Wanha Sammalparta, in English The Old Mossbeard, is an entity appearing in a Finnish, mainly Ostrobothnian legend. Some say that the legend was originally told by mothers to their children, to prevent them from going alone into deep forests. It is also told that should one see the Old Mossbeard, either by a chance, or by the being himself appearing to him, it would predict bad luck, or even death to fall upon the eye witness. The other names used of The Old Mossbeard are Häjy Äijä (Bad Man), Ukko (Old Man, "Ukko" is also the name of an old Finnish god of thunder) and Wanahan Aijan Kummitus (Ghost of Old Time).


The Old Mossbeard, 1950.


It is told that The Old Mossbeard appears during the night time, in the darkest forests of Western Finland. Stories of same sort of ghastly entity are known to be told by the shamans of Lapland.

Most people who claim to have seen Mossbeard describe him as a large, heavily built man, with a long dark beard and heavy robe-like clothing, holding a staff or a spear. Others describe him as a tall, skinny man, with hollow eyes, and robe-like clothing, similar to the other description.

It is uncertain if these descriptions are of the same being, however both kind of sightings have been made under very similar circumstances, during the darkness of night, deep in a forest.

Some people tell of Mossbeard appearing outside of the forests, in courtyards of houses, and fields close to forests.


Ghostly figure close to an outbuilding. Presumably photo of the Mossbeard. 2001.


Certain knowledge of the Old Mossbeard's history doesn't exist. The theory most well-known thorought the Ostrobothnia is that the Mossbeard is an evil spirit, or a demon that was purged from the body of Saint Nicholas.

The Finnish "Nuuttipukki" also bears some resemblance to the Old Mossbeard, and it is possible that these two characters have some link between each other. Nuuttipukki's appearance and the way he acts are quite similar to those of Mossbeard.

Nuuttipukki is the original Santa Claus in Finnish history, before the Santa with cheerful spirit, wearing red became the "norm". As known in Ostrobothnia, Nuuttipukki would come to people's homes by Christmas time, drinking booze, yelling and spanking the misbehaving children. In the stories of the Old Mossbeard, told to the children, he, too, was told to be an angry and frightening man, who would only tolerate children who do as they are told.

The supposed truth about Old Mossbeard's nature, however, is more grim. In Ostrobothnia there have been many reports of people gone missing in forests never to be found, and never to be heard of again. Those believing in the legend of Old Mossbeard claim it is the Mossbeard himself who is responsible for the mysterious disappearings, they say that the Old Mossbeard kills, and devours the people he has caught wandering in forest. Although, other kind of theories of the fates of those captured by Mossbeard also exist.


There are only a few documented sightings of the Old Mossbeard. However some claim to have managed to even capture a video of their sighting. To this day no video footage could have been found authentic. However, some of the published photos told to be of the Old Mossbeard have not been claimed forgeries.

A published documentary film exists of a man's journey through a forest where sightings of the Old Mossbeard have been made. Name of the film is "The Quest for Old Mossbeard".



The Quest for Old Mossbeard (Finnish documentary film, 2013, with subtitles)38:40

The Quest for Old Mossbeard (Finnish documentary film, 2013, with subtitles)

Links (Wanha Sammalparta productions' Youtube channel)