The Werewolves of Britain

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on March 11th, 2006

Nick Redfern sends in a guest Cryptomundo blog for the day.

In the newly published issue of FATE magazine (March 2006 issue), there appears an article written by me titled The Werewolves of Britain, which, as you might guess from the title, is an examination of all things lycanthropic in jolly old England. The cases described in the article date back to AD 940 and extend to pretty much the present day, and reveal some of the more astonishing encounters with werewolf-like entities that have been reported within the country by numerous, highly credible sources. The “Fate” article is online, and can be read on FATE‘s website.

Discussion of the article seems to have spread incredibly quickly: since its publication, a number of people have contacted me, inquiring if any further data of a similar nature is available. It certainly is. There are literally dozens (and I do mean dozens) of such cases that I have on file and that I have never publicized. But perhaps now, with so much apparent interest, it might be an ideal time to bring forth some more of this data.

Two of the three cases that I am discussing in this posting occurred in Scotland – one in the early 1950s and one in 1967. In the former case, the witness reported that she had seen what was described to me as “a hairy man with a wolf’s head,” roaming near Loch Morar (a Scottish loch that, notably, also has a longstanding lake monster legend attached to it), and that was further described as “walking on two feet but running on all-fours.” The witness, now in her seventies, described seeing the creature at a distance of about 70 feet, and said that it “stared at me in a horrible way,” before bounding away.

The second case involves a similar man-wolf seen, somewhat bizarrely, in the early hours of a winter morning on a stretch of road outside of the Scottish town of Oban. In this case, the witness was a mailman on his way to work, who described seeing the creature racing along the road at a very high speed in the opposite direction to that which he was traveling in. The beast totally ignored the shocked driver, who continued on his journey in a highly agitated state, not quite believing what it was that he had just seen. But he was sure on the facts: that at around 3.00 a.m., and for a few brief seconds, he had encountered a tall, man-like figure with wolf-like features hurtling along the road at breakneck speed.

A third case I have on file tells a story passed down from generation to generation by a family from Kent – the Shirley family. According to Pat Shirley, while picnicking in an area of woodland on the east coast of England in the late 1940s, her grandmother had seen a huge animal that looked like something straight out of An American Werewolf in London.

In this incident, the beast had what was described as “flaming red hair all over it,” and possessed a pair of huge and powerful jaws. Again, it was only seen for a moment or two before vanishing into the trees.

So what are the witnesses seeing? Are human beings really changing into hair-covered monsters at the sight of a full moon? The collective body of data I have on file suggests that there may be two factors at work. Some of the reports I have received sound very much like encounters with real-life wolves, but of a huge stature. This in itself would be incredible as the wild wolf became extinct in Britain centuries ago – although reports of such creatures do surface from time to time.

Other reports are less easy to clarify and classify, and seem to have a distinct air of the paranormal about them, with these creatures materializing and dematerializing at will, or having been seen in the direct vicinity of ancient stone circles and old burial sites.

Are they shape-shifting entities from who knows where? Or are they a breed of giant wolf that exists in stealth within the forests of Britain? I’m continuing to actively dig into such tales very deeply and will prepare an update soon. Maybe I’ll even have some answers!

In the meantime, I would urge you to order a copy of Linda Godfrey’s new book (that will be published in approximately a month from now) titled Hunting the American Werewolf, and that I have written the introduction to. This is a definite, must-read title for anyone interested in real life werewolf encounters, and is a superb addition to Linda’s previous book on such things: The Beast of Bray Road.

Beast of Bray Road

Anyone with information on British werewolves can contact Nick Redfern at

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

13 Responses to “The Werewolves of Britain”

  1. CryptoInformant responds:

    I haven’t heard of a wolf going biped for any length of time. This actually sounds similar to the Ucumar Zupai.

  2. bill green responds:

    hi everyone good evening this is a very interesting encounter. but in my honest opinion i think the people of britain are not seeing werewolves but sasquatches. i can understand that the confusion they have in that country becouse of their beliefs etc. in my honest opinion the werewolves in britain are sasquatch creatures. but more research needs to be done about sasquatch aka werewolf activity in britain forests mountains. definetly keep me informed on this ok. thanks bill green 🙂

  3. preacherman responds:

    It sounds to me like the “Cormons” of Nick’s book THREE MEN IN SEARCH OF MONSTERS”. I would really like for Nick to explore that aspect of this phenomenon as he hit on something that rang true in that book….the Monkey-man, etc. These are not
    Big foot, sasquach creatures, but something on the edge, and they appear to be sinister in nature.Something best left to the Nick Redferns & John Keels to investigate, not BFRO etc.

  4. cradossk responds:

    So because an animal is hairy and bipedal, it instantly has to be a Bigfoot?

    Come now, the people of England I’m sure can tell the difference between a large ape and a large wolf, especially if they specifically say the animal has the head of a wolf. Also, how many reports are there of sasquatches running on all fours?

