Le Loyon – The Forest Man

Le Loyon - The Forest Man


In this article we will be taking a look at the Swiss forest hermit known as Le Loyon – who is this strange character that has walked the same route through the forests and mountain trails for the last decade…and why does he/she wear a gas mask?

Let’s take a closer look…

The Forest Hermit

Le Loyon is considered quite the urban legend these days, with numerous reports, and photographic evidence backing up his/her existence.

He/she is always described as having a long cloak or a trench coat and wearing a vintage gas mask that conceals the face – nobody is quite sure whether this character is male or female!

A large majority of Swiss locals to the area believe that he/she is a spirit or a ghost – others simply believe that he/she is a hermit that resides in the forest area – maybe suffering from a mental illness.

The dress sense of the character is thought to have been put together to frighten off any witnesses – although there has never been an apparent threat or malevolent behaviour towards the public who spot him/her.

The Swiss police have been on the case of Le Lyon for a number of years now…but they always fail to locate this strange character. He/she has done nothing wrong – they simply want to inform them that their dress sense is scaring a number of tourists to the area.

Encounters With Le Loyon

Encounters With Le Loyon


This famous photo (above) was snapped on a cell phone camera by a man who was walking through the forest area with his family. All of a sudden Le Loyon was face to face with him – they exchanged glances, before Le Loyon turned and walked away.

The man quickly calmed down his family and managed to take this shot of the strange character walking away. It soon went viral online.

In 2013, local resident Marianne Descloux also claimed to have had a face-to-face encounter with this stranger, although it left her unsettled for many months after. She now vows that she will never go into that forest area again.


As the end of 2013 approached, a website named Le Matin published a suicide note that was apparently found in Le Loyon’s forest, right next to his/her trademark trench coat. The suicide note seemed to indicate that this strange character had had enough of the constant scrutiny, and that suicide was a better alternative to being hunted down all the time.

Strangely, the note also mentioned the 19th-century Austrian author Sacher Masoch.

Many of the locals don’t believe that Le Loyon took his/her life – the letter was just a way of getting the constant attention off their back.


The Hermit of the Swiss Forest

The Hermit of the Swiss Forest

The internet hasn’t really helped matters, and adventurous individuals still travel to this part of Switzerland to see if they can locate the strange hermit of the forest.

But, he/she obviously doesn’t want to be found, and we should all probably respect that, and leave them well alone.

If you have any thoughts or opinions on Le Loyon, please leave them in the comment section below.

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