I live (near Guildford) there is an old legend around here about something called the Surrey Puma which has been doing the rounds in the News. This story has triggered an old memory I had that was very scary…
I remember an old friend and I were walking back from the shop in Bisley (Surrey), we heard a god awful howl just like a wolf or something coming from the direction of the prison that used to be there. I have no idea what made it as it certainly wasn’t a dog or man, but we ran all the way home!
We were only about 8 when this happened but I vividly remember that howl to this day!
This got me wondering how many other accounts I have that are close to our prisons here in the UK
HMP Dartmoor Prison Letter. The Bird Man
In 2016 I received an email from a gentleman whose brother was in Prison, he was housed in Dartmoor Jail, and his cell looked out onto the B3357 road that was close to the prison itself and had a small wooded area adjacent to it. Dartmoor still has a misplaced reputation for being a high-security prison that is escape-proof. Now it is merely a Category C prison, Dartmoor houses mainly non-violent offenders and white-collar criminals.
The gent went on to explain that his brother was in prison and was almost finished with his sentence, he had received a number of ‘home leaves’ and on the one this previous weekend (Jan 2016) had seemed even more reluctant to return than he had on the other day releases. As you can imagine this poor man’s mind filled with all the horrors being in prison can bring and he gently coaxed his brother into revealing what the problem was. Expecting to hear about a violent attack or bullying by other prisoners he couldn’t quite believe what his brother told him.
He went on to explain that from his cell he can see 2 small wooded areas and out over the moors, which in a sense had enabled him to really appreciate the beauty out there and he would watch the woods constantly for something to do at first, but then as he learnt the habits of the birds and woodland animals he would eventually come to revel in watching the wildlife, as most of the prisoners at HMP Dartmoor are restricted to their cells for up to 23 hrs a day most days. Even in the Autumn and Winter there had been lots going on out there to keep him occupied. On the previous Saturday night before the gents ‘home leave the following Friday’ he was watching the woods after lights out and waiting for the bats and owls to start their day he suddenly noticed a strange dark figure hugging the treeline. He thought at first it was another prisoner who had struck lucky and managed a few hours of escapism out there or was setting out to retrieve a ‘parcel’ left by somebody to be smuggled in at the most opportune time.
Thinking that time had come, he watched with a smile wondering how the ‘inmate’ was going to get back in. Being caught breaking into the prison would make for a funny ‘write up’ when they took him before the governor. As he watched this dark human figure move up and down through the wood he realised the ‘person’ was looking up into the tree branches and not down on the floor as you would expect. As the clouds shifted the figure was suddenly illuminated by the moon and the prisoner looking for contraband looked like a wild hairy man who was really thick and muscle bound. As he watched the figure picked up a stick from the ground besides him, hurled it into the tree. The man watched as a small animal or bird fell down from above and was quickly pushed into the mouth of the naked hairy prisoner.
As you can imagine the gent was horrified at this scene and blinked and adjusted his eyes as quickly as possible but the figure was gone. He watched those woods all night in case the figure returned and did so every day until he got a slight reprieve when he came home to us this Friday. Taking him back was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Thankfully he only has 3 weeks left but I bet he will watch that wood every night until then.
Maybe what Bob’s Brother saw is related in some way to the earlier account of a wildman being captured on the moor way back in the 1940’s
While working as a nurse at the Royal Western Counties Hospital, Devonshire, in 1982, Britain’s leading cryptozoologist Jonathan Downes (of the Center for Fortean Zoology) was told a strange tale by one of the staff doctors who, at the time, was then approaching retirement. According to the doctor, he had been on duty one morning in the winter of 1948 when he received several unusual telephone calls from local officials, and all informing him in a distinctly cryptic manner that a highly dangerous patient, who had been captured on the wilds of Dartmoor, would be brought to the hospital within the hour, requiring specialist care and an isolated room. Within 45 minutes a police van arrived at the hospital and backed up to a side door. Seven policemen jumped out of the vehicle while simultaneously trying to hang on to what the doctor said resembled a hair-covered caveman. The policemen dragged the creature along the hospital corridors and into the already-prepared isolation room. The door was quickly slammed shut behind it.