    Could it perhaps be the other way around, and the “sasquatch” is in fact a werewolf, but American culture has changed the myth to suit their own beliefs? 😛 (I’m not saying that this is probable, just defending a myth)

  5. Ole Bub responds:

    Just another case of the Werewolves of London….Bigfeet with a proper British accent….bloody unlikely…IMHO

    Warren Zevon sang….”their hair was perfect”…Sasquatch is no myth…

    seeing is believing

    ole bub

  6. cradossk responds:

    I could have worded it better. I didn’t mean to imply that Bigfoot was a myth, but rather I was ‘defending’ the werewolf ‘myth’ from implications that it was a case of misidentification, and werewolves were in fact sasquatches, which is preposterous for many reasons. The fact that there have been ‘bigfoot’ sightings in England would to me imply that the English aren’t the ‘simple, belief ingrained folk’ which bills comment would suggest, and are able to tell the difference between a large bipedal dog, and a large bipedal ape (as most rational people would be), especially when the majority of the cases say “the head of a wolf”. Now, apes and canines do have rather different features, and from what I’ve read on the matter, whilst some Bigfoot sightings to mention fangs in the description of the beast, seldom to they mention pointed ears, as have been mentioned in these werewolf sightings.

    Go down to your local zoo and go to where they keep the monkeys and apes, and then the wolves and look at the differences between the facial features. It would be almost impossible to mistake an ape’s face with that of a wolf.

  7. dewhurst responds:

    Nick-Thanks for another very interesting blog.

    I have always been interested in the Werewolf legends from Britain and the rest of Europe. It is interesting that while in Europe we have a rich and intersting history of Werewolf sightings, legends and folklore but very little bigfoot. This I feel only strengthens the claims of Bigfoots existence. If there are no Bigfoot in Europe how can they be seen? (not discounting the sightings in the midlands-the subject of your recent blog but I feel its more likely they where werewolves than bigfoot).

    Its like people is Hawaii not seeing Bigfoot (because there are none there) but seeing them in most of the States in the USA & Canada because that is where bigfoot lives.

    Nick its always good to hear of any Crypto activity from the UK so keep up the good work and thanks again.

  8. Mnynames responds:

    The one thing which makes me hesitant to ascribe purely biological origins to hairy biped sightings is their near universal nature. They have been seen all throughout North and South America, China, Siberia, Russia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, India, Europe, Britain and, in fact, Hawaii. Now I’m not saying that there must be a paranormal origin for them by any means, but it does give one pause for thought. Many encounters do seem to possess paranormal features such as glowing red eyes, disappearing/appearing at will, and being seen in association with mysterious lights and UFOs. One must admit that the wild man image of the hairy biped is an archetypal one. Although it seems so very improbable to me, the remote possibility clearly remains that they are in fact tulpoid thought manifestations of the collective Human consciousness or perhaps incarnations of nature itself (referred to by Cryptozoologist Karl Shuker by the Indian term Deva). he concept has also been suggested to explain alien/fairy encounters and UFO’s (by Dr. Carl Jung, among others). Anybody care to comment on this theory?

  9. flickerbulbcom responds:

    aren’t non-hairy biped sightings fairly universal too?

  10. Mnynames responds:

    Wouldn’t those be called “people”?

  11. dewhurst responds:

    Mnynames ,

    Thanks for the Hawaiin story-An interesting sighting especially as the Giant was wearing a loin cloth.The Giants in this tale seem more human than ape (or is it just the way i’m reading it?) which rightly or wrongly leads me to believe whatever was seen was not Bigfoot.I’m not trying to be pedantic but I’m not really convinced that this report is of an Hawaiian Bigfoot-What do you think?

  12. Mnynames responds:

    I’ve seen other stories that are more typical of hairy bipeds, but for expediency’s sake I just googled Hawaiian Bigfoot and took the first link I found that described a sighting so you’d have an example. I’m reminded of New Zealand’s Coromandel Man, described as large, man-like beings covered in reddish or silvery-grey fur, that have been reported off and on since the 1930’s. Interestingly, some suggest that they are in fact humans, the misidentification coming from the distances at which they’ve been observed (Or perhaps some sort of hairy native dress), and that they represent the last of the Morioris, a legendary pre-Maori people.

  13. MoonBorn responds:

    I know this is a long blog so please bare with me.

    I live in a small town in Devon (UK) just south of Dartmoor and there have been many sightings of what appear to be werewolves in the fields near here and up onto the moors themselves. The most known sighting was in 1996 and was by Emily Watton. She was walking here two dogs; a collie and a labrador/springer spaniel cross, on the moors in early October when the dogs started going crazy. Then both, at the same instant, turned around and started trying to run in the opposite direction Emily was headed. Emily kept hold of the leads and while trying to turn the dogs around, she saw a huge creature “about 7 or 8 feet tall” running towards her. It was “wolf-like but the forelegs were much longer and the chest much deeper. It was covered in fine black, grey and brown fur and hair brilliantly yellow eyes.” The snout was longer than either of her dogs’ and she could see fangs when the creature opened its mouth. She started to run but the creature was, in her estimation, at least 4 times as fast as she was. When the creature got about 20 feet from her, the dogs suddenly turned and started barking at it. Emily kept running but as she looked over her shoulder, she saw the creature stand up on it’s hind legs, grab the two dogs, then throw the collie into a rock and rip out her labrador/spaniel’s throat.

    When she got back to town and told her husband what had happened she was taken to hospital. I’m not sure what happened to her after that but what i was told is that she died of shock that night.

    I just thought people might like to know that there are more sightings than have been ‘officially’ reported.

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