Creature Feature: The Woodwose, The European Wild Man

(Creature Feature Playlist)

It moved through the shadows of the forest. A hunter readied his weapon and took aim at the shape. His whole body froze, his breath caught in his throat. The creature stood on two feet and was covered from head to toe in coarse, dark hair.  It wore a crude outfit made from skins and reeds. The hunter blinked and it was gone. He’d just had an encounter with a Woodwose, the wild man of Europe.

A History Of Fascination

Depictions and encounters of the Woodwose go as far back as the early Middle Ages. Anglosaxon’s even had a name for the creature that walked like a man, wuduwasa. It began to appear in paintings and wood carvings, on stone mosaics and even in literature. Always covered in thick hair, sometimes wielding clubs or other primitive weapons. It became so popular in its day, that it wasn’t uncommon for nobility to dress as a Woodwose at parties. A famous case of this came to be called “The Ball Of The Burning Men” and ended in tragedy.

An artistic rendering of the Ball Of The Burning Men. College humor did a short on the event

A ball was held on January 28th, 1393 to celebrate a wedding for one of the female friends of the queen of France. King Charles VI and five other men dressed as Woodwose by covering themselves in costumes made from linen soaked in pitch, a highly flammable resin.

The king had outlawed open flames while the dance was being done. However, his brother seemed to have missed that memo and rushed into the party drunk and late with a torch held high. Four of the dancers were burned alive and king Charles VI was only saved by a quick-thinking aunt who shielded him from the flames with her skirts.

Modern Sightings

Sightings of the Woodwose have continued over the years in heavily forested areas all over Europe. Back in 1982, there was a sighting by Deborah Hatswell who would later go on to be a bigfoot researcher. Another sighting was made by Iisakki Mieto on December 21, 2017, in Finland. Iisakki had rushed outside into the cold to heat up his sauna and then came back into his house to wait for it to warm up. While he was waiting he watched as two human-like figures began moving from the direction of the sauna and into the woods. They were hunched over and after he lost sight of them, he decided to investigate further.

After I lost sight of the figures in the woods, I checked the sauna and it had warmed already pretty well, only that the door was left open leaking the warmth out. I produced an electric torch from the anteroom of the sauna and with its light, I saw that the unexpected visitors had left brownish coarse hair around.

Differences Between Woodwose and Bigfoot

Descriptions of the Woodwose show significant differences from what has been seen in Bigfoot encounters. While Bigfoot has been shown to be much larger than an average man and more ape-like, the Woodwose is more human-sized and shares a more man-like appearance. It is often depicted as carrying crude weapons and some of the sightings claim the Woodwose even wear simple clothing made from plants or hides.

These differences lend more to the theory that the Woodwose isn’t a “missing link” but a surviving species of human such as the neanderthal.

(If you enjoyed reading about The Woodwose , please feel free to check out other fascinating cryptids under the Creature Feature category.)



Cryptid Wiki

Interesting Thing Of The Day

History Revealed

If you enjoyed my work, please feel free to donate to my patreon or buy me a coffee. It is greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *