Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 11th, 2006
Nick Redfern sends in a guest Cryptomundo blog for the day.
In the newly published issue of FATE magazine (March 2006 issue), there appears an article written by me titled The Werewolves of Britain, which, as you might guess from the title, is an examination of all things lycanthropic in jolly old England. The cases described in the article date back to AD 940 and extend to pretty much the present day, and reveal some of the more astonishing encounters with werewolf-like entities that have been reported within the country by numerous, highly credible sources. The “Fate” article is online, and can be read on FATE‘s website.
Discussion of the article seems to have spread incredibly quickly: since its publication, a number of people have contacted me, inquiring if any further data of a similar nature is available. It certainly is. There are literally dozens (and I do mean dozens) of such cases that I have on file and that I have never publicized. But perhaps now, with so much apparent interest, it might be an ideal time to bring forth some more of this data.
Two of the three cases that I am discussing in this posting occurred in Scotland – one in the early 1950s and one in 1967. In the former case, the witness reported that she had seen what was described to me as “a hairy man with a wolf’s head,” roaming near Loch Morar (a Scottish loch that, notably, also has a longstanding lake monster legend attached to it), and that was further described as “walking on two feet but running on all-fours.” The witness, now in her seventies, described seeing the creature at a distance of about 70 feet, and said that it “stared at me in a horrible way,” before bounding away.
The second case involves a similar man-wolf seen, somewhat bizarrely, in the early hours of a winter morning on a stretch of road outside of the Scottish town of Oban. In this case, the witness was a mailman on his way to work, who described seeing the creature racing along the road at a very high speed in the opposite direction to that which he was traveling in. The beast totally ignored the shocked driver, who continued on his journey in a highly agitated state, not quite believing what it was that he had just seen. But he was sure on the facts: that at around 3.00 a.m., and for a few brief seconds, he had encountered a tall, man-like figure with wolf-like features hurtling along the road at breakneck speed.
A third case I have on file tells a story passed down from generation to generation by a family from Kent – the Shirley family. According to Pat Shirley, while picnicking in an area of woodland on the east coast of England in the late 1940s, her grandmother had seen a huge animal that looked like something straight out of An American Werewolf in London.
In this incident, the beast had what was described as “flaming red hair all over it,” and possessed a pair of huge and powerful jaws. Again, it was only seen for a moment or two before vanishing into the trees.
So what are the witnesses seeing? Are human beings really changing into hair-covered monsters at the sight of a full moon? The collective body of data I have on file suggests that there may be two factors at work. Some of the reports I have received sound very much like encounters with real-life wolves, but of a huge stature. This in itself would be incredible as the wild wolf became extinct in Britain centuries ago – although reports of such creatures do surface from time to time.
Other reports are less easy to clarify and classify, and seem to have a distinct air of the paranormal about them, with these creatures materializing and dematerializing at will, or having been seen in the direct vicinity of ancient stone circles and old burial sites.
Are they shape-shifting entities from who knows where? Or are they a breed of giant wolf that exists in stealth within the forests of Britain? I’m continuing to actively dig into such tales very deeply and will prepare an update soon. Maybe I’ll even have some answers!
In the meantime, I would urge you to order a copy of Linda Godfrey’s new book (that will be published in approximately a month from now) titled Hunting the American Werewolf, and that I have written the introduction to. This is a definite, must-read title for anyone interested in real life werewolf encounters, and is a superb addition to Linda’s previous book on such things: The Beast of Bray Road.
Anyone with information on British werewolves can contact Nick Redfern at email@example.com.