Christopher Thomas Knight: How The Final True Hermit Survived Nearly 30 Years Residing In The Woods

Think about you personal a trip house in rural Maine. You will have heard legends of a legendary creature that lurks within the shadows and breaks into individuals’s houses. All of a sudden, you start to note there may be meals lacking out of your pantry. Then, a few of your garments are gone. Though there isn’t a proof of a break-in, you may’t assist however really feel that one thing is improper.

That is the form of terror that the residents of North Pond lived in for 27 years, however that is additionally the best way the final true hermit managed to outlive alone within the woods for thus lengthy. Learn on to find out about who the hermit actually was.

One thing Unusual Started Taking place At North Pond


Within the late ’80s, one thing unusual was taking place to the neighborhood of North Pond, Maine. Residents discovered batteries lacking from flashlights and sure meals lacking from their fridges.

Propane tanks that had been believed to be full had been all of the sudden fully empty. Households stored pointing fingers at one another. They had been positive none of them would do something so trivial, which solely added to the confusion. Individuals drove themselves loopy looking for an evidence for these mysterious happenings.

A number of Burglaries Terrorized This Rural Trip Spot

Camp North Woods

Quickly, issues began getting menacing. Residents would discover little particulars, similar to scratch marks on doorframes and chipped wooden subsequent to window locks. Extra issues went lacking. It was clear that North Pond was being burglarized.

Individuals modified their locks and put in safety methods to no avail. They did not know if it was one particular person or a bunch of people who had been committing these crimes and worse, in the event that they had been harmful. For nearly 30 years, North Pond residents felt haunted by one thing or somebody, however they did not know what or who.

Individuals Could not Catch Whoever Was Committing These Crimes


The residents of North Pond had been as vigilant as they may very well be. North Pond is a rural space, nonetheless, and everlasting residents did not stay shut sufficient to one another to have the ability to catch something. Different cabins within the space had been trip houses that had been vacant a majority of the time.

Thefts had been reported to native authorities, however they might do little to assist. At one level a resident posted a observe on their door urging the burglar to not break in. The resident even supplied to depart out regardless of the wrongdoer(s) wanted if they only allow them to know. There was by no means a reply. The robberies continued. Earlier than the authorities may determine it out, a harmful city legend was born…

The Legend Of The North Pond Hermit Was Born

Much more peculiar than the mysterious robberies had been the objects that had been being stolen. Batteries, kitchenware, garments, books, magazines, and junk meals had been at all times reported lacking. However objects of immense financial worth had been by no means taken from these houses.

As these burglaries raged on for many years the particular person or individuals accountable have grow to be fodder for native legends. Ghost tales in regards to the “North Pond Hermit” had been swapped across the campfire. With no solutions for thus lengthy, attainable explanations for the thefts have veered into myths. The North Pond Hermit was additionally referred to as the “Hungry Man,” the “stealthy yeti,” or “Maine’s Loch Ness monster.”

The Police Have been Hardly Any Assist

Native authorities tried all the pieces to catch the North Pond Hermit through the years. Two county sheriff’s departments, the Maine state police, and even the sport warden service performed foot searches, flyovers, and even dusted fingerprints with no luck.

However after so a few years, Maine recreation warden Sergeant Terry Hughes grew to become obsessed. He was decided to catch the hermit. With the assistance of border patrol brokers, he put in prime secret Homeland Safety gear on the Pine Tree Camp at North Pond the place he usually volunteered. Positive that the hermit would strike their kitchen within the low season, he waited for about two weeks.

Sergeant Hughes Lastly Hit A Breakthrough

On a brisk April evening simply after 1 A.M., Hughes’s movement detectors went off. The hermit was on the camp. Having had this second deliberate right down to a ‘T’, Hughes rushed out of his house and made it to the camp in about 4 minutes.

He crept as much as the kitchen window to substantiate his suspicions. He noticed a single man filling up his backpack, however the man was a little bit chubby and clear shaven — not what he anticipated. May this seemingly regular man be the burglar who had been terrorizing North Pond for nearly 30 years?