The beast stood slightly over six feet in height and was completely naked, with a heavy brow, a wide nose, and very muscular arms and legs. In addition it was covered with an excessive amount of body hair that enveloped its whole body apart from the palms of its hands, the soles of its feet, and its face, and had a head of long, matted hair. Over the course of the next three days, telephone calls bombarded the hospital from the police, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, and the Home Office in London.
Then came the news that the man-beast was being transferred to a secure location in London for examination. Again late at night, the creature was removed from the hospital by the same group of policemen. This time, however, they succeeded in holding the thing down long enough for it to be heavily sedated by the doctor, whereupon it was tied with powerful straps to a stretcher and loaded again into a police wagon with an unidentified doctor in attendance for the journey that lay ahead. Less than 20 minutes after they had arrived, the police departed into the night and the creature was gone forever
Another Report from the same area: The Dartmoor Forest Two legged Thing 1991
‘Many years ago (1991 to be as exact as I can) I was on Dartmoor in the small hours, location forgotten but I recall being sat with the girl I was sort of seeing at the time and we were located at the back of some public toilets (yeah, I know, real romantic but it gave us some privacy) and before us about 200 plus meters away was a lake. As we were sat having a smoke I noticed a shape moving around down at what I believed to be the lake-shore, it was night but the moon was bright so you could make out shapes and form but not features, anyway my brain first kicked in as to the fact that it must be a diver and it was late to be out diving, then I realized that this “person” had no lights about them to see where they were headed or, if they had been diving, to see underwater.
The form was definitely walking on two legs, that was apparent by the way it moved, but it was silhouetted against the lake so I could not make out features, being the inquisitive creatures that we are I began to move towards the shape, then I realized that whoever this was that was perhaps not the best idea, the form was still I assumed at or near the lake shore and seemed to be moving slowly not towards us but diagonally away to our left when the girl I was with suggested we should go I agreed that was a damn good idea. The form itself was bulky but as to actual height etc. I could not say, I just got the feeling it was large, the thought occurred to me as we were leaving the area in my friends car that perhaps it was a bigfoot, that is all my mind could relate it to after ticking off the other options like an escaped prisoner from Dartmoor prison, there were no reports from around the time, maybe it was a diver, at that time of night and with no lights, but there was no other car in the small car park either for the diver to make his way to which also negated the possibility that it was another courting couple or someone out for a walk. There was another couple with us that night, but they remained in and around the car, and besides neither looked like the form that we saw.
Witness: John Cameron
Black Hunched Dog like Creature June 2018 HMP Risley
In the early hours of the morning on 11/6/2018 a van driver travelling on the road between Warrington and Manchester going about his normal nightly routes saw something crossing the road in front of him that he can not explain, the creature, described as dog like, but bigger than a horse and moving fast shocked the driver, when describing the speed he said “it dusted out of sight in seconds” the sighting has left the man confused as to what he saw and how it could’ve moved away from him so fast. The road itself runs between two nature parks and is next to HMP Risley
Witness Account: I want to report something that happened last night when I was on my route, I was out on the road about 3 am this morning 11/6/18. I had my lights on of course and the road was empty of traffic but as I passed the Birchwood Forest Park on the A547 something crossed the road in front of me, it was moving on all fours and it was massive, at least as big as a horse but this “thing” ran like a dog. “Thank god it kept moving and stayed on all fours because upright it would have been at least 9 foot tall,” he explained. “It was dark so no precise colour but it was huge. Honestly it spooked the xxxx out of me. I did stop and look where it was and I couldn’t see it anywhere it had moved off that fast”.
The A547 Birchwood Forest Park was where it was coming from, it was as big as a horse but looked and moved more like a dog of some kind. “Well I’m still freaked out by all this and I have felt a bit “off” since last night and a bit light headed. I keep thinking about “it” and the fact that when I stopped to look where “it” was “it” had gone, “it should of been in sight but “it had dusted” as he put it.
