M J STEEL COLLINS tells the frightening tale of ancient curses and modern day werewolves in North East England
In 1971, a family from the town of Hexham, England, were driven from their home following the strange occurrences that plagued their house following the discovery of two small stone heads in their garden.
Bizarre phenomena included poltergeist activity and the proclivity for the heads to move around by themselves. The heads themselves were about six centimetres in size: one was called “the boy” due its masculine, skull like appearance and the other, “the girl” because it had long hair and female features carved into it. The final straw came when one of the family’s children and a neighbour witnessed a terrifying creature, “half-sheep, half-human” and the front door opening by itself.
Dr Anne Ross, an expert on stone heads, came into possession of the Hexham Heads after they were sent away for analysis. In recounting the strange circumstances, Dr Ross remembered a strange coldness emanating from the heads and taking an instant dislike to them. She initially concluded they were Celtic.
That night, Dr Ross woke around 2 or 3 AM, noticing the intense chill of the bedroom and the feeling that ‘something’ was there. She was alarmed to see a six feet tall half-man, half-wolf figure lurking by the door. The being left the room, followed by Dr Ross, descended the stairs and leapt over the banister, before heading to the back of the house. Investigations found nothing there.
Four days later, Dr Ross’ 15 year old daughter was terrified by the sight of the werewolf hiding on the stairs when she came home from school. The wolf again jumped over the banister and disappeared into the music room. Dr Ross’ daughter followed, but couldn’t see the wolf in the room. After this, the entire family, including the cat, saw or heard the werewolf, always slinking down the stairs and jumping over the banister. Once, Dr Ross’ husband, who was ill in bed, had his dinner taken up to him by his daughters, which was slightly hindered by the werewolf standing on the stairs.
The family associated the strangeness with the Hexham Heads and were desperate to get rid of them. Dr Ross worked on them as a matter of priority, halting her other work. Eventually the heads were passed on to other experts. One refused to take them on the spot, having had previous bad luck when he had stone heads stored in his car boot. The Hexham Heads were then investigated by a chemist, who discovered that they had a high level of quartz.
In the midst of several investigations, the heads eventually disappeared. No one knows where they wound up – or whatever happened to the werewolf. However, it later emerged that a previous owner of the house in Hexham, where the heads were originally found, came forward and said that he had made the heads as toys for his children.
Whatever the case, it is still an interesting situation. It is still being looked into today by Paul Screeton, one of the first to investigate it during the 1970s.