Hexham Heads

The Hexham Heads is a case of a demonic, phantom WEREWOLF that appeared in conjunction with the discovery of some strange stone skulls in England. The Hexham Heads case occurred in 1972 in Hexham, Northumberland.

In February 1972, 11-year-old Colin Robson was weeding his family’s garden when he dug up a carved stone head. He and his brother dug more and found a second stone head. Both were slightly smaller than tennis balls and were very heavy. One appeared to be that of a man, and the other seemed like one of a female witch. The boys took the stone skulls into the house.

Strange poltergeistlike things began to happen, both in the Robson household and the Dodd household next door. The heads would be found turned around, seemingly of their own accord. Objects would be found broken. The bed of one of the Robson daughters was found covered with shards of glass.

In the Dodd household, a “werewolf” was seen in the middle of the night in the bedroom of the husband and wife. The half-man, half-beast ran down the stairs on its hind legs and went out the front door.

The heads were acquired by an expert on Celtic culture, Dr. Anne Ross, who lived in Southampton, and who knew nothing about the apparition or disturbances. Ross thought the heads to be common religious ritual objects about 1,800 years old. She already had several similar ones in her collection—but the new ones proved to be problematic.

One night Ross suffered troubled sleep and awoke feeling very cold and frightened. (See OLD HAG.) She looked toward her door and saw a black figure, half-man and halfbeast, about six feet tall. Its upper part was wolf and the lower part human. The whole body was covered with black fur. Upon being seen, the figure disappeared, and Ross heard it running on padded feet down the stairs. She felt compelled to pursue it and saw it disappear toward the back of her house.

The figure was seen one afternoon by her teenage daughter. Arriving home from school to an empty house, the girl opened the front door and saw the werewolf on the stairs. It vaulted over the banister, landed in the hall, and took off for the back of the house. Like her mother, the girl felt oddly compelled to pursue it, despite her terror, and saw it disappear in the doorway of the music room where the hall ended.

The Ross family encountered the werewolf several more times. It was usually seen on the stairs, and it would always jump over the banister and run down the hall, disappearing. Sometimes the sound of its padded steps could be heard, though nothing was seen. Ross felt the house became permeated with a definite presence of evil, and visitors remarked on this as well.

A most unusual turn to the case occurred when a man stepped forward and claimed to be the maker of the heads. Desmond Craigie had lived in the house occupied by the Robsons. He said he had made the heads as toys for his two daughters in 1956, and they had been lost in the garden. No explanation was ever found for the strange werewolf manifestations.

FURTHER READING:

  • Downes, Jonathan and Richard Freeman. “Shug Monkeys and Werewolves: The Search for Dog-Headed Men,” in Fortean Studies vol. 5, Steve Moore, ed. London: John Brown Publishing, 1998.
  • McEwan, Graham. Mystery Animals of Britain and Ireland. London: Hale, 1986.

From: the Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley -a leading expert on the paranormal -Copyright © 2005 by Visionary Living, Inc.

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