Bestiality’s Dark Past: 10 Disturbing Tales of Executions That Defied Belief

In some countries, it is legal to have sexual relations with animals. But in most countries it is illegal. We’ll discuss some of these bestiality stories. The intersection of human and animal instincts has long been a source of moral ambiguity, and throughout history, societies have grappled with how to address such perceived transgressions. This collection delves into 10 curious and unsettling tales of individuals who, for various reasons, faced the ultimate punishment for their involvement in bestiality, shedding light on the complex interplay between cultural norms, legal systems, and the extremes of human behavior. 

10 Curious Tales Of People Executed For Bestiality

We’ve curated a list of 10 people who were executed for bestiality, some who were guilty, and others who were framed. 

10. Thomas Hogg


Thomas Hogg was framed for impregnating a pig because her piglet resembled him. He wasn’t executed but his story is a very interesting one. Margaret Lamberton, a New Haven, Connecticut resident, made a startling discovery when her sow gave birth to two peculiar piglets. One was unusually white, while the other exhibited an abnormally bulging right eye and a head reminiscent of a human’s. Alarmed by these anomalies, Lamberton sought the opinion of the town’s doctor, who, after examination, suggested a shocking conclusion – the piglets were believed to be part human.

Suspicion fell upon Thomas Hogg, who had assisted Lamberton in caring for the sow and shared physical similarities with the piglets, such as a bulging right eye and a pale complexion. Lamberton, convinced of Hogg’s guilt, pointed to his habit of exposing himself, unaware that his appearance was due to Graves’ disease and the inadvertent result of an inguinal hernia. Despite Hogg’s protestations of innocence and a subsequent attempt to prove his alleged paternity, he was ultimately acquitted due to the absence of credible witnesses.

9. George Spencer 


In the year 1642, George Spencer met a tragic fate in New Haven, Connecticut, being executed on allegations of impregnating a sow. The suspicions arose when the piglet born to the sow, owned by John Wakeman, bore a striking resemblance to Spencer. The anomalous piglet was hairless, its reddish-white head akin to that of a human child, with features such as ears, neck, mouth, chin, and nose mirroring human characteristics. Notably, it sported a single eye protruding from the middle of its forehead, a detail shared with Spencer, whose own eyes protruded.

Having previously worked for the sow’s former owner, Spencer found himself the prime suspect. Despite his vehement denial before the local magistrate, Stephen Goodyear, who was convinced of Spencer’s guilt, the accused man eventually succumbed to pressure. Spencer, initially retracting his admission, was sentenced to death by hanging on April 8, 1642. As he awaited execution, the sow was brought to the gallows and slaughtered in his presence, prompting Spencer to confess, not out of actual guilt reluctantly, but in acquiescence to the expectations of those around him.

8. Claudien De Culam


This 16-year-old poor girl was sentenced to death after being accused of having sex with a dog. She denied all the claims against her, but the court had a way of finding the truth. They took her and the dog to a room and the girl was asked to undress, the dog immediately jumped on her and that was enough for the court to decide that Claudine and the dog had been engaged in sexual relations. The girl and the dog were strangled before their corpses were burned. 

7. Thomas Granger


In the year 1642, Thomas Granger faced execution in Plymouth for engaging in sexual acts with various animals, including a turkey. Another servant discovered Granger in the act with a mare, who promptly reported the incident to the authorities. Upon confession, Granger admitted to involvement with several other animals besides the mare. The challenge then arose of identifying the animals with which Granger had engaged in such activities. Authorities determined that Granger had been involved with a cow, a turkey, two goats, two calves, and five sheep. Subsequently, he was sentenced to death by hanging. Shortly before Granger’s execution, the implicated animals were led to the gallows and slaughtered in his presence.

6. Jacques Ferron


In the year 1750, Frenchman Jacques Ferron was convicted of engaging in sexual activities with a jenny, a female donkey. Notably deviating from the usual course observed in previous cases, only Ferron faced the death penalty this time. Concerned citizens of Vanvres took it upon themselves to write to the magistrate, asserting that Jenny, characterized as an unwitting victim, demonstrated good behavior. The letter, endorsed by the local parish priest, attested to Jenny’s well-known reputation for gentleness and honesty. Regrettably, the same commendation could not be extended to Ferron, who met his end through hanging.

5. John Taylor 


On December 5, 1774, John Taylor, also known as John Philip Snyder, faced the gallows in Burlington, New Jersey, for charges of bestiality and murder. The incident unfolded on October 2, 1774, when Orpha Emlay, Taylor’s employer, discovered him engaging in sexual acts with one of her cows. Emlay raised the alarm, drawing Taylor’s attention, who, in a fit of rage, armed himself with a knife and hammer to pursue Emlay.

