Wood Devils & Goody Cole: A look at 5 of New Hampshire’s legendary creatures

Goody Cole

Photo courtesy of Lane Memorial Library

By Granite Post Staff

May 29, 2024

The Lighter Side of Legends: A Humorous Look at New Hampshire’s Legendary Creatures

When you think of New Hampshire, images of picturesque mountains, quaint towns, and stunning lakes may come to mind. But did you know that the Granite State is also home to a host of legendary creatures? From mysterious stone-throwing devils to elusive wood devils, New Hampshire’s folklore is rich with tales of the strange and supernatural. Let’s take a look at some of the state’s most intriguing legendary creatures.

Wood Devils of the White Mountains – Hide and Seek Champions

In the dense forests of the White Mountains, there’s a legendary creature that’s turned camouflage into an art form – the Wood Devil. The Wood Devils are supposedly adept at blending in with their surroundings, ensuring that they remain invisible to those trying to claim their existence. The Wood Devils are likened to a group of Bigfoot-like creatures that occupy the hills of Coos County, New Hampshire. Despite the size of these hairy creatures, they’re dubbed stealthy and elusive, hard to find.

The Wood Devils avoid human contact as much as possible, which is why they are claimed to lurk in the White Mountains, a very remote area. It’s speculated that lumberjacks working in the woods sometime in the 1930s gave the creatures its name “Wood Devils.” In the 1940s, a camper claimed to have spotted one and said it had a horse-like face with gray hair. Since they’re elusive and unwilling to be spotted, who knows what the Wood Devils actually look like?

The Mysterious Stone-Throwing Devils – Not Your Average Vandal

The Stone-Throwing Devils are New Hampshire’s own playful yet perplexing phenomena. Forget your average troublemakers; these entities have taken the art of mischief to a whole new level. The Stone-Throwing Devils date back to the 1600s—very early American history. George Walton claimed stones rained down on his cottage in 1682, but no one could ever pinpoint the culprit. Puritan Clergyman Cotton Maher caught wind of the event and immediately blamed the devil. Others have claimed it’s a poltergeist.

The details of the Stone-Throwing Devils have never fully been uncovered. Some claim that any time stones were thrown, a black cat would appear. George Walton remained a prime target, and at one point, several stones “broke his head”—evidence he took to court. It’s unclear if this unknown creature still haunts New Hampshire, but you can certainly go poke around the New England area to discover its past haunts.

The Legend of Goody Cole – New Hampshire’s Only Witch

In the heart of Hampton, New Hampshire, lingers the tale of Goody Cole, a name that resonates with mystery and an air of darkness in New Hampshire’s history. She wasn’t your average resident though. Goody Cole was renowned for something far more intriguing—she was the only person ever convicted of witchcraft in the Granite State.

In the 17th century, Goody Cole found herself in the middle of accusations, dark magic, and witchcraft. She was accused of dabbling in the arts, and her fate was sealed by the fear and misunderstandings of her time. Yet, it’s said that her spirit could never quite come to terms with her earthly trial and subsequent punishment. As legend has it, she still roams the town of Hampton, casting an unseen shadow over the place she once called home.

The fascinating thing about Goody Cole is how she’s gone from feared witch to a legendary figure, embodying the state’s rich history and love for a good ghost story. Goody Cole was arrested three times before she was released. After her third arrest and being released from hail, she died, but was then found innocent. When she died, her body was either thrown into a ditch or the sea—or maybe even tossed a cliff. It’s unclear. But, she apparently haunts her old town because of how she was treated after her death.

So, if you ever find yourself wandering the streets of Hampton or exploring its lush surroundings, remember that you might not be as alone as you think. Keep an eye out for the mischievous spirit of Goody Cole.

Champy, the Lake Monster – New Hampshire’s Answer to Nessie

Lake Winnipesaukee isn’t just famous for its crystal-clear waters and scenic beauty; it’s also the rumored home of New Hampshire’s very own enigmatic lake monster, Champy, which is apparently in competition with Nessie.

Described as serpentine and elusive, Champy is said to prefer the tranquil waters of Lake Winnipesaukee. Some describe Champy as a gentle giant, while others are terrified of the massive creature gliding beneath the water’s surface. Adventurers and curious souls are drawn to the lake, binoculars and cameras at the ready, hoping to catch a glimpse of this legendary beast.

The Portsmouth Sea Serpent – Seaside Scares and Tales

In 1901, the Portsmouth Herald famously wrote, “No season is complete without the sighting of a sea serpent, this time off York Beach.” The newspaper also indicated the irony of the amount of sea monsters spotted near coastal hotels, if you catch my drift. However, if you’re a believer, you might find yourself in the coastal city of Portsmouth trying to make the acquaintance of the local sea serpent.

This slithery legend has been making waves (quite literally) among locals and visitors for generations, and it first made news in September 1796. The serpent was described as being one hundred feet in length, and it supposedly threw itself 40 feet in the air above the water.

While the sightings aren’t as frequent as other legendary creatures, the sea serpent might just be waiting for the optimal time to make its next appearance.The Portsmouth Sea Serpent, much like its mythical brethren across the globe, seems more interested in maintaining its mystique than causing actual harm. Perhaps your visit will be the one that finally brings this seaside scare from the realm of tales into the light of truth.

Read more: These 3 famous criminals have ties to New Hampshire’s history

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by The Granite Post staff.

 

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