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The existence of ghosts has been widely debated for several centuries now. However, since I'm almost entirely positive that each of us knows at least one person, who has shared a story or two about their experiences with the paranormal, I doubt you'll be all that shocked to discover that one in three Brits firmly believes in their presence. But the same argument can't exactly be had for werewolves. Or can it?
If you go around claiming to have seen a half-man, half-dog wandering the place, people might assume (rightly or wrongly) that you have gone barking mad - sorry, I couldn't resist! After all, this is not an episode of Supernatural we're talking about, this is real life, and in real life werewolves simply don't exist...right?
Well, despite what you may or may not believe, there have been several reports - even in recent years - from people claiming the contrary. Hundreds, if not thousands are said to have spotted these ominous, wolf-like beasts stalking forests and devouring woodland creatures.
While accounts of these sightings stretch across the entire globe, today my focus is going to be on the UK's supposed werewolf activity.
On that note, get the silver at the ready!
1. War Cemetery Werewolf - Cannock Chase, West Midlands
This densely wooded area is home to families of fallow deer, rabbits, foxes, badgers and many more forest-dwelling creatures that you might expect. But according to locals, there is also something more sinister lurking between the trees. Yes, you guessed it - a werewolf!
The legend began in 1975 when a group of paranormal enthusiasts decided to explore this well-known hotspot for ghostly activity. According to them, they got more than they bargained for when instead of ghouls, they happened across a ''snarling beast'' which ‘reared up onto its hind legs' before sprinting off into the bushes.
Since then, others have ventured into the woods to see whether the legend is true or not...
In 2007, another paranormal group known as the West Midlands Ghost Club decided it was about time they investigate these sightings for themselves. This was following a series of reports from locals who claimed to have encountered a ''werewolf-like creature'' who was often spotted around the German War Cemetery on Camp Road.
Among those claiming to have spotted the 7ft beast was a postman and local scoutmaster. Not surprisingly, these statements from reputable sources have left many believing the sightings really did happen.
2. ''Old Stinker'' - Barmston Drain, Hull
Barmston Drain is the main structure of a land drainage scheme that was introduced back in 1798, and these days, it is considered to be one of the top ten most haunted locations in England. However, it's not just the ghosts that you'll have to worry about if you venture here!
The legend of ''Old Stinker'' or the ''Beast of Barmston Drain'' tells the story of an 8ft tall, red-eyed hairy, half-man, half-dog creature with reeking breath (hence the name) which is said to use the Yorkshire Wolds as a hunting ground. Over the years, many reports have poured in from those who say they have come across the creature. This includes one woman, who while driving with her friends in the car, maintains she saw a beast with a human head walking towards them on two legs.
More shockingly, another individual reportedly witnessed the werewolf attacking a German Shepherd, before leaping over a fence with the dog still clamped between its jaws.
Interestingly, the location of 'Old Stinker's' residence was once home to some of England's last remaining wolves before they were driven to extinction.
3. Waterside Werewolf - Loch Morar, Lochaber, Highland
Back in 2006, researcher, Nick Redfern updated his blog with two werewolf sightings based in Scotland.
The first story was told to him by a woman, who in the early 1950s had spotted a werewolf near Loch Morar. Her description was of a ''hairy man with a wolfs head'' which walked on its hind legs but ran on all fours. According to her account, the creature stayed about 70ft away from her, but continued to ''stare [at her] in a horrible way'' before running off.
4. Roadracer Wolf-Man - Oban, Scotland
The second account occurred in the winter of 1967, and the description sounds somewhat similar to the one previous.
This time around, a postman who was on his way to work at around 3 am one winter morning, was driving on a country road just outside the coastal town of Oban, when he spotted a man-wolf hybrid running towards him at top speed. In a complete state of shock, the witness continued driving while the 'werewolf', completely ignoring him, continued on its way.
To this day, the driver is still not sure what exactly it was that he saw, but he is sure of one thing: it was tall and had a man-like figure with wolf-like features.
5. The Barghest - Northorpe, West Lindsey
St. John the Baptist church is a historic landmark located within the small civil parish town of Northorpe, and like most ancient religious architectures, this one too is steeped in folklore.
In the early 19th century, rumours began to circulate that a black dog-like beast was haunting the cemetery surrounding the church. While some claimed it to be a werewolf and others saw it as an omen of death, there were those that believed it to be a shapeshifter that could supposedly turn into a local wizard.
