushing the most prized cows, continuing to bound and vault until finally the hand of the Lord stopped it in its tracks forever. The Pierre-à-Catillon is still there to this day, surrounded by pines and recognizable by the figures on its sides: handprints left there by the witch and her infernal companions.

Once Catillon unleashed a tornado, and the accompanying lightning struck the steeple of the church in Avry-devant-Pont. The next morning, the church rooster was found in the parish priest's henhouse! She had supernatural powers!! Once she turned herself into a hare for a day, being chased about Mt. Gibloux by local hunters, but never in real danger of being caught.

Catillon was tried and burned as a witch on September 15, 1731 at Guintzet in Fribourg, the last victim of populist superstition.

Thematic route :
A Country of Legends
Texte :
"Légendes Fribourgeoises et Légendes de la Gruyère", Editions Gruériennes
Adaptation :
Belén Clément
Illustration :
Gisèle Rime

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