Sunday 15 April 2007

Public vote on the Bexley 'beast' !!

Beast of Bexley could be out there

Almost two thirds of people think there is at least a chance the 'beast of Bexley' could be real.
In a poll on News Shopper's site, 31.7 per cent of people said the beast is definitely on the loose.
The same percentage of voters also said they don't know if the beast exists - but it could.
Just 36.6 per cent of voters said there is no such thing as a beast on the prowl around Bexley.
Over the past few years there have been numerous supposed sightings of a panther-like black creature.
Have you seen the beast or do you even believe it could be real? Add your comments below.
12:08pm Saturday 7th April 2007
By Simon Bull

Another 'beast' of Bexley encounter ?

IS THE BEAST BACK by Sara Nelson (Newsshopper - April 15th 2007)
A WOMAN has described how her "blood ran cold" after she heard and saw evidence of what she believes is an escaped black panther.
The woman, who does not want to be named, heard the noise of an animal growling in the back garden of her home in The Grove, Biggin Hill, around two weeks ago.
She was in her garden this morning when she noticed deep scratch marks reaching almost 20ft up the trees.
She said: "I heard something growling a few weeks ago and it was blood curdling, but it wasn't today until I made the connection.
"The trees have been scored with huge claw marks going up around 15 to 20ft where it looks like it has leapt up to find a branch to lie on.
"I am really worried because a small child would obviously make a nice snack for something capable of causing such damage.

"Whatever it was it was obviously looking for somewhere to cool down as the weather is getting so hot.
"We have put chicken wire over the base of the trees to stop any more damage and I do not fancy the thought of it coming back."
The woman has contacted the police and says they told her that similar reports had been made, and has also spoken to a member of staff at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
She said: "I spoke to a man there and described the marks and he told me it did sound like they had been made by a big cat.
"I also described the growl. When I first heard it I knew the sound was coming from a very large animal, and I thought 'hell, that must be one enormous rotteweiler'.
"My blood just ran cold, it was a low, rumbling, bubbly type of sound.
"Then when I first saw the claw marks I though 'oh the badgers have been sharpening their claws again'.
"It wasn't until I saw the marks going right up the trees that I knew I was wrong.
"I've spoken to people about it who respond with things like 'are you sure it's not a rat my dear or next door's cat?' which is frustrating, but I want to warn people to keep an eye on their kids.
"If someone gets kills or badly damaged, I will feel very guilty."
Ian Turner, who is deputy head warden at Longleat Safari Park, said: "From what she has described it is possible it is a black panther.
"I have advised her to take a picture of it if she can and keep an eye on any livestock in the area.
"It is very doubtful it would attack a human being, unless it was starving."
There have been numerous sightings of an animal dubbed as "The Beast of Bexley" over the past five years, but this is one of the first reported to News Shopper in the Bromley region.
The animal has been spotted at the Hillview Cemetery in Welling, around the woodlands at Shooters Hill, Plumstead Common, Danson Park, Barnehurst and Northumberland Heath and most recently in Silver Spring Close, Erith.
Have you seen or heard anything unusual in the area? Contact the news desk at or ring 01689 885723.

'Beast' of Bexley seen again ?

Newsshopper- 3rd April 2007

TERRIFIED cousins locked themselves in their homes and called for help after spotting "the beast of Bexley".
Tina Rutherford, 27, and Joanne Parfitt, 30, who live next door to each other in Silver Spring Close, Erith, spotted the large black cat on derelict land last Friday morning.
Miss Rutherford said: "Joanne saw the cat in the scrubland which leads to the nearby sand quarry.
"She drove down the road to get a closer look and realised it was too big to be an ordinary cat. She rang me to have a look."
Miss Rutherford added: "It was sitting on a bank and looked over at us before getting up and walking out of sight. It was huge and had a long thick tail."
"The cat then reappeared by the trees. It was bending down and appeared to be eating something."

Friday 6 April 2007

A London man-beast ?

When the panic pertaining to the Spring Heeled Jack crimes began in London during the late 1830s, reports of the frightful humanoid seemed confused. However, the general consensus of opinion was that 'Jack' was indeed a darkly cloaked nobleman with springs in his boots and iron-like claws used to attack women. However, also during the hysteria there were several mentions of a 'devil' or bear' in the vicinity of St. John's Wood which may well have been unconnected with the 'Jack' crimes. A solicitor at the time, reading to a packed Common Hall of stunned listeners, when speaking of the cloaked intruder, gave mention also to another mystery being, stating -

"There have been rumours in St John's Wood and its neighbourhood, for the last fortnight, of the appearance of the monster alluded to in the police report of yesterday of the Mansion House, inserted in THE TIMES this morning. The bet is, however, understood to be of an even more grave nature than is there stated, and, if it be true, amounts to murder. As far as the writer had been informed, the bet is, that the monster shall kill six women in some given time.
It is asserted that he has been seen in St. John's Wood clad in mail, and as a bear".

