England is a land with a long history of myths, legends, and high strangeness. There are certainly plenty of cases of completely outlandish things here, from UFOs, to ghosts, to even Bigfoot and beyond. Some of the weirder of these accounts concerns dog-like beasts from the fringes of the bizarre, with the black hounds and hellhounds being among them. There other cases still that seem to go beyond this, to encompass a very odd realm of the paranormal, riding the line between cryptozoology, urban legend, and the supernatural, and this is the persistent phenomenon of various reports of canine anomalies that seem to be about as unearthly as anything there is.
One very recent report seems to concern an unknown canine creature that is truly, absurdly enormous. According to the report from British Bigfoot Sighting Reports, in the wee morning hours of June of 2018, a van driver was driving between Warrington and Manchester when he was confronted by something straight out of a nightmare. He says that at the time he had been travelling along a remote section of the A574 highway skirting Birchwood forest park, an area surrounded by nature preserves, when out of the gloom loped a massive, hunched over figure that looked like a dog but was as big as a horse. The witness says of his frightening experience:
I passed the Birchwood Forest park on the A547 something crossed the road in front of me, it was moving on all fours and it was massive, at least as big as a horse but this thing ran like a dog. Thank god it kept moving and stayed on all fours because upright it would have been at least 9 foot tall. It was dark so no precise colour but it was huge. Honestly it spooked the xxxx out of me. I did stop and look where it was and I couldn’t see it anywhere it had moved off that fast. The A574 Birchwood forest park was where it was coming from, it was as big as a horse but looked and moved more like a dog of some kind. Well Im still freaked out by all this and I have felt a bit “off” since last night and a bit light headed. I keep thinking about “it” and the fact that when I stopped to look where “it” was “it” had gone, it should of been in sight but it had dusted.
Interestingly, this same witness had a family member who had seen the very same thing in the same area a few weeks prior and there have been sporadic reports of something very large and decidedly dog-like in the area since. What could this have possibly been? From the site Phantoms and Monsters we have a report that is even more surreal, with a group of youths claiming that they encountered a “horned werewolf” at a park in Gloucestershire. The witness claims that he was out goofing off at the park at around 2 AM and to get home he had to take a short hike through a heavily wooded part of the park. Although the moon was full, it was described as being very dark, and that was when he heard branches breaking out in the night. The witness says:
I got around 2/3 through the forest when I hear sticks cracking to my left as if something heavy was walking, I just glance over and presume it was a fox or badger. I get towards the gate and open it as it leads into the fields that lead to my house. I close the gate and start to walk and that’s when I heard something I will never forget, it sounded like minecraft creeper but a lot more deeper sounding and bigger. I turn around and on the path I can see this thing, around 6ft tall skinny as f*ck, head shaped like a dog and had horns.
I thought my eyes were playing tricks so I just stood there watching it hoping it was going to vanish. Well to my surprise after around 5 seconds it started to very slowly walk closer and closer until it got to the gate, it was like it didn’t know what to do except just stand there. I was sweating, had red vision and thought I was going to have a anxiety attack. I slowly walked across the field trying to figure out what the f*ck it was. I looked back about half way across the field and it was gone. Sigh of relief, can finally calm down and just take a nice walk home. Yeah that’s what I was hoping for. I was in the last field from my house, house in view. I knew all I had to do was jump over my fence and I was in my garden. I got to my fence and hopped over, I felt safe and secure. I was walking across my garden to get to the back door and behind me my drive light came on. Now this light only comes on if it detects motion or it’s really windy and a branch sways in front of it, it wasn’t windy nor did I walk past it.
All of a sudden I had this fear of getting snatched so I quickly run to my back door, open it and run to my attic converted room. My sky light window looks over my drive where the light came on and I stood on my bed and looked out the window. That’s when I seen this werewolf looking thing with horns, stood there sniffing around the cars. It wasn’t a dog, it wasn’t small enough to be a badger or a fox and wasn’t a cow or anything like that. I got into bed and just watched movies till the sun came up and slept then. Ever since then I never look out my window at night and never walk through those fields. The thing by the cars was definitely not a man in a mask. It wasn’t small horns, it looked like horns that had a few horns coming off it. I don’t know what it was but I definitely don’t want to see or be in view of it again. I honestly don’t know what this thing was but it scared the sh*t out of me I won’t go out in my garden past 11pm.