Fleeing from the imminent threat, Emlay was overtaken by Taylor, who brutally crushed her head with the hammer and slashed her throat. Taylor met his ultimate fate on the gallows, alongside Peter Galwin, accused of either raping or attempting to rape four girls. The intensity of public outrage against the condemned men was so severe that attempts were made by the angry crowd to harm them before their scheduled hanging.

4. Walter Robinson


A 15-year-old boy was hanged for bestiality, this bestiality story was a very twisted one. He was working as a shepherd, grazing his flock when some fisherman allegedly caught him having sex with a dog. Robinson ran away when he caught the fisherman and the fisherman made threats that he would be executed. 

The boy was later arrested and he initially denied all claims but later accepted that he had sex with the dog and he was sentenced to death. Before his execution, they also killed the dog and he and the dog were buried in the same grave. 

3. Benjamin Goad


This bestiality story revolves around a 17-year-old who was hanged for having sexual relations with a mare. Benjamin confessed that he had been having sexual relations with the mare for a year. Both the mare and the boy were executed.

It was also one of the first times when a sermon was delivered in such a case. However, it was only delivered to spread awareness about the sins in Christianity. 

2. John Farrell and Gideon Washburn


In 1796, John Farrell faced a death sentence by hanging in Massachusetts after being apprehended in a sexual encounter with an unidentified wild animal. Three years later, Gideon Washburn met a similar fate in Connecticut, condemned to death by hanging for engaging in sexual acts with two mares and a cow. Historians found the sentencing of both elderly men, in their eighties, to be surprising for two key reasons.

Typically, those accused of bestiality were much younger, and no one had been hanged for such charges in any of the Colonies or the United States for over a century. The explanation, as suggested by historians Doron Ben-Atar and Richard Brown, lies in the uncertainty that followed the Revolutionary War. In this period of a new and tumultuous nation, religious doctrines and beliefs were being challenged, creating an atmosphere of perceived threat to religion. The Puritans, who had been responsible for many prior bestiality sentences, continued to impose severe punishments to assert their authority amidst the societal upheaval.

However, John Farrell found reprieve when Governor Sam Adams granted him a pardon. Gideon Washburn, on the other hand, escaped the gallows as he passed away a few days before his scheduled execution.

1. William Porter


In 1662, William Potter, one of the founders of New Haven, found himself in a scandalous situation when he was discovered by his son engaging in a sexual act with a sow. The irony of Potter’s predicament lies in his reputation as a morally and religiously upright individual. Not only did he play a role in establishing the colony, but he also attended John Davenport’s church, known for having the strictest membership rules in the entire New England region. Initially denying the charges of bestiality, Potter later confessed to the shocking act, revealing that he had been involved in such behavior since the age of 11.

Despite attempts to suppress the urge, he admitted to an incident involving a dog, which he hanged to  resist temptation. However, the compulsion persisted for over 50 years before he was apprehended. The gravity of Potter’s charges prompted John Davenport’s church to hold a “Solemn Day of Humiliation” to purify the congregation of his sins. Potter, visibly distraught, wept as he was led to the gallows for execution. In a macabre turn of events, several cows, sheep, and sows suspected to be involved with Potter were slaughtered in his presence just before he faced the hangman’s noose.


Q1: What is the focus of the article?

The article delves into historical accounts of bestiality, specifically focusing on 10 disturbing tales of individuals who faced execution for engaging in acts that defied societal norms.

Q2: Are these stories based on real historical events?

Yes, the article is based on historical records and accounts of individuals who were executed for bestiality. It aims to provide a historical perspective on the severity of punishments for such taboo acts.

Q3: How graphic are the descriptions in the article?

While the article discusses disturbing historical events, the descriptions are handled with sensitivity. We aim to present the facts without unnecessary graphic details.

Q4: What time periods and regions are covered in the article?

The article spans various historical periods and regions, offering a diverse look at how societies across time and geography dealt with bestiality and the extreme measures taken in response.

Q5: Is this article suitable for all audiences?

Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, reader discretion is advised. The content may not be suitable for all audiences, and we recommend that readers approach it with awareness of the historical context.

Q6: Does the article aim to glorify or condemn these historical events?

The article maintains a neutral stance, aiming to present historical facts without glorifying or condemning the events. It offers an objective exploration of a dark aspect of history.

Q7: Can I use the information in academic research?

While the article provides historical insights, it is not a substitute for academic sources. For in-depth research, we recommend consulting scholarly works and historical records.

Q8: Are there any trigger warnings associated with the content?

Yes, due to the nature of the topic, the article contains content that may be triggering for some readers. If you have concerns, we advise exercising caution or choosing alternative reading material.

Q9: Does the article provide a cultural context for these executions?

Yes, the article strives to offer cultural context to help readers understand how societal norms and attitudes towards bestiality varied across different cultures and time periods.

Q10: Can I share this article on social media?

Yes, you are welcome to share the article on social media. We encourage respectful discussions and the sharing of historical knowledge while being mindful of the sensitivity of the topic.

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