Aug 25, 2022 I Paul Seaburn

The Rivington Pike Beast - a Red-Eyed Dogman - Feared to be Killing Sheep in England

It seems you can’t toss a stone in England these days without hitting an alien big cat … or someone showing you a blurry video of an alien big cat. These alleged panthers, pumas, lynxes and other large felines have been reported for decades and at least a few are thought to possibly be escaped circus or zoo animals or escaped exotic pets. While few if any have been captured or proven, many have become local and even country legends worthy of a name – the Beast of Exmoor and the Beast of Bodmin Moor are two famous examples. However, before the big cats, there were other non-feline beasts reported to roam the moors, villages, canals and other hiding places of England. One of those legendary creatures has reportedly come back to terrorize the residents of the Bolton area in North West England – a scary dogman-like monster with glowing red eyes and a taste for sheep that many locals say is the legendary the Rivington Pike Beast. Have they seen a real bloodthirsty werewolf on this famous local hill? Is it a misidentified alien big cat? A hungry dog? Or something else?

A Dogman in the British fog?

"We're going to need bigger guns."

That is never a good thing to hear in most any situation, but it is what a rabbit hunter yelled to his partner when he thought he saw a dark stocky shape with red eyes peering back at him as he shined a torch around the body of a dead sheep that was “still steaming” on Winter Hill near Rivington Pike (‘pike’ is another word for hill). The hunter told The Mirror he and his friend heard a menacing growl, and that plus the dead sheep and the large red-eyed shape convinced him and his partner that their air rifles were no match for whatever was responsible for that combination of things that convinced them it was the Rivington Pike Beast. As they ran away, they saw the rest of the dead sheep’s flock huddled in a field looking just as scared.

It turns out they were not the first in the area to see the legendary Rivington Pike Beast, which is also known as the Rivington Werewolf or Rivington Pike Bearman. In fact, there have been enough sightings that locals have formed the Winter Hill Investigation Team to follow up on an reports of the beast. Investigator Mick McLaren told The Mirror of a man and his young son who saw a huge dog-like creature in nearby Adlington in 2021 running across a field at an "incredible" speed. This was an unusual case for McClaren.

“This witness is different from the others. All the other witnesses have experienced hearing or seeing the beast, or seeing eyeshine, at night. This is our first where our witness has seen in daylight what this beast looks like."

Since the man in Adlington saw something resembling a huge dog that was running like a huge dog, it would be east to conclude he and possibly the rabbit hunters saw a large stray canine, perhaps even a wolf of the non-werewolf or dogman kind. Also, this sounds suspiciously like a report in October 2020 of two rabbit hunters named Dave and Adam who claimed to have come upon the steaming carcass of a dead sheep and heard a low rumbling sound. However, in this 2020 case, the witnesses said the carcass had been ripped in half, the head was missing and the rib cage was snapped apart. That report mentions that the Beast or Bear Man of Rivington Pike is usually reported walking or running upright in a dogman fashion. Interestingly, the investigators were Carolan Smith and the aforementioned Mick McClaren. In the earlier report, McCLaren states that he and Smith heard a beastly growl one night close to the nearby Edgerton Reservoir in 2019. Is the Rivington Pike Beast fond of tormenting rabbit hunters and investigators looking for it? Or are The Mirror and some other sites trying to pull a fast one on us and recycling an old sighting? (It’s happened before.)

“I started to tell him to move, I said something along the lines of “come on lad shift yourself” or something similar when I heard a really low growl/snarl coming from the direction the dogs were looking at.”

Fortunately, we have another account from 2012 of a possible Rivington Pike Beast encounter reported to Deborah Hatswell, a cryptid investigator and founding member of the Being Believed Research (BBR) and Investigations group. (Yes, she also posted the 2020 report.) She posted the report of a 2012 sighting at nearby Great Hill by an unnamed witness who, with her friends and dogs, believe they saw the beast.

“And right at that moment 'R' and the hicking bloke behind us had got close enough that the head torch was hitting the moors in that direction and I saw a big dark shape that I actually thought was a cow (I know, daft really as there are no cows up there, but that was my first thought) I saw this 'cow' dart across the line of the light and head in the direction we were heading. At the same time as both dogs followed the direction it had gone in with their heads and then their bodies.”

The witness claims she and her pseudonymed friends saw either the beast or a high-speed cow being chased by their brave dogs.

“The dogs continued watching one side of the moors, then the other as though something was moving around us but we didn’t hear anything. No growling. No sign of anything in the heather. But there was definitely something there.”

That’s when the witness saw something too.

“Maybe 2 or 300 feet from my car as the pathway starts to drop down I saw it again. This time it was off to the left of us where there are some ruins of an old farmhouse. I just saw a big shape on four legs sort of leap over what is left of what I think is part of a house wall, and then it vanished.”

The witness claims she heard the growl again but this time just ten feet away – how did whatever it was move 300 feet in barley an instant? They didn’t stay to find out, opting instead to run back to the car with her two friends and their dogs and leave. The experience affected the witness enough to report it to the Being Believed Research (BBR) and Investigations group. 

Are these reports enough evidence to prove the existence of a dogmanish Rivington Pike Beast? Hardly. Is the 2022 report in The Mirror the same as the 2020 report? Possibly. Is the 2012 report the same creature? Well, they didn’t say anything about glowing red eyes, but the size, speed and growling seem to match. Does any of this sound like an alien big cat? Not at all. That means it’s back to the hills and moors of North West England to continue the hunt for the Rivington Pike Beast.

And this time, bring a bigger gun!

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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