HMP BURE Coltishall Bridge Creature Sightings of a Giant Black Dog
Late one night between 1960 and 1962, two RAF officers were travelling by car (a Mini) coming back from Norwich to RAF Coltishall. Passing over Coltishall bridge, they turned left into the High Street and were quickly forced into a sudden stop as “an enormous black Dog” crossed the road from left to right in front of them. “As ‘It’ loped across our line of sight ‘It’ slowly turned ‘Its head, to glare directly and disdainfully into our astonished faces, presenting us with a pair of fiery red eyes. ‘It’ then slowly swung back ‘It’s head and continued ‘It’s measured progress onto the cobbles (if my recall of the village is correct) that stretched up to the shops/houses on the far side of the road. As ‘It’ hit the cobbles ‘It’ quite literally vanished.
“The size comparison would equal to that of a Labrador, ‘It’s back however was level with the roof of the Mini (approx. 1.35 m or 53”).”To put it bluntly, ‘It’ was a perfectly proportioned giant black Dog.”The two officers looked at each other in disbelief, then sped off to the air base.In the early 1950’s, a young Woman and her future Husband were idling on the Coltishall side of the bridge at nightfall. Walking towards them from ‘Coltishall Island’ a triangle of land with a petrol station on it, at the meeting of three roads they saw an unusual black Dog, so large, that at first the Woman thought it was a Pony. As ‘It’ passed them, the Dog turned ‘It’s head towards them, but continued on, and faded away before ‘It’ reached the other side. Both witnesses were very scared by the encounter as they had to go in the direction of the giant Doglike thing, but they eventually managed to cross the bridge themselves.
The woman still thinks of the incident with fear every time she has to use the bridge.Mr. Robert Norgate and Miss Agnes Abel of Horstead swear that a Shuck passed them one evening on Coltishall Bridge. Both heard the pattering of feet and heavy breathing. They both looked around sharply behind them to see what was there but there was nothing to see.”Another account [from the 1933 BBC radio programme ‘The Dark Shore’] came from a middle-aged couple from Coltishall, who after a stroll on a fine Summer evening had stopped on Coltishall Bridge. The Man was just striking a match to light his Wife’s cigarette when a Black Shuck ‘as big as a Calf and as noiseless as death’ passed by within a foot of them.”
HMP Cookham Wood. What was in those bushes? Shadowed at night by an unknown creature.
G: Well Deb this is the strange encounter I had in the woods late at night on a solo mountain bike ride in the winter. I will try and make sense of what happened but im not very good at putting things down on paper and its not the easiest thing to explain.. I’m pretty sure this was back in 2011 as I was around 18 when it happened. It was definitely during Winter as the woods were bare of shrub and leaves and the muddy/clay ground was a nightmare to ride on . I used to be a very keen extreme mountain biker and I would go out with a group and also solo, My favourite time was the night rides during the winter months at which time I would usually have a lot of fun, but not this night.
To be totally honest I have never been a real fan of the dark but after this event I never went into the woods at night again and I still refuse to do so now. I was on my todd in the backwoods of Cobham on a set route that runs along the North Downs directly opposite the town of Rochester which is on the other side of the River Medway in Kent. That night I was making my way home through the woods and I was not seeing or hearing any other people at all. I mean this place was dark even with my 1500 lume light on my helmet the area itself was still pitch black, blacker than soot! I must of been halfway between Rochester and Snodland but traveling through the woods on top of the downs no the normal road route when it happened.
Along a part of this ride I started to get a creepy feeling, you know when you don’t know why? But you are instantly on your guard and you feel all the hairs on your body stand up. I’m already cold and covered in wet mud and water, I’m in the dark on my own crapping it and confused. So I stop for a break after doing a long climb up the hill I make myself calm down and catch my breath, but I can’t help but feel like im being watched, I can’t shake the feeling. I look all around me it’s pitch black and I don’t see anyone or anything. I then realise the quiet unsettles me a lot as I can’t even hear your normal countryside noises of foxes screaming or moving around, owls and critters moving through the grass, nothing!! the mood felt extremely off and creepy.
I still have to carry on riding and so I decided I want to get out of the woods now as im not ashamed to say I felt scared, but as I kept on I swore I could hear something moving off to the left of me about 30 foot away in the trees and brush shadowing me, but I didn’t dare look in that direction as to be honest I was shitting bricks by this point and I didn’t want to see what or who was keeping pace with me in the woods. But soon I got closer to the country lanes it all stopped. I couldn’t hear it following me anymore and I didn’t feel on edge and all the anxiety just left me.
