Germanic Mythology

The Gods of central Europe and the Anglo-Saxons...

WILD HUNT

Germanic legendary event

The thunderous wintry chariot chase

On the dark nights of December when the boundary between the living and spirits grows thin the weary traveller might encounter the deafening passing of the Wild Hunt.

One of the most enduring myths to come out of medieval Europe, the story and personnel vary from locale to locale but the premise is always the same: a horseman or charioteer, usually Woden, driving a spectral host of beasts and men through the air. The creatures might range from goats to wolves or the unquiet dead. The hunt will not cease until their prey is caught, so woe betide anyone who strays from the path to fall beneath their trampling hooves, paws or decaying toes.

Further north the ghostly horseman is Odin astride Sleipnir, sometimes accompanied by Thor providing thunderous sound effects. There are many other variations.

In some circles it is recommended to leave out the last of the grain to feed the horses. Other myths speak of Woden rewarding those he passes who ae able to prove their worth. Could this be the tiniest hint of a precursor to the flying sleigh of Santa Claus? These spooky tales are a far cry from the jovial gift-giver gliding through a snow-laden sky. On the whole, we cannot recommend a close encounter under such circumstances.

If you’re out on a blustery night this winter and hear the baying of hounds towards some distant prey, you’d better pray it’s not you they’re after. No matter how curious you are, whatever you see, whatever you hear, do not stray from the path.

Wild Hunt Facts and Figures

Name: Wild Hunt
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names:

Gender: Male
Type: legendary event
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

Role: Unknown at present

Good/Evil Rating: NEUTRAL, may not care
Popularity index: 778

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Article last revised on September 29, 2018 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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