Learning of the Northfield Pigman was a bit random, for a few of us anyway. Not all of us are Northfield locals. Vermonters, sure, but calling yourself a loc within a specific community can involve a pedigree of generations before you, possibly a road, hollow or field with your last name.
Pretty sure we were looking up the history of Nantanna - an old mill in town we've grown into and use for inspection, packaging and shipping. Because that building is haunted and we wanted to know more ... another story for another time, perhaps.
Anyway, stories behind the Northfield Pigman vary. From a half man-half pig creature, to that of a missing boy who grew to haunt the woods wearing a hollowed out pig head, you can take your pick. We landed on the 1971 farmer's account of finding a man with facial features of a pig rummaging through his trash. At that same time, Northfield youth slipping the views of chaperones had their own stories of pig-headed figures lurking about, watching from the shadows.
We were hooked.
Apparently so are others, as we found.
The more we paid tribute, the more nods, commentary and personal accounts we'd learn. If the Pigman is indeed a lost Sam Harris - a missing boy last seen with a grip of eggs allegedly meant for tomfoolery - he has endeared himself to a town, and a bit beyond. From a simple ironed-on flock lettering shirt, a misty addition to an illustrated map of Northfield as the Sock Capital of the World, and a "Pigman Lives" shout out on a promo beer Good Measure Brewing canned for us, nothing ever went unnoticed. At every turn, we were met with at least a "huh... Pigman, nice," kind of response.
Action had to be taken. As New England's prime season approached, we asked a friend to work up a print. And to be real, while the foliage gets all the fanfare and out-of-state plate sightings, it could be argued that the rustling, fallen leaves and bare-tree, moon-lit silhouettes they leave behind create the world where the tale of Ichabod Crane was imagined, and ground zero for natural fear. If a low fog rolls in? Forget it. Evening walks at this time of year naturally outpace the months before. Regardless, to illustrate Pigman, Kyle Sauter's artistic style seemed like a no-brainer. He's got plenty of VT under his belt and well ... he's metal.
It came together quick. With a few details approved by our go-to local steward, Carle Underhill, the work just kept getting better. Are there some Darn Tough pieces in there? Sure, but we kept it simple. This one was for the Northfield Pigman. And, if you managed to sign up, you might have one too. Kyle screened 50, gave us 25, and we planned to part with more than a few. You can hang it next to your "I survived a night on Glastenbury Mountain" certificate.
That place ... another story for another time, perhaps.