What Does a Hermit Do While Living in the Woods for 27 Years? Steal Pokemon Games

Christopher Knight lived without human contact in the woods of Maine for almost three decades.

No Caption Provided

It's hard to imagine a single person living undetected in the United States while having no contact with another human being for years, yet that's precisely what happened over the last three decades. GQ has published a lengthy new story about Christopher Knight, a hermit who has lived in the woods of Maine, surviving by stealing food, clothing, and entertainment from nearby houses. Among the things he stole? A child's Halloween candy and various handheld video games, including Pokemon.

Knight, now 48 years old, was finally discovered and arrested last year after years of his thefts had turned him into something of a myth. After being arrested, he eventually opened up to police (and later a GQ reporter) about his time in the wilderness. Unable to say how long he had been living by himself, he could confirm it began in the same year as the Chernobyl disaster, meaning he had been doing this since 1986.

Pokemon Red
Pokemon Red

He explains that he broke into houses about 40 times a year, an estimate that would total more than 1,000 total robberies. Owners of these houses became aware that someone was breaking in, but found themselves unable to stop them. He went undetected by only moving at night and never lighting any fires--an amazing feat, considering he was living in the woods of Maine during winter.

To keep himself occupied--27 years or so is a long time to go without human contact--he stole things like books and games, including handheld Pokemon, Dig Dug, and Tetris games. There's no word on what system these games were for or if he ever managed to catch them all. (The story also makes no mention of what he thinks of sub-1080p games. He thinks they're totally lame, I bet.)

Asked why he disappeared in '86, when he was 20 years old, Knight never had a real answer, saying things like, "I can't explain why," and "It's a mystery to me, too."

GQ's full story is fascinating and well worth a look if you're curious about how Knight committed the robberies and spent his time.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 504 comments about this story