Whatever this thing was seems beyond bizarre, and defies easy classification. It has been suggested that it was just a misidentified deer, but could this have been some sort of wolf-like creature or even a werewolf? As strange as that may seem, there have been plenty of sightings of what have been called “werewolves” throughout England, and one place that seems to attract such weird tales is a place called Cannock Chase, once a Royal Forest, which is an area of countryside and woodlands in the county of Staffordshire, England. It is a very quaint and charming area, designated as the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and known for its scenic quality and wildlife, but it has also been known for many years as being stalked by a werewolf.
The Beast of Cannock Chase is usually described as a very large, black canine apparition that has the unsettling habit of walking about upright on two legs, and it has been seen in the area for years, with a recent spate of sightings from 2006. In April of that year, there was a report from the German War Cemetery site, between Stafford and Cannock, when a postman was riding along Camp Road and saw what he at first took to be a very large dog. However, as the witness approached he says that the creature stood up on two legs, stared at him with baleful eyes set within a dog-like, muzzled face, and walked off into a wooded area. That very same month the creature was spotted again by a scout leader in the same general vicinity, of which the witness said:
It just looked like a huge dog. But when I slammed the door of my car it reared up on its back legs and ran into the trees. It must have been about six to seven feet tall. I know it sounds absolutely mad, but I know what I saw.
Interestingly, there were reports of mysteriously mutilated and mauled deer found in the area of the German War Cemetery at around the same time. In June of that year there was a deluge of reports from frightened motorists in the area, who claimed that there was a “wolf-like” creature that sometimes walked on two legs prowling about near Junction 10A of the M6 motorway. In one instance dozens of startled witnesses claimed to have seen the greyish black beast go running about through the lanes right in the middle of rush hour traffic. Authorities wrote it all off as just a husky dog on the loose, although witnesses remained adamant that it was definitely no normal dog. Cannock Chase has for a long time been ground zero for all manner of UFOs, ghosts, and high strangeness, so werewolves, sure why not?
In another area of England there is a similar spate of sightings of something very much like a “werewolf” in the countryside near Essex, at a place called Broomfield. In 1990 and 1994 the creature was spotted by a witness who told his story to British Bigfoot Sighting Reports. According to him, he was 14 years old at the time and lived at a farm in a very rural area ringed by fields and woods, and his first encounter with it happened in his family’s garden late at night at around 11:30. The witness explains:
My Step Dad had just driven back from the pub and was in the kitchen making toast and I went down to get a drink of water. The back garden flood light was always switched to off as it was very blinding when it came on. My Step Dad noticed something moving about in the garden from looking out of the window as he waited for the toast to be done. He questioned it and said “do you see that?” so I took a look out of the window and as we tried to work out what it was he switched the flood light on. Plain as day this thing was on all fours drinking water from the pond. It was huge. I would describe it as black and very wide, very muscular.
It turned its head and looked towards the house. Assuming it couldn’t see us from the blinding light we just watched it. I’ve never seen anything like it. This creature's face was just like a dog but it looked fierce and its features were very strong. It was covered in thick black hair from head to toe. My Step Dad and I just stood there in shock. It moved away from the pond, stood up on its back legs and leaped over the end garden hedge. This hedge was really high about 10 feet tall. Then “it” was gone. My step dad turned off the light and told me to get to bed. The next morning when i asked about it, he told me that we were never to discuss what we saw again. Whenever I tried to mention it he just denied it as if it never happened.
The witness claims another sighting some years later, as he was walking through some fields in the area home from a friend’s house along with a companion. He says of what happened next:
On the walk we passed an old farm building/barn type structure it was really old and there was a large broken hole in the side of the barn which we had to walk past to get down the farm track. It was around lunchtime so day light and we could see clearly. As we got closer to the barn we both noticed this animal edged inside of the barn looking out of the hole at us. It moved and i knew I’d seen it before. We both questioned it but decided to back off slowly and it moved further backwards into the barn. We walked back to mine very quickly and never went down there again.
