« Lore

Episode 170: Into the Wild

2021-05-10 | 🔗

Some of the most frightening kinds of folklore are the ones with a familiar element. Details that sit a bit too close to home. Qualities that resonate just a bit too much. And few places host legends more terrifying than the wilderness around us.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
It wasn't what they expected from their hunting trip. King George and his entourage had travelled all the way from London to the middle of Germany, partly to visit his homeland, but also to get in a bit of hunting, but what they found woods outside the village of Hamblin was wholly unexpected. It was a boy according to descriptions. The boy was about twelve years old at the time when King George found him, he was living naked and alone in the woods there foraging for edible plants while walking on all fours entering the king so much the George had the boy brought back to England under the care of his daughter in law, Caroline, the princess of Wales, the boy who they soon
named Peter was unable to learn to speak, so it was impossible to learn his story. Some assumed he had come from a criminal labour camp near Homeland, while others believe that he had been abandoned by his parents due to his developmental challenges, but back in London. This treatment was mixed. Yes, they made sure he was safe and taken care of, but they all leaned into his feral behaviour, allowing him to perform at Kensington Palace like a trained animal. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight in modern medicine, most historians today believe Peter suffered from a genetic disorder. The car severe developmental delays. But in the mid, seventeen hundreds people around him We believe that he was wild in the decades the followed Peter the Wild, boy would become a living representation of an age old debate. What exactly makes us human,
If something were born with, or can it be taught and in the process demonstrates humanity's ancient fascination with an area of folk lore that exposes our fears, highlights our flaws and bags us declare Gin, whether or not we have truly evolved ass, a species stories about creatures that shouldn't exist stories of the wild man I'm Erin Monkey and this is more. if literature were a Youtube, video, the epoch of Gilgamesh would be the person typing. The word first, in the comments written close to four thousand
years ago, it's widely considered to be the oldest known work of literature in the world, which makes it the starting point for a lot of concepts, and that includes the wild man. in the story we follow King Gilgamesh and his friend and key do the king represents civility and evolution Thank you, do embodies the wilderness, but over the course of their time. Together Frankie do is shaped and grown into a civilised person, but really you don't need to know the plot. Need to understand that, for millennia ago, people were already thinking about the big question. What makes us human. The ancient greek writer Herodotus is considered by most to be the father of history because of his systematic approach, turning the collection of stories into an academic discipline, but in the process he also documented some of the more unusual beliefs of cultures in his day
and for him one land of magical beans and dangerous monsters was Libya situated to the south. Ass, the Mediterranean Sea. Libya was just far the way for most Greeks to believe that anything was possible there. It was another world populated by creatures like the ARCA following who were men with no heads but faces set into their chests and right alongside them the wild men in these ancient writers did more than just name the wild men they described them too. roman historian. Plenty. The elder writing about two thousand years ago said that they had human, like bodies that were covered in fur and in the kings me a norwegian document from the middle of the thirteenth century. There are descriptions of a creature in the forest that is said to be entirely covered and hair. With a main runs down the centre of its back there's a A town in Germany called will demand which we,
settled in the mid sixteenth century by a group of minors who had encountered a pair of wild men in the nearby mountains. Clearly, it's a type of story. That's been around for a very long time and it's much more widespread than one would think, because even after Europeans travelled to North America and explored the new world found similar stories among the indigenous people who already lived there, for example among the first nation people known as the claim in the Pacific northwest there. stories of mysterious creatures in the forest that avoid human contacts, but are to be feared and respected. Their descriptions, are incredibly similar to those from ancient writers. Half a world away too, with human life forms tall frames covered in thick hair and a distinct lack, language in the same region, the coast sailors peoples are another first nation culture with stories of the wild man. In fact, their name for the creature says
walk literally means wild man. They tell stories of how the creature can put humans to sleep with just a touch and have been known to steal food from human settlements, sometimes even kidnapping, women or children. In some of their stories. These creatures are referred to as the night people sort of a friendly forest spirit, but other tails. about them as a lost dangerous tribe, of their own known English, as the Stick Indians, due to one of the ways, the creatures communicate with each other by pounding branches and large sticks on trees,. in all of the first Nations stories, though, the physical descriptions have an eerie similarity. They all speak about the creatures height, ranging from six to fifteen feet and make mention of their thick layer of fur stories about their appearance range from black Brown and even Auburn or mahogany in color, and then there's the smell
hails from those who have encountered. These creatures often described the smell they bring with them. It's a foul combination of body odors like vomit, rotten flesh, urine and feces, and with a dose of animal and trails and rotten eggs thrown in for good measure. It sounds horrible, but it's also memorable and weird consistent rum, legend to Legend and lastly, among the Alaska Native Peoples, known as the F a Basque ends, the creatures are called the new who one, which means would men It is a sort of immortal trickster in the forest. being silently through the trees and stealing what they need from humans. Around them. The new who I seem to have a place of reverence. In the author, basque and culture, more of a legend, then a reality,
