Creature Feature, Local Legends

In Search Of Puckwudgies

Freetown State ForestRecently, we journeyed to Freetown, Massachusetts, a small community located in a portion of the state known as The Bridgewater Triangle.  The triangle has gained notoriety as a hot spot to paranormal investigators, UFO hunters and crypto-zoologists across the country.  And apparently this area has been a locale for strange phenomena before the first European settlers arrived.

The Wampanoag tribe has a long oral history of this area going back some ten thousand years.  Among the lore is an interesting tale of a creative giant named Maushop, who, according to legend, was responsible for creating Cape Cod and performing other great deeds for the Native Americans of Massachusetts.  But in all of this joy and happiness lies a hidden malevolence: a pint-sized model of rottenness driven by jealousy and revenge known as the Puckwudgie.

Puckwudgies are described as two to three feet tall and resemble a troll in appearance.  One interesting plot twist to the lore is that Puckwudgies did not start out as malevolent beings.  At first, their role was beneficial and helpful to the Indians.  But at some point the Puckwudgies became jealous of Maushop, his wife Quant and the favor the Wampanoag showed them.  Soon the little helpers became a dangerous nuisance, burning homes, kidnapping and killing Native Americans.  The legend goes on to reveal that Native Americans asked Quant for assistance with the Puckwudgies.  She then told Maushop of the troubles, and he helped by shaking and scattering the little meanies all over New England.  Some perished as a result, but the ones that survived returned to seek revenge.  With a escalated voracity, the Puckwudgies attacked Native American villages.

Freetown State ForestOnce again natives went to Quant for help, and again she spoke to her husband.  This time Mashaup, being lazy, sent his three sons to deal with the situation.  But the Puckwudgies were ready; they lured the three wariors into a tall grass and shot them dead with poisoned arrows.  Maushop and his wife Quant, in a rage, went about destroying every Puckwudgie they could find.  Unfortunately for us, the legend states that some escaped and they are rumored to inhabit the woods of New England.

In the last twenty years alone, there have been numerous claimed sightings of Puckwudgies.  The physical descriptions from each witness bear striking similarities.  Three of theses sightings were reported to happen in the Bridgewater State Forest.  And the last, and most recent was in a cemetery in New Hampshire.

Unfortunately, during our visit to the Bridgewater Triangle, we were unable to establish whether or not Puckwudgies are mean, misunderstood or even exist.  Our visit to the state park lasted for several hours in one of the areas where a Puckwudgie was reportedly sighted.  We even wandered around the woods along many of the marked trails.  However nothing out of the ordinary ever materialized.

Have individuals witnessed these small but dangerous characters from North America’s past?  And if by some chance, they misidentified another living thing for a Puckwudgie, what was it? These questions still remain.


Posted by Chris
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 8:55 pm
18 Comments
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  1. [...] http://newenglandoddities.com/2009/05/20/in-search-of-puckwudgies/ [...]

    Pingback by Dog eat Doug » Archive » Local Lore — May 21, 2009 at 1:01 am #

  2. Well local legend or not, I believe it. The real truth is that the Puckwudgie takes a shape of an object to lure people in and will then possess the person. They had a hunt on the Puckwudgie on a show to show you what had happened.

    Comment by The Real Ghost Buster — May 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

  3. I have seen one 3 feet away from mr for min of 5 min/ I was not the only one and it terrified me yet i was the only one to stay calm. I have searched fro years to identify what we saw and finaly have an answer. CRAZY!

    Comment by Gina — October 30, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

  4. Gina, would you mind sharing with us where the encounter took place?

    Comment by Chris K — November 1, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

  5. I believe I saw a Puckwudgie when I was a child. It was in a grocery store of all places. I remember the thing that I compared it to in my head at the time was a gremlin from the gremlins movie I had seen. It was a bit shorter than I was (I was seven and pretty tiny) and had a wide head with dark scaley skin, big ears and a toothy grin and tiny eyes. It was standing at the end of the aisle next to a fruit display table and it was looking right at me. I remember the adults walking by it with shopping carts as if it weren’t there. The encounter lasted only a few seconds. Then it darted quickly under the display table and disappeared. My mother even remembers that day. She said I was very upset suddenly. She said I would not go to the back of the store. I started freaking out and getting loud every time she tried to head towards the back of the store. I remember her taking me home and waiting for my dad to come home from work so she could go back to the store and finish the rest of the shopping!