We had asked around and a few neighbours in the area all said that they had heard weird howling noises at night. But quickly were convinced it was foxes. I grew up in the countryside and I know what foxes sound like and these howling noises were not the sound of a fox. There was one report sent to the police about an unusual animal in the area after something huge ran out in front of a dog walker into the woods. The dogs refused to walk near to where the animal was and sat whimpering, then this “thing” shot out out of the trees and ran across the field into the woods on the other side. The police came and got a cast of some prints but then it all went hush and we never heard back from them and the “thing” was never mentioned again?
Also from the Express UK is a case of yet another possible werewolf-like creature lurking about Green Drive, at the town of Lytham, in Lancashire. Here in this quaint, seaside town, over twenty witnesses have come forward to report seeing a huge, dog-like creature with an oversized mouth and very large ears, often described as a sort of mixture between a dog, a hare, and Bigfoot. In 2005 there was a deluge of sightings of the creature, to the point that throngs of curiosity seekers came to the secluded area in the hopes of getting a glimpse of it. One witness of the mysterious beast said of it:
I was out walking on the dunes opposite the King Edward and Queen Mary School, I caught sight of something large – Collie size I thought – light coloured, with sticking up ears. It was sitting high on one of the dunes, watching me and my dog. I stood still for several minutes, desperately trying to adjust my eyes to see it more clearly – but unfortunately, there was no moonlight that night. It was watching me and my dog. I stood completely still for several minutes trying to see it more closely. I called my dog and put him on the lead and slowly inched towards the animal to get a better look but it ran off. I then went to where it had been and my dog went mad, sniffing all round the area. I have never seen anything like this before. I lived in Cheshire for ten years and frequently saw foxes and the odd deer. They usually disappear quite quickly and do not remain watching you.
We’ve lived here five and a half years and I walk my dog three times a day on these dunes and have never seen anything like this before. I called my dog and put him on the lead and slowly inched my way towards the animal to try to get a better look, but he stood up and ran off. I climbed up the dune to the place where he had been and my dog went mad sniffing all around the area and tried to make off after the animal. However, I was sufficiently spooked not to want to follow and decided to get back down to the well lit streets again.
At around the same time, another witness named Willie Davidson, 59, said that he had been out and saw a wolf-like monstrosity “like a monster out of Doctor Who,” and another woman also had an encounter as she was walking along the drive. She says, “I have no idea what it was. I could tell it was the size of a Labrador, but looked more like a hare. It can’t have been either – it was surreal.” Authorities confirmed with local zoos and animal shelters that nothing had escaped that could have accounted for these reports, and we are left to wonder just what it could be.
Interestingly, there is another case from the area of Lancashire, near the village of Buckshaw, where in around 2010 something very menacing was prowling the wilds here, said to terrorize people and viciously maul animals. The creature in question is an odd one, in that its description is a bit hard to pin down. Some people have said that it looks like a hyena, others have claimed it is more like a hulking dog, a wild boar-dog hybrid, some sort of big cat, or a twisted combination of all of the above. One witness said of his experience with it, "All the rubbish was strewn over my garden. This happened on a few occasions, and one night I heard snuffles and looked out of my window and saw some kind of hyena standing rigid on its back legs.” Another witness described it as a dark colored hyena, and said of it to The Daily Mail:
I've seen it too. It’s not a dog. I have two Alsatians, both ex-police dogs. I saw it going through my bins. I couldn't understand why they weren't barking, so I went down to investigate and they were shaking and cowering in their kennel. Just the scent of this thing must have been enough to spook them. I no longer walk the streets of Buckshaw alone at night anymore and would advise all other residents to start to be vigilant. This beast in dangerous.
At around the time of these sightings there were slaughtered deer allegedly found in the surrounding wilderness, as well as unearthly screeches and howls in the night, and the whole town was put on edge. Adding to the growing panic was a photograph of the alleged beast, taken by a resident named John Russell, who said of it, “I can't work out what it is. This was no boar. I saw it move and it had a feline movement. They say it's to blame for the recent deer slayings.” It seems that whatever it was would eventually just sort of wander off, leaving us to try and figure out what it could have been. Was it just a misidentified wild boar, some kind of escaped exotic animal, or something else? Who knows? Here we have looked at just a selection of some of the more recent cases of such monstrosities in the country of England. What are we dealing with here? Do such baffling monsters really exist and where do they come from? No one really knows, but such accounts certainly do make the world a stranger place, for better or worse.