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Legend has It: Le Loyon

          This month’s urban legend post brings us back across the pond to Switzerland. I struggled with categorizing the topic of this post – Le Loyon (also known as the Ghost of Maules) could conceivably be an extraterrestrial or interdimensional being, a cryptid, a spirit, or something else unknown. I’m going with Le Loyon being an urban legend, though, due to the fact that there is no solid evidence of its existence and its story has largely spread (and mutated) through retellings online. Let’s explore.


          Le Loyon is said to be a humanoid figure that stands around 6 feet tall. It wears a black or dark gray boiler suit, which are utility coveralls that fit loosely. Some sources call its garments a gimp suit…but that’s not the case, as the garment is neither skin tight nor (p)leather.  It also wears a cloak that is greenish camouflage. It also seems to be wearing dark boots. Most disturbingly, it also wears a gas mask that covers its entire head. The gas mask seems to be antique, with bulging metal eye windows and a tube leading from the mouthpiece, according to those who have seen Le Loyon with their own eyes.

(The only known photo of Le Loyon.
R. A. Brewster)


          Most sightings of Le Loyon are the same. It walks through the Maules Forest in Switzerland, sticking to the path, eyes forward. There are reportedly dozens of these sightings from people who lived nearby or were hiking in the forest. Even if Le Loyon noticed the witness, it never attacked or engaged with anyone beyond a glance. Those that have seen Le Loyon with their own eyes have apparently felt threatened or overcome with a sense of dread once they laid eyes on it. Some sources make this out to be some supernatural effect of Le Loyon, but I think it’s more likely just the onlookers feeling creeped out by a weird person in the woods. Plus, I would argue that seeing someone in a gas mask just strolling about would put anyone on edge. There is one other encounter that is markedly different – and less ominous – than the rest of the reported sightings. A local woman claimed to have seen Le Loyon picking flowers on the trail and was startled to be seen by her. So, perhaps there is a gentler side to the Ghost of Maules that few have considered and even fewer have witnessed.

(Maules Forest, the location of all sightings.
the Daily Mail)

The End of Le Loyon

          After the only known photo of Le Loyon began to circulate online, a Swiss newspaper called Le Matin reported that something strange had been found in the Maules Forest. Apparently, someone walking through the forest came across the infamous cloak and gas mask along with a note. The full text is available online in French, so I’ll give you the gist of the note. It was titled “Death Certificate and Testament of the Ghost of Maules,” and the gist of the body was that Le Loyon knew of the circulating photo, and knew that it brought an unwanted amount of attention to the forest.
          And with the note, Le Loyon vanished. There have been no more sightings of the figure in the Maules Forest. Most people agree that the figure was an eccentric local who was afraid of being linked to Le Loyon, and abandoned their costumed walks as a result. Questions still linger, however. The way the note was worded led some to believe that Le Loyon had completed suicide somewhere in the woods, though no body has ever been uncovered to this day. Which then leads some to believe that Le Loyon was maybe just killing its earthly form and moving on.
          So, what do you all believe when it comes to Le Loyon? Was it a ghost walking through the woods? A humanoid cryptid with a gas mask fused to its face? An alien or a being from another dimension? Or, for those leaning more towards the Occam’s Razor school of thought, was Le Loyon simply a person who liked dressing weirdly and walking through the woods? The world may never know.


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