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The Return of the Hexham Heads

Posted by: Nick Redfern on April 11th, 2012

Make mention of the word “Cryptozoology” and for most people with an interest in the subject – and quite justifiably, too – it will conjure up imagery of such beasts as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, Ogopogo, Mokèlé-mbèmbé, and…well, the list goes on and on.

Then there are those creatures that have become staple parts of Cryptozoology, but that are far more out of place than specifically unknown – such as Britain’s ever-growing list of big-cats.

And, then we come to those weirder “things,” those that seem to be distinctly “paranormal” in nature (however we might define that emotive word!), such as Britain’s Owlman and the nation’s many phantom black dogs, and the legendary Bat Man of Houston, Texas.

Whether or not this latter category of creature should actually have a place in Cryptozoology is an interesting issue to ponder upon, and something I’ll return to in a future post.

But, there’s a reason why I bring this matter up. In just a few short months from now, a new book will be published that, finally, will tell the full and unexpurgated story of one of England’s most infamous sagas of, some say, Cryptozoological proportions and others say of the supernatural.

Depending on how you perceive Cryptozoology, and where you draw the line as to what amounts to a Cryptid and what does not, you’ll either find the following of deep interest or you won’t, but, I’ll mention it anyway!

The book in question, written by Fortean Paul Screeton (and to be published by CFZ Press) is The Hexham Heads; the deeply weird story of alleged werewolf-like manifestations in northern England in 1972 and their ties to a pair of carved stone-heads that are themselves just about as controversial as the beasts of the book.

Paul is certainly no stranger to the story of the Hexham Heads (he penned a small publication on the subject, Tales of the Hexham Heads, back in 1981). But, his new title is set to provide the reader with the definitive, book-length study of the phenomenon.

For fans of all things of a werewolf variety, The Hexham Heads is not to be missed!

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


7 Responses to “The Return of the Hexham Heads”

  1. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    The enigma of the Hexham Heads could easily be dismissed were it not for the (I presume) utterly reliable testimony of Dr. Anne Ross. Of course, the being who appears in rough animal form has absolutely nothing to do with any werewolf tradition but if verified, alludes to something quite different – something very ancient and forgotten.

    Thank for letting everyone know about this. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to reading this new book!

  2. Wee Falorie Man responds:

    The enigma of the Hexham Heads could easily be dismissed were it not for the (I presume) utterly reliable testimony of Dr. Anne Ross. Of course, the being who appears in rough animal form has absolutely nothing to do with any werewolf tradition but if verified, alludes to something quite different – something very ancient and forgotten.

    Thanks for letting everyone know about this. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to reading this new book!

  3. darkhb responds:

    Thanks for bringing this up Nick; can’t wait for the book – and for all fans of upright werewolf-type creatures, I believe Linda Godfrey has a new book coming out this fall dealing with sightings of these kinds of creatures across the USA.

    From my reading, I believe that sightings or encounters with these werewolf-type entities are of a supernatural phenomena rather than a flesh-and-blood one.

  4. Hapa responds:

    Is it just me, or do those Hexham heads look like moon carvings, the faces depicting the “Man in the Moon”?

  5. springheeledjack responds:

    Not unlike the shapeshifters or skin walkers of this country, eh? Perhaps way back in the annals of history there’s a link between the U.S.’s native americans and other cultures–a commonality somewhere where like knowledge was shared.

    The werewolf has always intrigued me because there’s (currently) nothing in the fossil record that suggests a bipedal dog/wolf, and yet the myths of werewolves (beast of bray road for example) persist. If I’m not mistaken, Edgar Cayce had some things to say on the subject of races that weren’t tied to physical forms, but took on forms as needed and often as emotional expressions.

  6. Hapa responds:

    Springheeledjack:

    There was one unusual type of animal that, due to its bear-like build, might have like a Bear occasionally walked upright. This, combined with its giant dog-like head and long tail, would make it somewhat similar to the big bear-like werewolves of some drawings and movies.

    The Amphicyonids or Bear-Dogs were a group of mammalian carnivores that are now extinct. As the name suggests, they had a mix-up of physical traits that were similar to both canines and ursids, with some appearing more dog-like while others being more bear-like.

    The big ones had very bear-like bodies, but with long tails and wolf-like heads, and the dexterity of a Big cat. The biggest boy, Amphicyon Ingens, was anywhere from 900-1300 lbs.

    Though not a wolf, it would have looked similar to the big burly werewolf many are familiar with.

    Here are some articles about them: Amphicyon

    Here is a skeleton of Amphicyon Ingens;

    Another pic:

    Now imagine that, make it’s hair and howl like a wolf’s, standing upright to get a good scent and a better view of its surroundings, lurking near a Mideval Castle where peasants are in fear for the lives, and where knights dare to trod…and you have a big werewolf.

  7. Hapa responds:

    BTW:
    Springheeledjack:

    Here is a interesting doc online about the Amphicyon/Bear dog, which includes film that shows what it would be like if the animals still lived today. turn the modern era scenes into nighttime ones, add an angry mob with torches and pitchforks, there you go:



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