The Aare River Monsters - PANArt Vs Tatzelwurm

While here at HPM, if we were to publish a post on a cryptid (an animal whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the yeti), you might imagine that with the Handpan’s iconic UFO-shape, we might focus upon an alien life-form, such as the Greys, the Nordics, or the Reptilians. With this post however, we’ve decided to adopt as our HPM cryptid of choice, something a little more obscure…

The Aare River

The original Hanghaus, located in Bern, Switzerland, home of PANArt, the Hang-makers, sat upon the banks of the River Aare.  The Aare (or Aar) is a tributary of the High Rhine and the longest river that both rises and ends entirely within Switzerland.  Its water flows straight off the alps and changes colour depending on what part of the mountains the water comes from, from a light brown to deep turquoise. And legend has it, that these colours are said to have influenced the different shades of the Hang.

The Aare River Monsters

Every year during the winter season the Hang-makers are known to close up shop for "Hangruhe", a period said to be a quiet regenerative time when they can research and develop their instruments. Here at HPM though we (albeit with no evidence to support it), choose to believe that during this time, like the Vampire hunting Abraham Lincoln - Felix, Sabina, and co., take up Pang-made arms, to rid the banks of the Aare, of the notorious river monsters that are said to plague the area.  In the form of gigantic predatory eels.

Stories of these huge carnivorous eel-like beasts inhabiting the waters of the river Aare run back as far as the 1500s, with tales of large serpentine creatures attacking unwary travellers being passed down from generation-to generation. A report of one of these monsters from 1814 claimed that Its body resembled that of a snake, but with a round head and legs.  It allegedly had a  big mouth, sharp teeth, evil eyes, and made terrifying whistling sound.   Locals called it a “Tatzelwurm.”  

And while there have been few reported sightings of these creatures in recent times, we like to believe that this is due to the effectiveness of the Rohner family, and their Pang-made weapons, at driving these foul beasts back from whence they came.

Regardless though, should you ever find yourself sat upon the banks of the Aare, quietly playing Hang, as many did in years gone by - you might do well to keep your wits about you, and one eye open, for what, just might, be sneaking up behind you...

© HandPans Magazine