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Bizzare & Odd

England’s Wild Hunt of 1127


Dr. Beachcombing
Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog

In spring 1127, in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire strange things happened. At night locals heard repeated horn blasts and some, who were foolish enough to be out in the dark, saw ghastly sights: men appeared on black horses and on black goats riding through the woods following black hounds. It goes without saying that this was not some local form of carnival: the locals repeatedly came into contact with what folklorists call the ‘Wild Hunt’.

What is the Wild Hunt? Essentially a charismatic and awfully powerful spirit, usually with unpleasant leanings, takes evil followers on a hunt through the dark, continually blasting his horn. Hunt leaders have included the Devil, Odin, local bogeymen and notorious spirits of the dead. What does the hunt do? Well, that is trickier to answer. In some stories they chase down evil men; in others they just keep everyone indoors, hiding under their beds.

There are literally scores of medieval and early modern references to the wild hunt from western Europe. What makes the events of 1127 unusual is the quality of the evidence and its early date. We have two separate sources recording the extraordinary events of that spring: one contemporary and one written by an author who, though writing as much as a generation later, had lived through the terror.

The two sources were both written at the Monastery of Peterborough, a Benedictine house and one of England’s most important medieval foundations. Both are included below in translation and with the original languages, a very late Old English and a very medieval Latin. The first was a chronicle of the year events and was clearly based on interviews (too portentous a word?) with those who had seen or heard the hunt. The hunt had passed through the monastery’s deer park and had arrived as far as fifteen miles away in the woods near Stamford.

The second was a history of the monastery written by Hugh Candidus as much as a generation after the events described there. But Hugh, who had been born in the very late eleventh century and who spent all his life in the monastery, had certainly lived through the events of 1127. Hugh’s account does not have any new information about the hunt. But the very fact that Hugh included it, shows that, as he was polishing his history, perhaps in the 1150s, it was still a newsworthy event.

However, here we must add another important consideration. The Chroniclers and later Hugh included the information, not for its Fortean value, but because of an important event in the history of the Monastery. In 1127 a new abbot arrived, a grasping s-o-b called Henry de Angeli. Henry had bought the monastery and was not greatly loved by the monks. The Wild Hunt began immediately after Henry arrived and was, therefore a sign of divine disapproval for this Simoniac.

All this suggests that the Wild Hunt might not have been that remarkable at all. It is all too possible that the good folk of Peterborough and Stamford were forever hearing horns at night and seeing bogeys out in the wood. As always with supernatural events, these would have come and gone in cycles. It was just that this cycle suited the narrative that the monks in the monastery were creating and so was jumped upon.

In other words we don’t have here a truly exceptional event, what is exceptional is that the monks pull back the curtains and give us a glimpse of twelfth-century English woods and English folk beliefs. The image below is a 19C map of the haunted area. The closest we will ever come to running from the wild hunt in 1127. Note Grimeshaw Wood – the Goblin’s Wood?

grimshaw wood wild hunt

Ne þince man na seillice þ we soð seggen for hit wæs ful cuð ofer eall land þ swa radlice swa he þær com þ wæs þes Sunendæies þ man singað EXURGE QUARE O. D. þa son þær æfter þa sægon & herdon fela men feole huntes hunten. Ða huntes wæron swarte & micele & ladlice. & here hundes ealle swarte & bradegede & ladlice. & hi ridone on swarte hors & on swarte bucces. Wis wæs segon on þe selue derfald in þa tune on Burch & on ealle þa wudes ða wæron fram þa selua tune to Stanforde. & þa muneces herdon ða horn blawen þ hi blewen on nihtes. Soðfestemen heom kepten on nihtes. sæidon þes þe heom þuhte þ þær mihte wel ben abuton twenti oðer þritti horn blaweres. Wis wæs sægon & herd fram þ he þider com eall þ lented tid on an to Eastren. Wis was his ingang. of his utgang ne cunne we iett noht seggon. God scawe fore

“Let it not be thought remarkable, the truth of what we say, because it was fully known over all the land, that immediately after [Henry] came there (that was the Sunday when they sing ‘Awake, why sleepest though, O Lord?’) then soon afterwards many men saw and heard many huntsmen hunting. The huntsmen were black and huge and loathsome, and their hounds all black and wide-eyed and loathsome, and they rode on black horses and on black billy-goats. This was seen in the very deer-park of the town of Peterborough, and in all the woods there were from that same town to Stamford; and the monks heard the horns blow that they blew in the night. Honest men who kept watch in the night said that it seemed to them there might well have been about twenty or thirty horn-blowers. This was seen and heard from when he came there, all that Lenten-tide right up to Easter. This was his entrance: of his exit we cannot yet say. May God provide!”

Hugh Candidus

Eodem anno cum uenisset ad abbaciam, uisa sunt et audita monstra per totam quadragesimam, et in noctibus, et per siluas et per plana a monasteriousque ad stanford. nam uisi sunt quasi uenatores cum cornibus et canubis, set omnes nigerimi errant et equi eorum et canes, et aliqui quasi edos equitabant, et oculos grandes habebant, et erant quasi uiginti aut triginta simul. Hoc non est falsum, quia plurimi ueracissimi homines uiderunt et audierunt cornua.