but they explain their lack of sightings by placing the blame on the creatures themselves, who rarely reveal themselves to humans. But if the stories are true, rarely doesn't mean never curiosity is a strange beast. It lose you in and tempts you with amazing revelations, but can also leave you vulnerable to day and when it comes to stories of the wild men of the Woods Korea city is apparently the last thing we need one such
when it comes to us from the tallow up people of Northern California said to have taken place in the early eighteen eighties and then passed on down through his family. One man reported a series of experiences in the Wooded Hills EAST of Crescent City, and they began in. Childhood the mayor, descried hunting one day in his you alone in the forest with his rifle when he spot the shape in the shadows behind a tree as he studied it lies that it was a large creature covered in thick hair standing upright, like a very tall human, whatever it was the walked off on its own a moment later, so the boy went straight home and told his father. He was informed that the creature was part of a quiet group. Lived in the forest, they shared the fruits of the woods with the native Americans around them, but preferred to be left alone and because they had never armed any of the people in the area. It was understood that no one would hunt or kill them, but a later
experience brought all of that into question. The family had spent some time at the river catching fish and preparing them to be smoked, but when they return home, the boy realised that he had left his knife. At the riverside camp. So later he returned alone to retrieve it and discover that someone else was already there. The creature He found it squatty near where they had cleaned the fish hours before, with its large human like hands. It was scooping up the end trails from the fish and eating it raw, but when the boy came into view the creature stood and roared in protest, he ran home ass quickly, ass. He could and honestly I can't blame him, but encounters with these mysterious creatures, weren't always so easy to escape in April of eighteen? Ninety one story was published in the Woodland Daily Democrats, a newspaper in northern California. It described
Experience than a man had in Cape, Hey Valley, area, west of Sacramento, and experience that left him more than a little disturbed. The man known only as Mr Smith had been out hunting early one morning when he encountered a creature. He only describe as a man clothed in a suit of shaggy fur sitting in a tree above him, Smith called out to the figure in an actually research ended with a series of angry sounding grunts and that's when Psmith decided to drop everything and make a run for it. Glancing back over his shoulder, he watched as the creature climbed down and began to give chase. Thankfully, it gave out before Smith could reach camp where he gathered his friends together and told them what he had seen after a good amount of discussion. They decided on the most Americans solution. They could think of a rather guns and dogs and headed off defined the beast. When they returned to the spot, where Smith had dropped his bag, they found the creature hunched over it reaching
with massive hands to pull food out before machine it into its mouth at the sight of the thing, hunting dogs Doug their legs in and refuse to go any closer, but they also wind, which alerted the creature of their presence stand tall it let out a monstrous roar, while beating its chest with its fists and then turned and ran away It was noted, in that same article, about a number of pigs in sheep, had been disappearing from farms in the area and the implication was clear. Smith had seen the culprit with his own eyes and was lucky to survive the experience, but that wasn't enough to frighten every one off as an article from the following month makes we're in early may, local man, James Martin, ventured into the woods there to track down one of his horses. It had broken loose and vanished into the trees, so he went in after it not long after beginning his search. He found a trail, but it wasn't exactly
he'd been searching for. Judging by the way the underbrush had been trampled, something had dragged the body of a large animal through the forest, so Martin decided to follow it. You didn't find the creature responsible for the trail, but he did find the spot where it had stopped and feasted. On the end, well it had killed. But what the light growing dim and no sign of his missing horse. He decided to return home and try again in the morning, but his night of sleep didn't turn out to be as restful as he had it was the sounds of his dogs that woke him up. They were outside where they always were keeping watch over the ranch and the livestock he raised. They were good at their job to end were known to be ferocious when necessary. So that's why they're desperate wines did so out of character. The moment Martin open the front door, his cabin the dogs rushed in, he does I've been the article how they crammed themselves under his bed, Heidi
from whatever it was they had seen. So Martin returned his gaze to the darkness outside and that's when he sought a dark silhouette moving away from the cabin and as it ran it, bellowed and unearthly scream. In Martin wasn't alone. Newspaper articles from the following month note that the creatures tracks had been spotted more and more frequently. Some were found. This far south as the town of Madison twenty five miles from the first citing and these tracks looked a lot like footprints from large otherworldly feet. Martin did add a bit of reassurance in his report, though letting the frighten readers of the paper know that he would not stop until he had captured the creature dead or alive whether or not he was successful, though isn't recorded, but the one truth, we do know is also the most disturbing. Not
Everyone who encounter is one of the wild men lives to talk about it. it wasn't his experience, but thankfully he wrote it all down for us. Ted was born in eighteen. Fifty eight in New York City a place that most of us wouldn't associate with wilderness and the undiscovered, but thanks to his family's Well, he was able to get out of the city from time to time and enjoy the natural world something he quickly fell in love with.
Child. It said that he roped his cousins into helping him create his own natural history museum where he displayed his own attempts at taxidermy. Honestly, if he sounds like an unusual child, that's probably because he was but that doesn't make his story any less important. In fact, I think it helps life Ted some curve balls early on, though he married his college sweetheart in eighteen, eighty, but four years later, his wife and his mother both passed away on the same day both right inside his home and those tragedies, became a catalyst that pushed him west away from his family and job and all those risks. Instabilities by the summer of eighteen. Eighty four he was in the badlands in a part of the west that would become the state of South Dakota. Just a few years later, he bought a ranch settled in and fed his love for the natural world through hikes and hunt in the wilderness and how, during a trip to the Bitterroot Mountain South of Missoula Montana, he met a man named Carl Bowman
Bowman had moved from Germany to the American West in the MID eighteen, hundreds and shared TED's love of nature, but not all of his experiences in Montana had been cheerful and he told TED abundant event. He would never forget. According to Bowman, it took place in the eighteen sixties while on a hunting trip with a friend, but as will soon discover who was in the hunting, isn't exactly clear. Bowman and his unnamed friend had settled on entering a pass through the mountains that had seen recent tragedy a year. Prior, a hunter had ventured into the pass only to be found a few days later, his body torn to pieces and half eaten. Maybe it was curiosity that lead Bowman to pick this area, or maybe it was arrogant, courage what they found tested them to the limit. After leaving their horses at the foot of a rocky incline, the men ventured into the trees and set up camp and clearing they spent an hour, or so
the lean to end unpacking their supplies and then headed out to set traps and do some hunting when they returned at sunset, though they found their brand new camp destroyed. Some one had come into the clearing knocked over their shelter and torn through their supplies. Looking for food, assuming it was a bear, they quickly rebuild their lean to before they lost all of the light and then straightened up mass, but when they were done, they lit a torch and inspected the scene and discovered unusual tracks all around the camp tracks from an animal that walked on two legs. Not for somehow, though, they found the courage to turn in for the night, they had a lot planned for the following day, and needed their rest, but sometime around midnight Bowman that annoys smoke them both up and the moment they did. They could both smell something foul and disgusting. On the air like the scent of rotting animal mixed with filthy, wet
they're looking out through the opening of the lean to both men could see a black shape, silhouetted against the night sky, blotting out some of the stars above Bowman REACH for his rifle and fired into the darkness, but the shot missed. Thankfully, the sound of the gunfire frightened the visitor off and they spent the rest of the night sitting beside the fire, hoping the lights would keep them safe. The next they got to work, checking traps they had set the day before, but rather than split up as they had originally planned. They decided to stay together. There's safety in numbers after all, and they didn't want to take any chances, when they return to camp at evening. Their heart sank, whoever had destroyed their camp the day before and come back to. Do it again the same large footprints word, also scattered about as plain If on snow tat, later wrote, rather than
Building camp again, they simply built a big fire and settled into keep watch and sure enough around midnight. The visitor return although this time it remained off in the distance watching them with only this. Of its movement through the trees, to give it away with sunrise, came new hope and new plans. They decided that their trip needed to be short and I'm sure the story of the hunter from the season before was front and centre in both their minds. They didn't want to end up like him, so they decided to quickly gather their traps pack up camp and head back to their horses, but as they worked, they were plagued by the feeling that they were being followed at noon. They stopped for a quick meal and then made a change both, and would go gather the three remaining traps near the camp. While his friend would pack up their gear, they would speed up their departure for sure, but it would also put both of them in greater risk, and it would turn out to be a fateful decision.
