Will-O’-the-Wisp of the Werewolves Trail


Will-O’-the-Wisp (Ignis fatuus) is a natural phenomenon — a faint flame-like light floating slightly above the ground. Usually seen in darkness over marshy grounds or in cemeteries. Will-O’-the-Wisp is also often mentioned in folklore in relation to ghosts and evil spirits. They trick people into thinking that it is a drying money. Will-O’-the-Wisp, like greediness, can lead you off the road and into the swamp.

Scientifically, the phenomenon of Will-O’-the-Wisps is explained as oxidation of flammable gases. Will-O’-the-Wisps can also be caused by bioluminescence — glowing of organisms observed on rotting wood, bacteria, microscopic mushrooms, some insects and marine creatures. In the nature of Latvia, Will-O’-the-Wisp is most often caused by glowing of rotten wood.

Would you be brave enough to come here in darkness to see the Will-O’-the-Wisps?

The trunks of dead trees in a forest look like a forest cemetery, don’t they? This is caused by the eight-toothed spruce bark beetle lps typographus, found on spruces and less commonly on pine trees. Mostly they affect spruces that are weakened by wind or lasting draught, but they can also colonise completely healthy trees. The small 4-5 mm long beetles carve through the bark, where a small part of beetles is eliminated by intensive release of resin, but if there are many beetles, trees die.

Do not destroy and do not litter in the forest — the home of animals, birds, reptiles, insects and forest spirits.

You can read about the stories of werewolves in Kurzeme in the book "Werewolf Tales of Kurzeme" by the theologian Ralph Kokin, but the stories recorded here - in the Raudas Forest, can be read here.


Contact information

Rauda forest, Sēme parish, Tukums region