Hikers captured a bone-chilling photo of a mysterious naked “wolf man,” who officials believe has lived in the wild for at least 5 years, as they traveled through Germany’s Harz Mountains on Tuesday.
Gina Weiss and her friend Tobi encountered the unkept figure who sat on a rock and seemingly carried a spear in the heart of the wildness, telling German newspaper Bild that the figure “wouldn’t take his eyes (off) us.”
Weiss, 31, said the chance encounter with the unknown mountain man lasted about 10 minutes as she explored the woods near Blankenburg, about 150 miles outside of Berlin.
“When we reached the sand caves we saw the wolf man,” Weiss told the outlet.”He stood up high on one of the caves and held a long wooden stick like a lance in his arm.”
Weiss estimated the man to be in his 40s and said it looked as if he was from the prehistoric era.
“He wouldn’t take his eyes off us, said nothing. He looked dirty like a Stone Age man from a history book,” she revealed.
The Times reported that police in Blankenburg received multiple reports over the past five years of a bizarre figure draped in “wolf fur or in a wolf costume” who roamed freely in its wilderness.
In March, authorities received a call from a distressed hiker demanding help, saying, “There’s a wolf man running around here” in the park — sharing that unexplainable fire bolts were appearing around the area of the figure, the outlet said.
However, emergency personnel couldn’t find the “wolf man” when they reached the site for its investigation.
Members of the Blankenburg fire brigade also reported seeing a man roaming the forest, only to scurry away when noticing the crew, the outlet reported from MDR, the regional public broadcaster of Saxony-Anhalt — the state where Blankenburg is located.
Emergency personnel explained their concern lies more that a man is living in the woods and could cause a detrimental wildfire than the legend of a “wolf man” stalking hikers out in the wild.
“Someone clearly knows how to live outside and adapt to the changing seasons,” Alexander Beck, the head of Blankenburg fire brigade, told Bild.
Located in northern Germany, the Harz Moutain range stretches 68 miles into the German states Sachsen-Anhalt and Niedersachsen, with its highest peak being The Brocken, towering over the landscape at more than 3,700 ft, according to the park’s website.
The region is known for its labyrinth landscape and dense vegetation, which differs throughout its massive reach.
Eerie legends and myths of strange and otherworldly creatures lurking in the vast mountain ranges and wilderness are nothing new for German folk tales and fables.
A third of the country is covered by dense woodland, and the Harz region’s forest is entrenched with lore focused around witches, ancient cults, and frightening devilish beasts prowling in the shadows.
The culture around witches in the wilderness runs deep enough that locals in the area celebrate a festival called “Walpurgis Night” or “Witches’ Night” on April 30 of each year since the 1700s, according to World History.org.
The centuries-old lore dating back to 870 CE tells the tale of witches descending to the highest mountain peaks of the Harz region on “May Day’s Eve,” when their powers are most potent and danced around the fire while entering an unholy matrimony with the devil.
The event is to pay respect to a ninth-century English missionary named Saint Walpurga, who repelled the witch’s evilness that was wreaking havoc on the nearby towns, according to the outlet.
The festival is often referred to as “the second Halloween.”
According to the legend, a well-lit fire is meant to keep evil spirits away — only further fueling the strangeness of the fire sites found throughout the National Park as of recent.