Bowman claims that he found the traps full and took the time sorry to kill and prepare the animals by the time he finished It was early afternoon and quickly headed back the camp, but when he stepped into the clearing he found the empty Their supplies had been neatly packed and a to one side. But the fire had been allowed to die out. Bowman called out as he step towards the fire and that's when his eyes fell on a shape stretched out on the grass beside the log they had used as a seat. It was the body of his friend the man's neck, bent at an unnatural angle, in bloody teeth marks below his jaw in an instant bowman understood what had happened His friend had finished packing and then sat down in front of the fire to wait for him to return, and as he did, the creature had somehow snuck up on his friend and snapped his neck while trying to bite him, why it didn't do more damage and why it wasn't still. There were questions that he couldn't answer, but he knew that
didn't want to stay and find out abandoning the supplies. Pullman grabbed his rifle in sprinted in the direction of their horses praying ass. He ran that they were still there and untouched when he found them his heart leaped to see them both still standing and waiting, and he quickly prepared to ride away from the hills creature that hunted them as the sun was setting behind the hills to the West decline into the saddle and road hard for safety. It took him all night, but when he finally made it home, he allowed himself to drop his guard. Put aside his rifle it finally get some rest. His friend, however, hadn't been so lucky
Humans are very good at being afraid of the others. We ve seen this time and again through stories about which trials where people who fit in the least are often the first to be accused and mistreated, But when it comes to tales of the wild men of the woods, that fear takes on a very different tone. the round history. It seems people all over. The world have shared stories about beans that were incredibly similar to them, but also vastly different human enough to spark affinity but monstrous enough to inspire add, and rather than fade away as our cultures have evolved. It seems those stories have simply retreated a little deeper into the shadows, but there still there if you know where to look And if the tales have shared with you today feel familiar, that's thanks to decades of pop culture, because all those old stories about tall Harry Frames and big feet.
Eventually earned the creature a name, that's become undeniably universal, big foot, but there are other names to I mentioned a while ago that among the coasts sailfish people, the word for wild man is escalating for decades, though we, used a variation of it as an alternate name for big foot. The squash and just about everywhere you go. The oldest culture is in every location, have their own corresponding term. A wild men of the woods seem to be everywhere, or at least on every tongue, of course, that fascination has translated into a sub culture of its own. There is seemingly endless supply of tv, specials, pod casts and books. The creature has become. a standard plot device in fictional stories set in the Woods are even multiple, serious bigfoot research organisations, pack that seem toward the end of it.
Christmas movie, ELF, where will farewells character? Buddy is shown walking through central park on slow grainy. Film footage, that's not so subtle. Call back to what's, probably the most famous bigfoot footage ever captured known as the Patterson film, but that popularity has also inspired a number of hoaxes. Thankfully, though, just about all of them have been debunked still. Some sightings have yet to be dismissed or disproven, and a great example took place back in the fall of two thousand five. That's when a couple driving through the mountains of the West saw something there never forget, they claim that as they were driving along a stretch of highway, a shape stepped out of the trees about forty feet away, both of them described it as tall and Harry and at first they assumed it was a bare standing on its back two legs, but when it began to run the creatures, human, like movements quickly changed their minds.
What makes the siting so fascinating, though, isn't the description of the creature? No, it's the location. This couple spotted while driving up highway. Ninety three in Montana, within sight of the bitter route mountains, exactly the same place where Carl Bowman had his terrifying experience back in the eighteen sixties, as he related to TED the man who wrote it all down and, of course we could dismissed. His story is well if we wanted to one low in person claiming to have witnessed something unbelievable, just sharing his folk tales with the friend over a meal, except that friend was a pretty well respected source, even if most people wouldn't do so at him with stories about Bigfoot TED. You see was a man destined for greatness. He would go on to serve as governor of New York before then.
