Beware the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor – especially when you are driving!

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The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor is a Devon ghostly folklore favourite, retold here by guest writer KEVIN HYNES

Hairy Hands of Dartmoor

This is one of my favourite folklore tales of Dartmoor. I have spent many a night at this location in search of all things paranormal, but have yet to have come face to face with the ominous Hairy Hands!

The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor is a very well-known ghost story associated to the B3212 and is the one reason you are now reading this short tale. My mother told me the story of the Hairy Hands when I was a small boy and from that moment on I was completely fascinated with reading about Dartmoor and its ghostly hauntings and phantoms.

I first learned of Hairy Hands at an early age!

I bought one of my first books on the subject when I was seven years old and have been trying to quench my thirst for knowledge of the paranormal ever since. In many ways it has been a journey and I have now come full circle as I have visited the sight of where the infamous Hairy Hands are said to haunt.

The curious case of the Hairy Hands dates back to over a hundred years as in 1910 drivers, cyclists and travellers have reported a wide array of encounters with a pair of large disembodied hairy hands.

There has been numerous accidents on this particular stretch of road and in most incidents the victims have stated that their vehicle violently swerved and they lost control ending up very shaken and drawn to a holt on the verge on the opposite side of the road.

Hairy Hands of Dartmoor causes a history of horror crashes

There have been a number of fatalities on this spot, which many believe are due to the notorious Hairy Hands.

For instance in June 1921 a doctor called E.H Helby who was working for Dartmoor Prison had travelled on this road countless of times and was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle and side car, which at the time was occupied by two young females. The two young girls were thrown clear and survived the incident, but Dr Helby was indeed less fortunate.

This was not to be the last incident to occur that summer as on the 26th August 1921 within the next couple of weeks of Dr Helby passing, a bus driver lost control in the same stretch of road throwing a number of people off their seats. The incidents captivate the local national press and a newspaper reporter was sent to investigate.

A number of people believed the tragic events to have been caused by the adverse camber in the road to which the local council acted upon and repairs were made to reduce the camber.

Even a woman who was camping in her caravan located nearby by Powder Mills awoke one early dark morning to witness a large hairy hand slowly creeping up the caravan window.

The female was petrified to death as she made the sign of the cross and began to pray. It was at this point the disembodied hand slowly creped silently down the window before completely vanishing into thin air.

Many years later a car was also found upturned in the ditch next to the supposed site of where the hairy hands had previously appeared, the male was pronounced dead at the scene with no witnesses and the actual cause of the accident was never confirmed.

An army captain has also reported that a large pair of hairy hands took full control of his motorcycle and forced him off the road.

KEVIN HYNES has been actively investigating the paranormal since 2001, he is also a published author. Founder of the Haunted Plymouth Ghost Walks and Co-Founder of Black Crow Paranormal Society. Co-Host of the Paranormal TV Series, Encounters. His passion for history and the paranormal is second to none. You can follow him on twitter @KevinHynes77


  1. I know that the average person has no belief in the occurrence of supernatural events, but I tell you all honestly that *TWICE* I have been targeted for Death by supernatural forces. In particular, while driving alone at night in America, I was subjected to what has previously only been documented to have occurred in Dartmoor UK (England), and is known as ‘The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor’. When it happened to me, I was driving north, all alone, at night, on Route 390 in New York State. It was a particularly hot evening, and so I had my driver’s side window rolled down. I was driving my ’73 Plymouth Satellite, which had an 8-cylinder 318 engine. It was early summer, and the year was 1987. For miles, both in-front and behind me, it seemed like I was the only vehicle on the entire highway. I remember feeling very calm, and, if anything, a bit bored. Suddenly, things got _very_ interesting. From literally out of nowhere, two disembodied large white-skinned hands reached in through my open driver’s side window. The knuckles and fingers of the hands were large, and the backs of both hands had a growth of long, white hairs. These hands were physically powerful. Their grip was like that of a mechanical vise. The hairy hands grabbed the top right portion of the steering wheel and immediately proceeded to push down, HARD, and to the Right. The center of the steering wheel, for that model and year of car, had the usual horizontal ‘V’ partition, extending both Left and Right, that connected with the outer “circle” portion of the steering wheel. Somehow, my reflexes responded instantly. Somehow, I got the open palm of my Right Hand positioned directly underneath the _steering wheel_ ‘V’ that extended to the Right, and I got my Right Elbow propped directly on top of my Right Knee. My Right Foot then provided *solid bracing* against the floor of the car’s interior. With the additional assistance of my Left Hand, I started cranking _counterclockwise_ on the Right ‘V’ of the steering wheel, just as if it were a “breaker bar” Socket Wrench. For several seconds, I (using Both Hands and my Right Knee) “arm wrestled” against the vise-like strength of the Hairy Hands. Somehow, I managed to keep the car going straight, although I was now traveling down the Right Shoulder of the highway, as if it were a lane. Just the same, the Hairy Hands were slowly succeeding to steer me into the ditch, when, very suddenly, the Hairy Hands retracted back _out through_ the open driver’s side window. My car then lurched, HARD to the Left, as a result of my oversteering counterclockwise. Somehow, I got it together, avoided crashing, and resumed traveling straight down the appropriate highway lane. Until this year (2020), I never told anyone about what had happened. For that matter, because we had no internet back in 1987, I had no idea that what I just witnessed was historically famous over in Dartmoor UK (England). Thanks to the internet, here in the 21st century I am finally discovering that my many supernatural encounters have been mutually witnessed, and even granted _names_ , by many other witnesses, across the better part of the last 120 years.


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