    Comment by Jessica — November 1, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

  6. Jessica and Gina,
    I am wondering what state you had your encounter in?

    Comment by Love — January 28, 2011 at 5:54 am #

  7. When I was little I seen about three or four of them in my living room. As soon as they saw me they ran behind the couch and disapeared into the wall. I got so freaked I ran and told my mom. Come to find ou years later that my dad and brother both described the same thing to her within the same week I seen them. Normally she would assume my brother and I were in on a prank, but my dad is pretty much “anti-paranormal” and asking him about it all these years later he still swears we all saw the same thing and be was freaked. I spent years trying to figure out what these things were, and now I finally have some relief by knowing.

    Comment by Arika — October 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

  8. And I seen these in northern ohio near the Michigan border

    Comment by Arika — October 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

  9. [...] http://newenglandoddities.com/2009/05/20/in-search-of-puckwudgies/ Tags: cryptozoology, puckwudgie, [...]

    Pingback by What Exactly Is A Puckwudgie? | Paranormal Encounters — February 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

  10. Of course they are real! I didn’t know them as puckwudgie until I was older and knew better but I loved the woods.

    I lived in several parts of Massachusetts for a good part of my life- The Mid Cape (Barnstable), Upper Cape (Falmouth/Bourne) and Plymouth County (Kingston) sad to say the woods I used to play in all the time as a kid in Kingston is less now and has a highway running threw it but that was where I first saw them.

    I was a lonely kid but I loved the woods my folks didn’t worry about me, my Dad had taught all of us from a young age how to be safe in the woods and I always had the dog with me anyway.

    So it was mid fall, early October and I was out exploring along the usual path I took with the dog but my older brother had mentioned there was a pond that had a pair of swans not too far off the path.

    Mistake.

    I thought I heard something like a kid much smaller than me running really quickly up the treeline to my left- the dog heard it to and turned with me. Nothing there. Then suddenly the same sound was on my left like the had crossed the old deer path when I turned and was now going across the other way.

    Since the dog didn’t bark I didn’t worry figuring it might have been a fox going after something or maybe some squirrels. We kept going but suddenly the hair on the back of my neck just stood up and Grimm went on point, he started to growl which he never did, especially NOT in the woods he was a hunting dog!

    This…leathery, raspy kind of sound like a taunting laugh came up ahead and it seemed to echo up in the trees I swore I caught a glimpse of it just on the top of the hill. Grim barked and I turned tail. We both ran the heck out of there and DID NOT go back down that path again.

    When I got home quite out of breath and with a massive stitch on my side because lets face it- I ran like hell was after me my Nan caught me at the back door. When I told her what I saw and heard she didn’t say it wasn’t real. She had only come from Ireland two years before my Dad was born and was very attached to ‘The Old Ways’. She told me to stay out of those woods unless I was on the marked path and to carry a hazel switch with me- and to NEVER go in there without Grim.

    My Nan must have thought they were Brownies. It wasn’t until college when I was reading a book for my Illustration of Mythology class that I saw some sketches of the Puckwudgies. I nearly jumped out of my chair.

    Comment by Grace — March 31, 2012 at 1:03 am #

  11. Reading this has affirmed my experience of the same encounter ten years ago i walked in to my hall way in my apartment in midway city ca.I came face to face with a hairy creature it stood about three ft. x one and a half ft.his eyes where further apart than normal like a big chow dog his fur was thick and had all assorted colors like a pile of colored clothes.I stared at it and examined it as much as i could I pinched my self to make sure it was real the way looked at me as it was looking through me it did not blink.I said out loud to my self “I am going to turn around and pray when i turn around I want you to be gone”. And i began to pray In the name of JESUS i closed my eyes and turned around with my eyes closed i seen in the spirit this beast hissed showing it’s teeth. when i turned around i opened my eyes it was gone . I looked in the bedroom behind where it was standing i looked in the closet and seen nothing but clothes that reminded me of the colors i seen on the creature.this all happened in about fifteen seconds. I remember how i felt as i stood next to it I got the sense of this thing being as old as time it self i felt as it where something i saw i a dream or something that was in the spirit realm Butt lived among flesh at one time. I told only my a couple of people about it but basically forgot all about it till recently. I tried looking into it but did not know how to go about it. I looked up similar things in appearance.I looked up “cousin it ” from the Adams family but with every color i could think of.Well thank again i really do appreciate this web site and you as well.

