Christopher Thomas Knight: Living Alone in the Woods for 27 Years


The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit
is a fascinating profile of Christopher Thomas Knight, who lived in the woods of Central Maine undetected for nearly three decades.

Just let that number settle for a second. Three decades. When I stopped to really think about the time Knight spent alone, it was difficult to process.

Sleeping only in a tent, he claimed to have never lit a fire (for fear of others discovering his location). He broke into nearby homes, stealing food and propane. At his best estimate, he guessed he burglarized roughly 40 locations per year.

Despite local residents complaining and police actively searching for the culprit, Knight was never found. Until 2013.

When asked if he had spoken to another person during all those years living alone, here’s how he responded:

Sometime in the 1990s, answered Knight, he passed a hiker while walking in the woods […] Other than that single syllable, he insisted, he had not spoken with or touched another human being, until this night, for twenty-seven years.

This is an incredibly fascinating article about someone who for all intents and purposes disappeared from the world. Knights story is hard to believe. And even harder to fathom.

Related:
A Path Through the Wilderness
Eating Alone

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