When it comes to places traditionally associated with werewolves, Staffordshire in England doesn’t make the top 10 list; let alone the top 100. Yet it seems there’s a tradition of werewolf encounters in the county, centered around one spot – Cannock Chase. So what’s going on in this quiet, rural English spot?
Cannock Chase isn’t a village or a town but an area of countryside designed as an “Area of Outstanding Beauty” by the local government. Located near the towns of Stafford, Lichfield and Cannock; this rural area first hit the headlines when the remains of three murdered girls were found in the late 1960s – they became known as the Cannock Chase Murders.
The first noted sighting of the suspected Cannock Chase werewolf dates back to 1975, when a local paranormal group investigated a series of sightings of a ‘snarling beast’ which reared up onto its hind legs before disappearing into some bushes. Further reports came from a local scoutmaster and a postman who separately reported seeing the creature around the German War Cemetery near Camp Road in Cannock Chase. Their descriptions both matched – a large dog that suddenly stood on its hind legs, to a height of almost seven feet, and then vanished into the bushes.
Recently, in 2012, another sighting of the creature further corroborates suspicions that a werewolf is on the prowl and not some type of large, escaped dog as some have suggested. According to the blog Cryptid Chronicles, the witness and his friend were parked in a layby (an area where cars can pull off the road and park) when they saw something moving in the bushes, roughly 10 to 15 meters from the car. He turned on the headlights and realized he was looking at the outline of a human-like figure that stood 7-8 feet tall, judging by the surrounding features. When the creature noticed them, it began to charge the car which prompted the witnesses to drive away.
The appearances of the werewolf aren’t the only strangeness reported in the area. In 2008, Cannock Chase was named on a declassified Ministry of Defense report as a hot spot of reported UFO activity for the entire country. Sightings included balls of light, cigar shaped UFOs and a 10-foot light hovering over Stafford Road.
If alien visitors and a werewolf weren’t enough, there’s some healthy cryptid competition from a “Big Cat” reportedly sighted in the area back in 2005. Thought to be either a panther or a leopard, the creature appeared almost from nowhere and was spotted by group enjoying their lunch at the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre. They described the creature as a muscular black cat, around three feet in length.
Is there a connection between all of these varied events occurring in one small area? For now, it remains a mystery and may simply be just a coincidence that UFOs, large cryptid cats and werewolves all hang around one lonely spot in Staffordshire but somehow that seems unlikely…