The Man He Noticed Was Not What He Anticipated

Cautious to be discreet in order to not scare off the burglar, Hughes quietly referred to as for backup. He phoned Maine State Police Trooper Diane Vance, who had additionally been chasing down the hermit for a few years.

Hughes was only a recreation warden, so it was Vance that truly had extra authority to make a reputable arrest. He observed the burglar head towards an exit totally different from the place he’d entered. Realizing that the hermit usually escaped with out a hint, Hughes knew this is able to be his solely probability to catch him. Because the burglar slipped out of the eating corridor, Hughes ambushed him.

The North Pond Hermit Was Lastly Caught

“Get on the bottom!” Hughes bellowed. The burglar made no try to flee and didn’t resist. Sweet spilled out of his pockets as he lay facedown. The North Pond Hermit was lastly apprehended.

As soon as Vance arrived, the North Pond Hermit was positioned in handcuffs and so they sat him down for questioning. This man was unusually pale, wore outdated glasses, and had on some evenly worn winter garments. He was clear, did not scent, however had no identification. He refused to talk, so Hughes finally left him alone with Vance. After they gave him water, he finally began to speak.

The Hermit’s True Identification Is Revealed

“My title is Christopher Thomas Knight,” the person informed Vance. She additionally discovered that he was born on December 7, 1965. He had no deal with or automobile, and he did not pay taxes as a result of he lived within the woods.

Knight did not know the way lengthy he had been dwelling within the woods. He stopped holding monitor of months and years lengthy earlier than that. He did keep in mind that the Chernobyl nuclear-plant catastrophe occurred simply earlier than he determined to depart for the woods. That was in 1986. Knight was solely 20 years outdated again then. He was 47 by the point he lastly bought caught in 2013.

Knight Did not Resist Arrest As a result of He Was Ashamed

Christopher Thomas Knight confessed to his crimes nearly instantly, admitting that he was ashamed. He had dedicated no less than 40 robberies a 12 months, which quantities to a whole lot of break-ins.

Though it’s a crime, it is fairly spectacular that Knight bought away with this for nearly 30 years. He stated he by no means broke in when somebody was house and was cautious to depart little to no hint. He solely stole what was vital — meals, propane, garments, studying supplies. He did admit that all the pieces he owned was stolen, aside from his eyeglasses which had been from the ’80s.

He Was Truly From A Close by City

After trying him up within the system, Vance discovered that Knight had no legal report. He defined that he grew up in Albion, Maine, just below an hour away from the place he was dwelling within the woods.

Investigators quickly discovered Knight’s senior image within the 1984 Lawrence Excessive College yearbook. He was sporting the identical actual glasses he had on after they discovered him. Although Vance was positive that Knight was not harmful, he was nonetheless arrested and charged with housebreaking and theft. That evening he was taken to the Kennebec County jail, the place he slept indoors for the primary time in 27 years.

Michael Finkel Needed To Inform Knight’s Story

It is a surprise why Knight determined to up and go away behind life as he knew it for a lifetime of isolation within the woods. GQ journalist Michael Finkel exchanged letters with Knight and spent as much as 9 hours visiting him in jail to be taught his story, which was later recounted in a e-book, The Stranger within the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Final True Hermit.

Knight informed Finkel that he had a traditional upbringing and “good mother and father,” however made some extent to say that “We’re not emotionally bleeding throughout one another. We’re not touchy-feely. Stoicism is predicted.”

He Had A Regular Life Earlier than Going Into The Woods


Knight grew up with 4 older brothers and a youthful sister. Earlier than going into the woods, Knight’s outside experiences had been from moose looking journeys together with his father. They’d usually sleep at the back of their decide up truck, below the celebrities.

He had good grades in highschool however was a little bit of a loner. After graduating early, Knight adopted his older brothers and enrolled in a vocational electronics course on the Sylvania Technical College in Massachusetts. He then took a job putting in house and car alarm methods, expertise that proved helpful when he began breaking and getting into.

