Guest writer KEVIN HYNES recounts Devon ghostly folklore favourite, the 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 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 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.
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


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