Eleven people were injured when they jumped out of a second-storey window near Paris early on Saturday, thinking a naked man tending his crying baby in the night was the devil, the local prosecutor said.
"Thirteen people were in an apartment on the second floor when, around 3 a.m, one of the occupants heard his child crying," the deputy prosecutor in Versailles, Odile Faivre, said.
"The man in question of African origin, who was completely naked, got up to feed his child, at which point the other occupants took him for the devil," said Faivre.
"He was seriously wounded in the hand after being stabbed with a knife before he was thrown out of the apartment, via the door."
The naked man then tried to get back into the flat in the town of La Verriere west of Paris, population 6000.
"That's when the other occupants tried to escape by jumping out of the window, panicked by a fear of the devil," said Faivre.
Police have questioned the would-be devil, aged 30, and another man who jumped from the window with a two-year-old girl in his arms.
Seven of those injured were taken to hospital for emergency treatment.
Investigators are trying to clarify a number of issues surrounding the case, including whether everyone jumped voluntarily or if some were forced to do so, Faivre said.