    Comment by Angel Carrillo — June 18, 2012 at 5:08 am #

  12. Any info on how to apease an angry puckwudgie?

    Comment by Lu — July 2, 2012 at 10:17 am #

  13. Marlow, NH is infested with these rotten creatures…lots of old ox cart trails, and old forgotten cemetaries…

    Comment by Kellie — April 3, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

  14. I saw what I believe to be a puckwudgie at our land/woods in Phippsburg Maine. We’d just bought the land and were inside our RV. I was sitting on the couch, and I looked at the window (maybe 8 feet away tops), and there was someone staring in at me. He was there for a good 5 minutes anyway. I couldn’t tell how tall he was, but I could tell he was short and stalky. I later found one of our plastic chairs outside the window, so I believe he was standing on it. It was definitely a man. He had bright blue eyes that I didn’t see blink. They were deep set. His skin was gray, but the skin around his eyes were very pale/whiteish. He had a very large, wide nose, and the size of his head was too big to be human. His forehead was wrinkled and I could see big ears, but not the shape of them. He had cloth hat on his head, and some sort of a coat on (dark in color). I could see hair poking out (looked dark gray or brown). I thought at first that it looked like a fisherman’s hat, but it didn’t roll up on the edge. The expression on his face was as though he was really concerned. I don’t know why, but I felt that he was worried about our ruining the land. I gave him a nod and a slight smile and I know this sounds weird, but I tried to think at him “not to worry – that we won’t destroy the land or the plants, and we promise to be respectful.” Whether or not he could understand, I’ll never know. After enough time for me to really study what he looked like, I looked away (was going to tell my husband), but when i looked back, he was gone. Shortly thereafter, I went outside where he was and I saw the plastic chair outside the window. From that, I could estimate that he was about 4 feet tall. I never told my husband, but I feel like I should because from researching, I’m fairly certain it was a Puckwudgie and he might be dangerous Whether he’ll believe me is another story! It’s funny. When I think back to what I was thinking while looking at him. I recall saying to myself “I can’t believe this is real.” and “He looks like one of those garden gnomes. Wow. They actualy exist!” Now, I wonder about EVERYTHING. There are SO many things that we don’t know about. I’ll be putting plants in, in the Spring. I read that you should put in a special garden for them (with fruits like strawberries). There are already rasberry and blueberry plants around. I’m going to put in a little garden with a blue-eyed gnome in it. I hope that he’ll see it and know that we’re peaceful and mean no harm or disrespect. I’d love to hear if anyone else in mid-coast Maine has seen these. If so, please write in and tell me about your experience. Thanks to the site owners for having a place to write about this. I’d be very aprehensive to discuss this generally with anyone. They’d probably think I was crazy.

    Comment by Phippsburg Maine — April 9, 2013 at 11:12 am #

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  16. I have recently began the process of publishing a book dealing namely with my observations and close study of Puckwudgie creatures in New Hampshire. These creatures are living breathing animals and not ghostly spirits. I have been lucky to have had numerous encounters with Puckwudgie having made detailed observations. I was raised in New Hampshire where I still reside. Hopefully by early next year spring of 2014 my book will be available for interested readers titled “Puckwudgie (Legend of Sunset Hill)” By Ralph S Hutchinson
    This story I have imparted is a true review of facts about my personal encounters with the creatures. I perhaps may be the only person in the world to have physically examined a living Puckwudgie, the details shall be contained in my book. They are the most fascinating creatures on the planet, nothing compares to the Puckwudgie due to very unusual anatomy, high intelligence and danger to humans.
    If anyone is looking for a great story and willing to feature a new author please contact Dorrance Publishing Company Inc.

    Ralph S Hutchinson
    Field Research Scientist, Author

    Comment by Ralph S Hutchinson — August 7, 2013 at 10:56 am #

  17. Thanks Ralph. I’ll keep an eye out for your book. Since writing the above post, I’ve had other, strange experiences on our Maine land. I’m certain of 1 puckwudgie and some really small wood spirits of some kind. There has also been some paranormal activity (nothing bad – more mischievious). Could you please elaborate here about how to handle interactions with them? (the best thing to do, how to behave, *what NOT to do, etc). I don’t mind if they’re there. I just want them to know that we mean no harm, and want to live there in peace. Thanks for your help.

    Comment by Phippsburg ME — January 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

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