HERNE THE HUNTER
The story of Herne the Hunter is quite old and tells the tale of a keeper of a forest who was caught committing a crime and hung himself upon an oak tree in Windsor Forest. After his death he couldn’t rest and haunted the area around the oak tree he hung himself from and some accounts state he haunts the forest. Herne isn’t your typical, benign, and harmless ghost but he is malevolent and evil. His wickedness is fierce enough to cause harm to anyone who catches a glimpse of him. Simply catching him in the corner of your eye may cause you to become ill and the vicious influence causes other anomalies. It is presumed the tree he hung himself from ages ago has died and was cut down. There is a peculiar note about Herne that hasn’t been explained. It is said that he wears horns of a stag, a rather specific note about his ghastly appearance. Unfortunately in modern times he has been somewhat forgotten and has been mixed with other legends and stories. Today, historical evidence is foggy about a real Herne but some records suggest there may have been a Herne. One text clearly states “Rycharde Horne, yeoman charged with unlawful hunting.” It’s probable that the tale of Herne originates from Rhycharde Horne, nothing is definite and it isn’t possible to link the two leaving it as just a speculation. Fortunately there is a significant person that wrote about Herne in one of his own plays. William Shakespeare had put in The Merry Wives of Windsor the following
Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
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.