Sep 05, 2022 I Nick Redfern

Creatures Carved of Stone, Horrific Heads and Monsters on the Rampage: No, Not a Movie!

Get ready for one of the most intriguing, and fear-filled, stories of the early 1970s. It sounds like one of those 1960s / 1970s Hammer Productions movie, with actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee at the helm. This story is not born out of entertainment fiction, though. You would, however, be easily be sucked into thinking that was exactly what it was. It all began with two, young, Hexham boys (neither of them had even reached their teens at the time). They were Colin Robson and Leslie Robson. On one day in February 1972, the two lads decided to play around and dig up a bit of the backyard, as kids tend to do. On doing so they stumbled upon something undeniably amazing. It was something wholly unanticipated. It was a pair of what looked like very ancient, carved heads of stone, both of them roughly about the size of a tennis ball. One looked female, the other had a male appearance. The boys’ excitement levels practically went through the roof. As they would for a pair of boys looking for fun. Interestingly, the female-looking stone head had a creepy crone-style appearance to it. The story became even more exciting when the boys saw that it even had a hooked, witchy nose to it. The other freaky face - archaeologists and historians suggested when they were finally able to get their hands on the heads - had the hairstyle of the Celts, who were very much long gone. 

Things got really weird – totally ominous, one might say – when Leslie and Colin decided to take the two stones into the family home. That, unfortunately, proved to be a mistake; a very big mistake. And, it was a near-irreversible mistake, too. The story, and the tumultuous events that are very soon to come, weren’t going away at any time soon. It was a case of opening something akin to the legendary Pandora’s Box. No-one should be pondering doing something along those lines. The kids, though, did precisely that. Very intriguing, and relative to the theme of this article is the fact that those small, stone heads began to move around the Robson home. Talk about creepy! And of their very own volition, too. Items in the house were inexplicably broken, and in violent fashion, too. A glass was shattered while no-one was present. Clearly, the stones had an ability to create havoc and mayhem. The next development took place not at the home of the boys, but at the home of their immediate neighbors. And it all began when the other kids in the street took the stones into that neighboring home. They did so in the dead of night, of course. Such situations like this one seldom ever go down on bright and sunny days.

(NASA) Beware a full moon. That's when the werewolves surface. Note: The photo of the Moon above was taken by NASA. As NASA is an arm of the U.S. Government, it is seen by NASA as public domain.

The next-door neighbor was a woman named Ellen Dodd. It wasn’t long after the heads were taken into her home that unbridled chaos began. And it certainly didn’t stop. Dodd was up and wide awake in the early hours of one night - with her daughter, who had a toothache – when she had a terrifying encounter with something absolutely monstrous. Both Dodd and her daughter were confronted by nothing less than what looked like a hair-covered, large werewolf. Or, in their words, “half-man, half-beast.” It’s hardly surprising that both mother and daughter were plunged into states of utter fear. Mr. Dodd raced into the room where daughter and mother had quickly been plunged into a combined state of hysteria. This was no dream or hallucination: they could hear the monster “padding down the stairs as if on its hind legs,” as they worded it later on. When the family finally dared to check out the rest of the house, they saw the front-door was wide open. Had the marauding thing charged out of the door and into the darkness of the early hours? That was their total belief. Now, the story becomes even stranger, if such a thing is possible.

It didn’t take long for the story to get out to the local media. From there, the national media was soon screaming to get all the information, too. The saga of the Hexham Heads even made it on the BBC’s primetime TV show of that particular era, titled Nationwide. One person who happened to have heard of the story, who saw the Nationwide show, and who was determined to try and figure the truth of the eerie situation, was one Dr. Anne Ross. She held a Ph.D. in archaeology and was an expert on the world and lives of the Celts. Not only that, Dr. Ross was a consultant for the no less than the National Geographic Society. Dr. Ross wrote a number of books, including Folklore of Wales, Druids: Preachers of Immortality, and Folklore of the Scottish Highlands. Dr. Ross had a very good reason why she dearly wanted to see that unsettling pair of stones for herself – and to see them very quickly: she had some near-identical carved heads of her very own at her home. Some of those in her collection were close to two thousand years old. And, the doctor was sure that the two carved heads that the Robson kids had found in their yard amounted to a very important part of ancient Britain and its heritage. Thanks to a few phone calls, it wasn’t long before the heads were in Dr. Ross’ hands. Although, the time would come when the doctor wished she had stayed away from the entire, hellish, spooky situation. 

