Herne the Hunter has a very famous beginning. He is first mentioned in Shakespeare's " Merry Wives of Windsor"
Mrs Page. There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,
Sometime a keeper here in
Doth all the winter-time, at still midnight,
Walk round about an oak, with great ragg’d horns;
And there he blasts the tree, and takes the cattle,
And makes milch-kine yield blood, and shakes a chain
In a most hideous and dreadful manner:
You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know
The superstitious idle-headed eld
Receiv’d, and did deliver to our age,
This tale of Herne the hunter for a truth.
This is the first record in writing of
He has appeared since in Literature, William
He is described as wearing deer's horns on his head.
Carrying a length of chain and walking around the "Blasted Oak". Also
he is said to lead on horse back "The Wild Hunt" through
The site of the famous
blasted oak, and the fate of the tree has been hotly disputed. It was said to
be by the side of a fairy haunted dell in
It is believed by some that
his origins is in Celtic and Anglo Saxon Mythology. That he is a memory of the
Celtic God Cernunnos or the Pagan
Anglo Saxon God Woden. Gods of
the greenwood and forests, but particularly of the oak. Cernunnos
had deer's horns on his head, Woden lead a wild hunt with phantom dogs and lost souls through the forest. Much
of what is written in great detail of
Most of the reported sightings seem to be in 20th Century, but now Mr Chamberlain's sighting is in the 21st Century. There are the anecdotal stories, that he appeared in just before certain national disasters. Appearing before the Great Depression in 1931, with a white stag ghost and the ghostly form of the blasted oak. Also just before the second world war in 1939, and on the Death of George VI in 1952. No sources or witnesses are given with these sightings.
However signings with witness names do exist. Mr Evan
Baille the father of the Lord Burton, who died in May this year, heard the
hunting horn and the baying of the hounds when he was at
Another lady living at
Elliott O'Donnell the famous Ghost Hunter, had lunch
with the Dean of Windsor in Autumn of 1936. He asked him if he had heard
I have found that in 22nd September 1947 the American
magazine Life ran an long article on Britain's ghosts, Saying that in Britain,
there were more Ghosts in houses, then termites in houses in the US, Written
before "Ghost Hunters" hit TV in the States, of course. It started
with a reporting from a woman who told
to the London Evening News that she had seen in
A story told by a Morris dancer to folklorist R L Tongue involved a Teddy Boy killed by an invisible arrow in the 1950,s The Teddy boy and two other lads were mucking about in Windsor Great park breaking down small trees . The Teddy boy then found a hunting horn on the ground and blew it. A giant yelp came from the trees and the baying of some hounds followed. They all ran to a local church. Teddy boy stumbled, and as he reached the church last there was the sound of an arrow in flight, and he dropped down dead. No sign of hounds hunter or arrow were found.
A similar thing happened in 1962; A group of youths are said to have found another huge hunting horn in the great park one night and blew upon it. Their call was answered by another horn, as well as the sounds of hounds baying nearby. Herne himself appeared this time riding a black horse and wearing enormous ragged antlers. The youths threw down the horn and ran for their lives.
These sounds of hounds and hunting horns are said to represent the great pagan wild hunt. The hounds are sometime called Gabriel Hounds or Gabriel Ratches, which also is a name for the braying hound like sound, wild geese make in flight at night.
I have written to the Archivist of the
Coldstream Guards, but they keep no records of so minor punishments as three
days confined to barracks. He thinks that the sentry was probably spooked by a
statue, and was let off lightly for letting off a rifle in the grounds of
Fortean Times reported a similar incident in 1976 which sounds more like Hern the Hunter
A MOVING EXPERIENCE AT
It appears that on the night of 22nd September a
19-year-old Coldstream Guardsman on duty overlooking a sunken garden in the
He swore to hospital doctors that a statue of a horned man in chains suddenly came alive before his eyes. Despite several mentions of the story in the press very few details are known because the Army have refused to make any more information available. The unnamed Guardsman was sent away for several days rest and attempts to get statements from the barracks near the castle have met with silence.
We wrote to the Guardsman via his commanding officer and received a reply from a Major EBL Armitage (1st Battalion CGs) who kindly informed us that he had passed the letter to the soldier who in turn asked the Major to reply for him. The soldier said 'that he wished to be allowed to forget this rather frightening incident.'
The Major added that he hoped we 'will understand his
feelings and will wish to respect his desire to say no more of the matter'.