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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

Ballenac – Thumbprint Island

In the Adriatic Sea, near Croatia, there is the island of Balenac, which is very tiny and at the same time amazing. Almost unique, because from a bird’s eye view it looks like a thumbprint. 

The area of ​​this oval islet is only about one and a half square kilometers, but this is not its feature and it does not make it look like a fingerprint, but a network of artificial stone walls.

The coastline of Croatia, as well as many other Western European countries, for example, Scotland, England, Ireland, is covered with such low stone barriers that served in ancient times for local farmers as markers of land boundaries. Imagine how much effort it took to free this rocky land from stones in order to cultivate crops on it. At the same time, stones were used to create such amazing fences.

Photos from open sources

Of course, they served not only as markers of territories, first of all they protected farmers’ crops from the sea wind, making it possible to grow something on this coastal strip. It was hard daily work: even the stone walls of this island tell us about it: their length is tens of kilometers with the length of the island only one and a half kilometers.

Photos from open sources

It is also surprising how people used to be able to lay stones so filigree without using cement or any other bond – and the walls are preserved for centuries, and no wind, no rain, or even human intervention …

Balenac is Croatia’s small true miracle. It is no coincidence that this “thumbprint” is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.


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Bizzare & Odd

New US Space Force logo is similar to Star Trek

President Donald Trump published in his account at Twitter the new logo of the US space forces.

He noted that designers, military and other specialists worked on the creation of the sixth type emblem.

The round logo has a dark blue color and white dots representing stars. It also depicts the Earth in blue and a white figure in the form of an arrowhead directed upward. In a circle is the inscription “Space Forces of the United States of America and the Department of the Air Force.”

US Space Force logo on the left and Star Trek logo on the right.

The new logo, which looks suspiciously like the Starfleet from the science fiction series Star Trek (Star Trek), will be used to represent the latest branch of the US armed forces, which will deal exclusively with the country’s space efforts.

General John W. Raymond – Head of Space Operations – wrote in response to the tweet of Trump.

Thank you for your continued leadership and support. I couldn’t be more proud of our team, as we continue to provide critical space resources to America (GPS, SATCOM, Missile Alerts) when creating our newest Armed Service.

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Bizzare & Odd

Who are these snow people walking around Washington?

On January 22, 2020, the WSDOT webcam on the Sherman Pass on Highway 20, owned by the Washington Department of Transportation, shot something that looked like a Bigfoot:

LINK to Sherman Pass webcam – SR 20

Webcam Position:

Original tweet:

Earlier in the same area, the following was filmed:

Now, all the tabloids of the world have rushed or will rush to report, probably they will even turn on the television news, since the Department of Transport is a serious organization, it does not deal with fakes. Nevertheless, it somehow coincided that “snowmen” began to run in front of the camera amid an epidemic in China. Therefore, the question arises: what is it?

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