At the time when the chaotic Hexham saga was swirling around, Dr. Ross was living in the south of England, specifically in the city of Southampton, which was a long way away from Hexham in northern England. Nevertheless, Dr. Ross was determined to get the heads in her hands, one way or another. When she did so, however, something else happened. It was something that was just as terrifying and as bizarre as the events that the Dodd family were plunged into. It was only days afterwards that the doctor got hold of both heads – and headed back to Southampton. So the rumor-mill goes, Dr. Ross saw one of the stones – the female one – floating around the living-room for a few seconds, and before dropping to the floor in the living-room. Reportedly, the doctor kept that part of the story hidden for many a year. That’s hardly surprising for someone with such a well-respected background and character. Then, on the very next night, and well into the early hours, Dr. Ross was violently woken up by the horrific sight of a hair-covered, humanoid. And it had a muzzle. And pointed ears. It was, then, something very much akin to the traditional werewolf of folklore. Or, it was the Hexham wolf resurrected, as some researchers, and locals in the town, suggested further down the line. Worse still, the hideous creature was in Dr. Ross’ bedroom, looming and leering from above. Terror broke out in the Ross home, just as it had done at the Dodd home.

Dr. Ross would later go on to say of the beast itself: “It was about six feet high, slightly stooping, and it was black, against the white door, and it was half animal and half man. The upper part, I would have said, was a wolf, and the lower part was human and, I would have again said, that it was covered with a kind of black, very dark fur. It went out and I just saw it clearly, and then it disappeared, and something made me run after it, a thing I wouldn’t normally have done, but I felt compelled to run after it. I got out of bed and I ran, and I could hear it going down the stairs; then it disappeared toward the back of the house.” The graphic and detailed statement that Dr. Ross made suggests that she did have an encounter with something that was not born in the heart of her mind and her subconscious. This was all extremely similar to what had happened with the Robson and the Dodd familes. It should be noted, however, that the story wasn't finished. Something very similar happened years later in the United States.

Paradise is a small Texan city, situated not too far from the sprawling city of Fort Worth, and is dominated by isolated homes, thick and somewhat mysterious woods, huge fields, numerous cows, and not much more at all. Aside, that is, from a rampaging werewolf. Dawn had just broken on a particular day in September 1996, and "Walter," a rancher who then made Paradise his home, headed out to tend his cows, which had the run of a large field at the back of his property. Walter was not expecting to find the horrifying scene upon which he stumbled: one of his most valuable cows had been killed under cover of darkness. And, by the looks of the cow, the killer had been some sort of vicious, powerful creature that surely had no place prowling the fields of Paradise.

(Nick Redfern) The creepy head that Walter chose to get rid of.

Although Walter wasted no time in contacting the police, this turned out to be an utterly fruitless task, since the only thing the responding officers could suggest to the irate and worried rancher was that perhaps a big cat was responsible and was still on the loose. And, while this was certainly a major cause for alarm and a matter they would most definitely look into, it what not, technically speaking, a crime that required the attention of the police. So, a wholly dissatisfied Walter decided to take matters into his own hands and elected to embark upon night-time vigils, in the hope that the beast might return and he, Walter, would have the opportunity to blow the creature’s head clean off its shoulders, and put an end to the matter before it risked spiraling wildly out of control.

Thus it was that at roughly 2:00 a.m. four days later, and while dutifully scanning the field with a night-scope that was attached to his high-powered gun, Walter became frozen with fear when he caught sight of a large, hairy figure striding across the field. Around seven feet in height, very muscular and dark, it had the body of a man, yet the face, the ears and the muzzle of what looked like a large German shepherd dog or a wild wolf (not unlike the notorious Dogman). Rooted to the spot, Walter didn’t even think to fire his gun. Rather, he simply watched, with fear, as the beast covered the width of the field very quickly and vanished into the trees that bordered his property. Rather ominously, only a short time later, and in the same exact spot where he first noticed the diabolical wolf-man, Walter found in the grass the small, stone, carved head of a large fanged monster with slits for eyes and flared nostrils. Walter quickly became convinced that occultists had been secretly at work his field, engaged in some unholy act, and had quite literally invoked the beast from another realm of existence. When Walter related the extraordinary tale to me (I lived near the area for a while in 2006), high up on his list of priorities was to finally get rid of the unsettling carved head. He did exactly that.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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