“In the very year in which [Henry] came to the abbey, wonderful portents were seen and heard at night during the whole of Lent, throughout the woodland and plains, from the monastery as far as Stamford; for their appeared, as it were, hunters with horns and hounds, all being jet black, their horses and their hounds as well, and some rode, as it were, on goats and had great eyes and there were twenty or thirty together. And this is no false tale, for many men of faithful report both saw them and heard the horns.”

Update: Bruce T with an enjoyable conspiracy theory ‘Do you think it was hoax got up to by a few monks and unhappy tenants to discredit and get rid of a hated Abbot? It would be dead easy to do in a countryside before electricity and other decent illumination on dark nights. The tenant confederates could be eyewitnesses to the demonic hunt , if not active participants in it running around the countryside raising Hell and blowing horns in the middle of the night. If they’re spotted they’ve got the monks on the spot to vouch for them with the easy excuse that they were out to track down the demon horde down.’

Bizzare & Odd

Did Angels visit a farm in Slovenia after Jerusalem?

A few days ago, a UFO hovered over the city of Podkoren in Slovenia, the appearance of which was recorded on Google Earth maps. The famous Taiwanese ufologist Scott Waring suggested that it could be an angel, given its bright glow and peculiar shape.

On his YouTube channel, Waring posted a photo of an unidentified object that glowed very brightly. The ufologist examined a number of photographs in the same area at different times and made sure that there was nothing reflecting there, which means that it is quite possible that these were events of biblical significance.

The researcher stressed that the trees are not lit. Consequently, the object is well above them. Given the brightness of the glow, it is likely that we are talking not only about UFOs, but also about angels that can visit people living in this area.

He recalled that similar objects were recorded in Jerusalem above a stone dome. The Bible tells a similar story. The author emphasized that he is not a religious person, and the conducted research only confirms his theory.

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Bizzare & Odd

Halloween 2020 is expected to have a full moon that hasn’t been seen since World War II

Photo: NASA / Kim Shiflett

Astronomers claim that the full moon on October 31 will be visible throughout the world with the exception of parts of Australia.

In 2020, the world’s population is waiting for a very unusual phenomenon that will be seen in almost all corners of the planet as reported by Cnet.

According to experts, this year on Halloween (October 31), the full moon will rise and will be visible to the whole world. Such an event will happen for the first time since the Second World War.

Astronomy expert Geoffrey Hunt says the last full moon seen on the entire planet occurred in 1944. He notes that there was also a full moon on Halloween in 1955, but was not visible to residents of western North America and the western Pacific.

In the same year, residents of North and South America, India, all of Europe and most of Asia will see the full moon for the holiday. Also, the full moon will be visible in Western Australia, but not in the central and eastern parts of the country.

Scientists remind that in its full phase the moon will be visible to the naked eye, but for high-quality images, you still have to use additional equipment.

“Photos of the moon with a smartphone are likely to be substandard. A telephoto lens will help you capture the moon in all its glory. Adjust the camera brightness so details are visible and not drowned out by the brightness of the moon,” Hunt says.

He also emphasizes that the next full moon, which will be visible from all corners of the planet, will not happen soon – in 2039.

“Of course, in the coming years, the full moon will be in October, but not on Halloween,” the expert notes.

A full moon on Halloween is a rare coincidence. We will be able to enjoy it very soon.

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Bizzare & Odd

A tourist found a thousand-legged creepy beast washed up on the coast of Wales

A traveler walked along the coast of the Irish Sea in Wales and found a creature similar to the mythical Cthulhu – with a thousand tentacles and a keen interest in people.

The man was preparing to call the ufologists, but the Internet suggested: you need not be afraid, but rejoice, because the monster costs a fortune. The sea world still remains largely unknown for the inhabitants of the land, and in fact there is a lot of interesting things in it: from an iguana that looks like a real Godzilla to real mutants. True, according to The Sun, the underwater kingdom still has something to surprise people with.

A tourist named Martin Green was vacationing with his family in North Wales on the coast of the Irish Sea and one evening decided to walk with his son along the water. The man was walking slowly along the shore when he saw an unusual creature on the sand. At first, Green decided that he saw a large snag from a fallen tree, then, approaching it, he thought that it was a piece of a large fin that washed ashore, but here Martin was not right. When the travelers approached the find, they felt uneasy – a large and living creature with thousands of tentacles looked at them.

Looking closely, the man saw that the find consists of many white many-legged shells. Perhaps at first Martin was ready to call Scully and Mulder, but the internet helped him figure out what was going on. Green’s son uploaded a photo of the unknown creature to Google and realized that he and his father were very lucky. It turned out that the creepy sea creatures are the so-called Gooseneck Barnacles, crustaceans. They live by attaching themselves to hard surfaces, usually rocks.

Martin and his son were lucky not only because they personally saw unusual creatures, but also because the find could enrich a family. In Portugal and Spain, shells are considered a delicacy and are sold for £ 25 apiece. Considering that, according to the family’s estimates, there were about two thousand shells on the snag found on the snag, the potential cost of the find is about 50 thousand pounds. Green did not elaborate on how he was going to deal with the shells – send them back to the ocean or sell them to Spain.

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