Really being elected in nineteen o one to the highest office in America. As the twenty six president of the United States, his full name, Theodore Roosevelt. When it comes to big foot, everyone wants to talk about footage photos and those needs and tidy plaster casts of the tracks it left behind. But in truth, it's the oldest stories that form the foundation for those legends and they still have a lot to offer us and if you stick around
after this brief sponsor break I'll share one more of my absolute favorites. The first thing we need to understand is that these men were pros. They've been working together since one thousand nine hundred and eighteen prospecting for gold in the foothills of Mount Saint Helens up in Washington, state. understood what it took. The live there to survive there. There were five of them all August on tracking down the most elusive thing in the hills, their gold. They and build their own log cabin using it as a home base. It wasn't a whole worthy of architectural Digest and it didn't have any windows, but it also wasn't just a few branches propped up on a log. What some might call a lean to know
was home and it provided them a good amount of safety in eighteen. Twenty four, though, that protection would be tested, In July of this year, one of the five men, a guy named Fred Beck, told the others that he had a too thick and asked his friend Hank to drive him into town to see a dentist about after all, Hank was the only one with vehicle there at the camp. Hank refuse, though every. they didn't go out. Looking for gold, he told them was a lost opportunity, be a man. Tough. It up. Stop complaining. Whenever platitude, you can think of that's probably what told Fred. So, as you might imagine, tensions were in a little higher than normal that month, but something else began to contribute to that anxiety for about a week of them had been hearing, sounds outside the cabin each night. They would catch the sound of our high pitched whistle in one direction. Only to hear a similar response, far off in the wood,
and they also claimed here allowed thumping sound as if someone were hitting a tree with a large branch. During the day, though, the sounds seem to vanish although that didn't mean everything was normal. All of the men seasoned mountain prospectors were beginning to believe that they were being watched, possibly even followed, as they went about there and then one day in late July, they discovered why that day, Fred and Hank took a walk down to the near by spring, to get some water for the camp but brought their rifles for safety as they neared the watering hole, Fred stopped and held out a hand to point out something. It was a massive creature taller than human covered in dark brown, hair and before Fred could say anything Hank brought his rifle up and fired
two shots echoed through the forest and while none of them found their mark, the creature seem to be frightened off and began to run through the trees for a heartbeat seem to have disappeared from view, but a moment later, Fred caught sight of it again and brought his own weapon up firing at the moving target, and then they quickly retreated back to the cabin once side they told the other three men about what they had seen all that anxiety or that suspicion that they were being followed. All of it was true and the thing that have been tracking them wasn't a person or a bear. No, it was so Thing other worldly, it was agreed by all that they would break camp first thing in the morning. Yes, cutting Work season short was less than ideal, but dine at the hands of some strange monster was far worse, so they barred the door loaded their rifles and try to get some rest before the busy day ahead, but as
Agnes spell. They begin here sounds outside the cabin. Then a heavy crash seem to rock one of the walls shaking some of the mud out from between the logs of the building and with that all hell seem to break loose stones, pounded against the walls. What steps could be heard on the roof and more thumb in rock the door. According to Fred, some of the gaps in the log cabin were wide enough that one of the creatures actually reached in through it. Its large Harry hand grasped that thin air for a moment before brushing against an ax that had been propped against the wall. It quickly picked it up and nearly pulled it out through opening more hands broken through different places and each time it happened. One of the men would turn, and fire others were shooting straight up, trying to stop the creatures on the roof of their cabin from breaking in the door they had barred began to lean deeper into the room.
forcing them to break apart, one of the beds defined a piece of wood large enough to bolster it. No one, is how long the assault carried on. But it was like It's in the night when the pounding and noises began to fade. None of the men slept at nights, although really I dont think any of us can fault them for that. Their veins were full of adrenalin and fear, and there would be no rest for them until they were far far away when morning finally did arrive, they cautiously stepped outside to inspect the damage and to make sure the coast was clear. Enormous footprints covered the ground around the building in large stones and branches were scattered all about, but everything seems safe, that is, until Fred looked out toward one edge of their clearing where the ground gave way to the lip of a small canyon. Eighty yards away and their standing on the edge in watching them was. One of the wild men now
willing to give it a chance to attack Fred raised his rifle and fired, and this time miraculously is aim was true. The creature staggered back brought a large Harry hand to its chest and then toppled over the edge I dont need to tell you how quickly the men left camp that morning or that they left behind most of their supplies in gear. All need to know, is that all five men left without looking back and for a very long time, even refused to speak about it when they did Hank was the first to break their silence, although Fred would later returned to the spot with reporters and rangers giving birth to what he referred to as the great Harry, a pint of nineteen twenty four, whether they found where they were looking for, though, remains a mystery. Oh and if you ever have the chance to hike in the forest on the eastern edge of Mount Saint Helen's, be sure to avoid the area where it all took place, a spot whose name
Harkin's back to that terrifying night and his on all the maps today Ape Canyon this happen Sort of law was written and produced by me. Erin monkey with research by Taylor, Haggard Doorn and music by Chad. Lawson lore is much more than just a pod cast. There's a book series available in bookstores, an on line and two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check them both out. If you want more lore in your life, I also make an executive produce a whole bunch of other pie guests, all of which I think you'd enjoy My production, company, grim and mild specializes in shows that sit at the intersection of the dark and the historical you can learn more about all
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.