Happy Wildfolk Yule!

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 24th, 2007

Merry Wildfolk Yuletime!

Santa Claus is nothing more than a modernized image of the Wildpeople, Bigfoot, Windigo, Sasquatch, and Yeti. Enjoy the origins as an insight into hominology. Remember, the wilder the look of that woodsy-looking Old St. Nick on your tree or mantle, the closer you are to the reality of Santa Sasquatch.

The Swedish Wildmen/folk (Snömannen), Yeti-like creatures believed to inhabit the remote areas of the forest of Lapland, is linked to that of a Bigfoot painted bright red with a snowy white beard.

Old stories of the Wildpeople and Snowmen (Snömannen) are interwoven into those of Santa Claus. The traditional “Wildman of the Middle Ages” was described as a bestial, ape-like creature, with a beard. Its body was covered in thick, matted hair and smelled of a foul odor. The habitat of the wildman was the northern woods, where he lived in a cave or den. His traditional beast of burden was the reindeer. The Wildman shares all these traits with the hairy hominoids we know so well.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss follows a classic Wildman scenario: The Grinch is a hairy, Bigfoot-like creature that lives in an alpine cave in a mountain similar to the Matterhorn.

In the 2000 motion picture adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Director Ron Howard has Jim Carrey, as the green Grinch, even pose like Bigfoot in the classic Patterson-Gimlin 1967 film walk. The Wildman is drawn full circle in art, folklore, fiction, legend, and popular culture.

Wildmen and cultural icons are an intriguing topic, and so too are the thoughts explored in the wonderful book Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas, Spanning 50,000 Years by Phyllis Siefker.

Happy Wildpeople Yule Days.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

14 Responses to “Happy Wildfolk Yule!”

  1. Emonix responds:

    Very interesting Loren. Never thought of that.

  2. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    Remember the movie Elf? Buddy the elf was doing the patterson bigfoot walk in central park in the film.

  3. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone have a wonderful merry christmas. great article as well. thanks bill green 🙂

  4. DARHOP responds:

    Twas the night before Christmas, And all through the museum, all the cryptids were stirring, but Loren still could not see em.
    Night vision cameras, hung from the chimney with care, in hopes that Patty soon would be there.
    Loren had the children all snug in their beds, while visions of Nessy swam through their heads.
    Still chilly under his blanket, Loren put on his cap, and was fast asleep, for a long winters nap.
    When outside the museum there rose such a clatter, Loren sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
    Away to the window he flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.
    The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow, Gave the luster of cryptids to objects below.
    When, what to Lorens wondering eyes should appear, But the Abominable Snowman and 8 mangy Reindeer!
    With a huge white hairy driver, so lively and quick, He knew in moment it wasn’t St. Nick.
    More than a raging BigFoot his courses they came, And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name.
    “Now PATTY, Now NESSIE, COELACANTH and the rest of you all, To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall. Now Sneak away, Sneak away, Sneak away all.
    As dry leaves that before the mangy Reindeer fly, when they meet with a cryptid, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the courses they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, The Abominable Snowman too.
    And then in a twinkling, Loren heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each mangy hoof. As Loren drew in his mind, and was turning around. Down the chimney came Yeti with a crashing sound.
    He was all furry, from his head to his foot, and his fur was all tarnished with ashes and soot. A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked mighty happy as he opened his sack.
    His eyes-how they twinkled, though he still looked scary. His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. His huge mouth, was drawn up like a bow. And the fur of his body was white as the snow.
    A branch in his mouth, held tight in his teeth, was the shape of a circle, it was a Christmas wreath. He had a broad face, and a big round belly, that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
    He was chubby and plump, it was Yeti not an elf, And Loren laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself. A wink of his eye and twist of his head, soon gave Loren to know he had nothing to dread.
    He spoke not a word, but went straight to work, the Yeti filled all the stockings, and turned with a jerk, laying a huge finger upon his nose. And giving a nod, up the chimney Yeti rose.
    He sprang to his sleigh, his mangy team he gave a whistle, and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But Loren heard him holler, as he flew out of sight.

    Merry Christmas Everybody

  5. DARHOP responds:

    I just want to wish Loren and all the folks that run this site a Very Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. And also, to the many commentors (Cryptomundians) skeptics and all, that keep this site interesting with your comments. May your holidays be filled with nothing but life’s best. And may all your wishes come true. And that includes you too Ben Radford.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!

  6. cmgrace responds:

    I remember that scene in the movie! I just thought it was cute and got a laugh out of it. I never knew that part of the history. Very interesting indeed. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

  7. mrbf2007 responds:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all at Cryptomundo!!! Great and interesting article too, Loren.

  8. AlbertaSasquatch responds:

    BRAVO DARHOP! That was great. I bet Loren loved it. I did. Merry Christmas Cryptomundians and a Happy Crypto filled New Year!

  9. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Thanks for the article Loren, I’d naver thought of the links concerning St. Nick and our hairy friends.

    Feliz Navidad to all the Cryptomundians.

    PS: Double-plus-good DARHOP. Double-plus-good! 🙂

  10. ndiandy responds:

    Great article Loren! It just goes to show that there may be more fact then fiction in old folktales. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And on this Christmas Eve I get to begin reading your “BIGFOOT! The True Story of Apes in America” which I received from my sister-in-law.

  11. awaman responds:

    I’m from Sweden and have never heard of a “snömannen” living in Sweden. What I do know is that snömannen is a common Swedish term for the yeti living in tibet. It is true that the woodwose is depicted in, for example the heraldic weapon for laponia, but he is called the wildman and is stylized with a club of gold, and red hair Vildman and for what I know not based on a Swedish yeti but is a symbol for the untamed lands of laponia, designed in the 1600’s and based on “beardy, suntanned men using tools” (translated from Vildmannens Land). I am very interested in stories about yetis, bigfoot etc, but if there is such a thing as a Swedish snömannen roaming about in sweden I would love to see some links to stories describing this. My bet is that this depiction of snömannen is a lie :).

    Merry Christmas all!

  12. Creekfreak responds:

    Cool story you could be a bigfoot fanatic if you read storys about santa being a bigfoot on Christmas day !
    Merry Chirstmas from the swamp folks !

  13. lotsson responds:

    Sorry, but this is not correct. The Swedish version of Santa Claus is called tomte, and he’s derived from a small, gnomelike being that was believed to live on farms and take care of the animals – if you treated him right. A tomte in the original form is grey, not red. Gradually, the tomte has changed appearance and is now in Sweden identical with the American Santa Claus – big, red clothes, pointed cap, white beard. This has nothing to do with the tradition of wild men. (In fact, Santa/tomten looks much like how artists depict God.) – However, the wild man is an interesting tradition. There are such traditions both among the Saami (also known as Laps) and among non-Saami Swedes. The wild man shown in the article is the official coat of arms of the province of Jamtland. – There is another tradition in Southern Sweden of so-called jättar (jaettar), a word usually translated as giants. They were known to throw rocks, to whistle and be hairy – sound familiar?

  14. bluesea responds:

    The only Wildman I knew when I was growing up was “Santa Claus. I guess I was pretty innocent because I was only a child, But it was the most exciting time of my childhood. Christmas was the most exciting of the year. I’m an adult; I get excited when Bigfoot is mentioned, about some one has seen Bigfoot.

    Five years ago my husband and myself passed by Oklahoma where Bigfoot has been seen but we never got to see Bigfoot. We hope that next time we go we can get a glimpse of Bigfoot.

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