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Saturday, October 29, 2022

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The Winsted Wildman

The Winsted Wildman is one name given to the bigfoot population that has been reported in Litchfield County in Northern Connecticut.

A general description given states it has a thin coat of blond or light-brown hair which is unlike the usual reported coats of other bigfoots. He is reported to typically avoid contact with people, staying in wooded areas near water. Cars parked in "lover's lanes" have called in reports of the creature watching them and then fleeing with a series of yelps and whoops.

The original story of Winsted Wildman started back in 1895.

The August 27th Winsted Evening Citizen and the August 28th Winsted Herald reported that town selectman Riley Smith was startled while picking berries when "a large man, stark naked, and covered with hair all over his body, ran out of a clump of bushes".

Mr. Smith and his bulldog, Ned, were paralyzed with fear when the creature showed himself. In  a later interview, he added more details. He further described the creature as "a wild, hairy man of the woods, six feet in height". "The man's hair was black and hung down long on his shoulders, and that his body was thickly covered with black hair.  The man was remarkably agile, and to all appearance was a muscular, brawny man, a man against whom any ordinary man would stand little chance".

The Wildman was seen by several others during the next few weeks with matching descriptions.

George Hoskins claimed the Wildman stole two chickens from his hen house. Then two New York women said they saw a large strange animal standing on its hind legs. They suggested it was possibly an escaped gorilla from a circus.

Jim Maddrah boasted that he had taken a photograph of the Wildman but when seen the picture seemed to be a "normal" man who just happened to have a magnificent head of hair. His body appeared to be hair free. When questioned about it, Mr. Maddrah claimed the camera had been so startled by the Wildman that "it couldn't see straight".

The local chief of police, Steve Wheeler, upon sighting the creature gave chase to it only to lose it in a nearby swamp.

The Winsted Herald finally suggested the Wildman was Arthur Beckwith, an escaped mental patient from Litchfield Sanitarium. The story was never confirmed.

Some investigators said they felt the editor of the newspaper made up the entire story just to increase his newspaper's sales. It has also been said to have been a hoax carried on by a young reporter, Lou Stone, for the Winston Evening Citizen.

Stories of sightings began to taper off and soon the Winsted Wildman was forgotten. Frank L. Wentworth chronicled the story in his book "The Winsted Wildman and other tales".

However, decades later more stories came to light.

In late July 1972, the Hartford Courant ran a story on a "strange, man-like creature." Two young men near Crystal Lake Reservoir claimed to see a figure "about eight feet tall and covered with hair" near a barn on Winchester Road. It was walking upright and finally disappeared into the woods. Several people suggested that they may have seen a bear. They replied, "It was no bear".

Then in September of 1974, couples parked at the Rugg Brook Reservoir were being frightened by a "six-foot, 300-pound creature covered with dark-colored hair". When the police and others investigated, they were unable to find tracks or any other evidence.

Although some claim that there have been no further reports of the Winsted Wildman, other bigfoot encounters have been reported through the years for Litchfield County. Even the BFRO lists five sightings for the county dating from November 1968 through the Winter of 2015. It can be assumed that there have been other sightings not chronicled in that database.

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sources: Monster Spotter's Guide to North America, by Scott Francis; Winsted Wildman by Ray Bendici / Damned Connecticut / damnedct.com; The CT files: the Legend of the Winsted Wildman by Ray Bendici / Connecticut Magazine / connecticutmag.com; Winsted Wildman by hoaxes.org.


"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.

[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]

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