The Encyclopedia Mythica defines a werewolf as “a man who is transformed, or who transforms himself, into a wolf in nature and appearance under the influence of a full moon”. It goes on to say that “the werewolf is only active at night and during that period, he devours infants and corpses”.
Now, I understand completely that under a normal set of circumstances these statements would generally be considered true, but Cannock Chase is undoubtedly a paranormal portal area like no other. Although there have been many wolfman-like sightings in recent years, rather oddly, a number of the cases I've investigated have occurred, not during the solemn radiance of a serene full moon, but at the early onset of the bright and bustling daylight hours.
No-doubt this somewhat hairy revelation will pose more questions than answers in the mind of the truly ardent researcher. Folk may say that the appearance of werewolves during the daytime is a ludicrous, even foolish, impossibility, but are they heedlessly overlooking something profoundly important? In the case of Cannock Chase, I think they may well be.
One report I received came in from a gentleman who, on the morning in question, while walking his Labrador Retriever around the ancient Iron Age hill-fort at Castle Ring, heard the distinct sound of abnormal and unearthly howling coming from the surrounding damp and misty woodland. So loud was the noise, that his dog immediately began to draw back and cower in fear. Mr Chapman recalled that, upon glancing into the shadowy trees he saw two bright, fiendish yellow eyes glaring menacingly back at him. This was enough to seriously spook Mr C and, in his own words, he promptly “ran like the wind”.
Castle Ring 2013
Another report involved a group of 3 teenagers who, whilst stopping for a cigarette break on a popular car-park near to the village of Brocton (a place that describes itself as the Gateway to Cannock Chase), witnessed the understandably terrifying sight of what they described as an “oversized, upright, wolf” rummaging through a litter bin. Luckily, at a distance of around 20 meters, the creature didn't notice them and soon moved on, but those lads have been deeply affected by it nonetheless.
I am certainly not the first person to uncover sightings of this nature in the area though. Throughout 2006-2007 dozens of articles were printed in local newspapers relaying tales of mysterious howling and sightings of wolf-men, and quite a few people came forward with details of their experiences. Many of these cases were investigated by my friend and fellow researcher Nick Redfern, who has written about Cannock Chase in a number of his best selling books. Several of the incidents Nick refers to happened within the confines of the infamous German Cemetery, which is home to the graves of some 5000 Austrian and German soldiers who fought and died in WW1 and WW2. However, I'll go into that place more thoroughly in another post.
So, if people are regularly seeing werewolf type critters during the daytime, what possible explanations could there be? Well, I admit the idea that these creatures are in fact real wolves isn't entirely beyond the realms of possibility, but scientifically it is highly unlikely. This can be illustrated by the fact that, officially, all the wild-wolves of England were killed many years ago by hunters. Although some researchers do believe that small packs may continue to survive, successfully evading human attention, in the deepest, darkest areas of England's forests, I feel this theory can be ruled out for the vast majority of sightings coming in from Cannock Chase, simply because the hairy beast people claim to see, is reported as being much to large to resemble an English Wolf.
As discussed previously, the standardized understanding of werewolves also collapses when we are dealing with daytime sightings, so could it be possible that we are not dealing with an entirely physical creature? Could the werewolf encounters, far from being hallucinations, represent just one element of the direct manifestations bought about by the opening of a genuinely fascinating, but incredibly rare, paranormal window? I'll leave you to ponder on that one.
The time has come for me to take my leave, but before I do, I'd like to offer you the only sincerely rational, yet admittedly slightly humorous, advice I have ever been given on the topic of snarling beasts:
Never moon a werewolf!
Until next time my friends......
Written by Lee Brickley 2013