Northerners often refer to the creature as a Barghest, which is a frightful black dog with a huge set of sharp teeth and claws.
6. Roadside Werewolf - A1067, Norfolk
The A1067 is a busy stretch of country road which runs all the way from Fakenham Northern By-Pass to Norwich. While it might not seem all that different from any other road you've seen before, you might change your mind about that in a minute.
In 2006, a driver who while heading home from the cinema stopped in his tracks briefly when he came across a large black 'wolf' devouring a carcass at the side of the road. Only, unlike a regular wolf, this one was huge with bright yellow eyes, matted hair and bore an eerie human resemblance.
7. Welsh Wolf - Denbigh, Wales
While most people today won't easily believe in the existence of werewolves, things were very different back in the 18th century. During this time, these supernatural creatures were considered to be a very real threat for many villagers, and according to legend the town of Denbigh, Wales was once plagued by a werewolf.
Written records from this time depict a wolf the size of a horse that would feast on livestock, dogs and even people, leaving nothing but chaos and destruction in its path.
One of the most famous accounts from this time claims that under a red moon in the year 1790, the creature attacked and overturned a stagecoach and killed one of the horses before bolting into the night.
8. Werewolf Remains - Dogdyke, Lincolnshire
Sometime before 1926, an archaeologist local to the area of Dogdyke, Lincolnshire is said to have made a shocking discovery. While digging around in an area of peaty land, he uncovered what appeared to be a human skeleton with a wolf head.
Naturally, he decided to take the remains home (bad idea) and later that night, his house came under attack from a severely enraged werewolf. As the beast attempted to break into the man's home, he barricaded himself in his kitchen and waited for the sun to come up. Once the beast had left, the man returned the 'werewolf' remains to where he had found them.
9. Returning Werewolf - Flixton, Yorkshire
Once upon a time, the tiny village of Flixton (which is situated not far from Scarborough), was surrounded by thick forests. As you might have already suspected, this was the ideal place for werewolves to hideout!
It was during the 10th century that the first reports of a monstrous creature stalking the area were made and by 940 A.D. the town had built a hotel to prevent travellers from becoming prey. Despite this, the savagery continued for decades with villagers being attacked and livestock being slaughtered. Even the dead weren't safe from this beast as it was known to dig up freshly buried corpses!
Strangely, the werewolf occurrences stopped one day just as suddenly as they had started, but the beast wasn't done with this town yet...
In 1150, farm animals began turning up dead all over town, and sometime later a shepherd, and young girl also fell victim to the creature. Witnesses described it as walking upright, having glowing red eyes, a long bushy tail and really smelly fur.
Again, the wolf-man seemed to just disappear, but like some kind of Pennywise-inspired nightmare, it returned several hundred years later in the 1800s. This time, attacking a carriage driver and his passengers (anyone else sensing a theme here?) before being shot at.
The last sighting was in the 1970s when a truck driver was reportedly attacked by a giant 'wolf' which tried to break through the windshield while he was driving.
10. Suicidal Werewolf? - Eccleshall, Staffordshire
With a population of fewer than 5,000 people, the town of Eccleshall, Staffordshire might seem just like any other sleepy village to outsiders looking in. But in April 1975 a tragedy happened which put this town on the map.
It was around this time that 17-year-old carpenters apprentice, Andrew claimed to have successfully made contact with the devil through a Ouija board. According to him, the pair struck a deal where Satan himself agreed to turn the teen into a werewolf. Witnesses claim that not long after this encounter, the boy began to act very strangely...
Those closest to him say he would often act like a wild animal and would even growl at them! Then one night, at around midnight, it is said he made a terrified call to one of his friends, where he claimed that his skin was changing and his nails were growing longer. However, before the witness could respond, the phone went dead. All that could be heard in the background were growls, followed by howling noises.
The next morning, at around 7 am, a postman is said to have discovered Andrew's lifeless body at the village crossroads. Sadly, he had committed suicide using a silver penknife out of fear that he was becoming a werewolf.
Now it's your turn! Do you think werewolves are real, or is there a reasonable explanation behind all of these sightings? Feel free to spam the comments section below with any thoughts or theories you have surrounding any of these wolfy tales.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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