One Day He Simply Determined To Stroll Away

In 1985, Knight purchased a model new Subaru Brat however he would not be utilizing it for too lengthy. He stop his job after lower than a 12 months and drove again as much as Maine, passing by means of his hometown with out stopping.

“I drove till I used to be almost out of gasoline. I took a small street. Then a small street off that small street. Then a path off that,” Knight informed Finkel. After parking the automobile and leaving the keys within the heart console, he was off. “I had a backpack and minimal stuff. I had no plans. I had no map. I did not know the place I used to be going. I simply walked away.”

He Wandered For Two Years Earlier than He Discovered His Spot

Christopher Thomas Knight’s lifetime of solitude started in the summertime of 1986. He began out by tenting in a single spot for a few week, earlier than persevering with on mountaineering south. Finally, he misplaced monitor of the place he was.

After roaming round for about two years, he discovered the proper spot to settle in. Nestled between boulders and shaded by maple and hemlock timber, Knight’s campsite wasn’t noticeable if individuals had been to move by. You actually needed to seek for it. He slept in a easy nylon tent that was lined with layers of brown tarp. Camouflage was key.

Finally, He Had To Resort To Stealing Meals

At first, Knight was in a position to get by foraging for meals. He ate roadkill and took greens from individuals’s gardens. However he knew that he could not maintain himself on greens alone and that is when he resorted to stealing.

“I used to be at all times scared when stealing. At all times… It was often 1 or 2 A.M. I might go in, hit the cupboards, the fridge. Out and in. My coronary heart fee was hovering. It was not a snug act.” Knight added, “I am a thief. I induced worry. Individuals have a proper to be indignant. However I’ve not lied.”

No One May Consider How He Presumably Survived Out There For So Lengthy

Individuals had been skeptical that Knight survived all these years sleeping outdoors. Some even recommended that he must have slept inside one of many cabins he broke into, perhaps even use the lavatory. However he insisted that he by no means as soon as did any of that.

Knight’s campsite was in a clearing that was in regards to the dimension of a bed room. He had an space for laundry up, a close-by latrine and dump website, and a two-burner range. Individuals could not consider that Knight survived the cruel winters out within the wilderness, however he did. He spent all the fall seasons making ready for it, bulking up on stolen junk meals and alcohol.

He Solely Spoke One Phrase To One Particular person In 27 Years

North Pond hermit Chistopher Knight

Knight was cautious to not go away a traces of his presence anyplace he went. He’d scatter pine needles over borrowed canoes after utilizing them and was cautious to not enterprise out in winter, for worry of leaving footprints.

He by no means even bought sick or needed to see a physician for nearly 30 years — you must be round individuals to catch one thing. For nearly 30 years, Knight actually had no contact with the skin world. The final time he encountered one other human, he recollects, was within the ’90s. He handed a hiker within the woods and merely stated, “hello.” — the one time he spoke to somebody in 27 years.

The Courtroom Did not Know What To Do With Him

North Pond Hermit

Knight spent months in jail whereas they determined what to do with him. A case like this had no precedent. Residents who had been affected by Knight’s crimes had combined feelings as soon as the reality was revealed.

For years North Pond residents had misplaced their peace of thoughts, not understanding what or who was lurking on the market. However as soon as they came upon about Knight, lots of them had been sympathetic. Although they had been victims within the case, sending Knight to jail was too merciless of a punishment for somebody that basically meant no hurt and simply needed to be left alone.

Christopher Thomas Knight Finally Needs To Be Left Alone

Six months after his arrest, Christopher Thomas Knight appeared in court docket and pleaded responsible to 13 counts of housebreaking and theft. The Kennebec County Superior Courtroom sentenced him to seven months in jail, a lot of which was already served whereas they had been deliberating his case.

Knight was additionally sentenced to 2 years of probation, assembly with the choose each Monday and abstaining from alcohol. Inside this time, he discovered a job together with his brother and stayed together with his mom in the home he grew up in. Nobody actually is aware of what’s grow to be of him now, since he desires to proceed to stay as invisibly as attainable.

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