Since that night I had never gone into the woods at night walking nor riding and for the last 3 yrs I haven’t rode mountain bikes at all.
Figures in the woods Grey Bigfoot’s in Pendleton 18/3/17
I was walking on the Irwell route today it was a nice spring morning so I figured id take my son for a walk as we had been cooped up with all the horrible weather, and now was a good a time as any to chance a walk. The land down there is on a floodplain, and it was very wet as it had been raining for the past 48 hrs. The Irwell was running pretty high at that point but i’d had a busy day in town and needed to clear my head, so I set off with my young son for an hours peace and quiet. We have a regular route and use the path to get in and then we normally walk off the path and get into the woodland there.
Close to the prison there is a small woodland walking route that we love to take and I have found some really strange things down there. We once found an entire holly bush which my son said ‘looked funny’ when we went to investigate the bush was around 8 ft high and had been pulled from the ground and pressed into two other hollies, when we moved the bush we found a small well walked path that was completely hidden. You hear strange noises down there often and I have on occasion found very small bare footprints even in the Winter time.
As I say on this day we were out for a while in the rain just enjoying the day, when i noticed out of the corner of my eye the movement of a Grey Figure standing up on the bank opposite to where I was now standing, I only saw it for a split second and then it was gone, I knew it wasn’t a person as it was way too large and very tall? Whatever this was it was all one colour, a grey colour moving very quickly away from us. I was a bit shaken up trying to work out “who” that could of been up there across the cleared field. I was nervous but I made my way over to where “it” had been standing and saw to my shock there was a ditch and that “figure” must of been 8ft tall for me to have seen him from my position, as I went to point this ditch out to my son, there was high loud wail, and the crows set off in unison above us alarming and cawing. My son asked me if I had seen a figure as he said he had seen one too, but on comparing notes I realised the figure he had seen was darker in colour and much smaller than the very tall wide “thing” I had seen, did he see the smaller one because they were on a similar eye level? The crows were still making a ruckus and I was a bit unnerved at seeing something so unusual and I figured it was time to go and we set off back to the car, not scared but a little confused and my adrenaline was rushing.
The area itself was off the canal and very wooded, As we walked back to the car in another direction I found a spot within the trees where a circle of pine trees grew, in the middle of the circle was this tree, just there by itself, this little spot felt magical in a way and the tree seemed significant somehow, and I did feel watched, like lots of unseen figures were around me,and it felt like they were moving all around us, neither myself or my son felt in any danger and to be honest it was an uplifting experience.
I will be returning to the area again and hope for many more interactions if at all possible.
In Staffordshire there are 3 prisons all together in one area close to Penn, next to the prisons there is a very strange account of a Creature Road Crossing June 2015
Witnessed whilst driving home one night at about midnight, in the Pendeford area of Wolverhampton , “it was a bright night and there were street lights – doing a journey I have done hundreds of times. A strange creature on all fours ran in front of my car. It was like it happened in slow motion the creature resembled the werewolf out of Harry Potter. I am a total non believer but I cannot deny what I saw with my own eyes…to this day it is a very clear image in my head”
Openly researching with local farmers asking if they have seen or heard anything unusual resulted in some interesting comments. The farmer whose land this creature ran onto has said his dog who is not bothered by badgers or foxes is spooked by something in the darkness, sometimes at night when he goes to check on his stock the dog goes nuts and will not leave his side, and stays within the light at all times. The farmer said this has always made him think something was there that couldn’t be seen and is a bit apprehensive as his dog is normally rock hard and nothing bothers him at all.
These accounts are only a fraction of the accounts close to prisons in the UK, in fact there are so many I will have to bring them over a number of weeks.
What attracts the creature to these areas, the food bins, the lack of people or even the negative energy that surely must emit from the place. Hundreds of men housed together in one place can make for a very primeval energy on occasion.
Or maybe it is mere coincidence as many of our Prisons are built on the edge of towns and many of them are out of the way in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields, rivers and woods. I wonder how many other prisoners have a tale to tell, as they were watching the view from the window at night? There are around 94,000 prisoners to date here in the UK. Ironically maybe they are in the safest place possible?
Until Next Time Deb