At the southern end of Hildesheim’s pedestrian area, I came across a Huckup. The Aufhocker had found its victim in the person of a young thief of apples. But both are just a sculpture created by Carl Röder. [German]
The legendary figure of the Aufhocker
In earlier times, German people believed that ghostly beings leapt upon the backs of nocturnal wanderers. That way, they made people’s lives burdensome until the first sunlight. This belief originated from the fear of revenants among the dead.
The Huckup in Hildesheim
The Low German name for an Aufhocker is Huckup. In 1905, the Dresden sculptor Carl Röder created a sculpture of a Huckup for a monument in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony.
This Huckup monument attributed an educational role to the Aufhocker. Here the Aufhocker is not an undead. Instead, he is the personified bad conscience that oppresses an apple thief.
This interpretation is underscored by a poem at the monument’s base admonishing the thief to desist from stealing apples. In fact, the young man, obsessed with the Aufhocker, drags a sack full of apples with him.