Even with all the manic confusion of the period when, previous to 'Jack' and his name being created, there were many a mention of a 'demon figure' or 'ghost', it still seems intriguingly odd that a 'bear' should come into the equation. Spring Heeled Jack was an agile and elusive assailant, but nowhere does there exist reports of a hairy creature running on all fours. Whilst bears can stand on two legs and walk for a short distance, this kind of creature does not resemble any of the SHJ mannerisms or descriptions which tended to be darkly clad, tall, fiery eyes, wearing a hat and shadowy.
Was there in fact a very separate creature roaming London's leafy suburbs during the 1800s ? Was it an escapee, maybe a large cat such as a puma, or something entirely unknown ?

A Horrifying humanoid

As witnessed by a man named Jim on the night of January 16th 2004, as he woke from his slumber to a weird clicking noise. In the dark of the room Jim could see a figure with the head resembling that of a fly or Praying Mantis. The hideous monster blasted the witness with a beam of light which seemed to send varying confused messages to its victim.
After the bizarre incident Jim described the creature as standing over five-feet in height and wearing a cloak, and was bathed in a purple light.

Monster of St Michael's church.

According to author Graham J. McKewan, in his MYSTERY ANIMALS OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND book, :

"The Tudor historian John Stowe, who was born 1525 and died in 1605, recorded a strange story told to him by his father -

'My father told me that, at St Michael's church in the Cornhill ward, London, on the night of St James, certain men were ringing the bells of St Michael's, in the loft, when there arose a tempest of thunder and lightning, and a thing of an ugly shape and sight was seen to come in at the south window, and it lighted on the north. For fear whereof, all the ringers fell down and lay as dead for a time, leaving the bells to ring and cease of their own accord. When the ringers came to themselves, they found certain stones of the north window to be razed and scrat as if they had been so much butter, printed with a lion's claw; the same stones were fastened there again, when it was repaired, and remain so to this day. I have seen them oft, and have put a feather or small stick into the hole where the claw had entered, three to four inches deep.
At the same time, certain maine Timber posts at Queen Hith were scrat and cleft from top to bottom, and the Pulpit Cross in Paul's churchyard was likewise scrat, cleft and overturned. One of the ringers lived in my youth, whom I have oft heard to verifye the same to be true, and I have oft heard my Father to report it'.

Monster bat!

Spring of 1922 it was alleged that a dark apparition was seen in London's West Drayton cemetery, a phantom that roamed the dusty catacombs a handful of decades before the Highgate Vampire. Witnesses who saw the creature, with a six-foot wingspan, described how a policeman pursued it into the shadows where it let off a scream and took to the air. The spectre often appeared under the glare of a full moon.
Little else seems to be known about this obscure form.
In 1938 at Thornton Heath in Surrey, a woman claimed that on three occasions over three months, she was attacked by a 'vampire' with wings. On each occasion the creature drew blood from the woman.

Deptford Whale,,25338-2021500,00.html

The Brentford Griffin

During the middle of 1984, a Kevin Chippendale was strolling along Braemar Road, when he observed a strange creature in the skies near the Green Dragon apartments, rather coincidentally! He claimed that the beast resembled a dog but with wings and a beak.

Mr Chippendale saw the creature again in the February of 1985 and said that the apparition bore some resemblance to the creature painted on the sign of the Griffin Public House.

A friend of Kevin's, an Angela Keyhoe also claimed to have seen the flying monster. She was on a bus journey when she saw it sitting on the gasometer next to the Waterman's Art Centre. She said it resembled a giant black bird. Several passengers on the bus apparently saw the creature, and so did psychologist John Olssen, one morning whilst he was jogging near to the Thames. Sightings seem to escalate, and the legend was featured in the press and also on The Six O' Clock News.

Although many claimed that the entire 'Griffin' fiasco was a hoax, it has embedded itself into local legend.

A pamphlet on the series of reports was written by Andrew Collins in 1985.

Now, whilst such a creature may well have been nothing more than fanciful rumour, I would like to share with you a letter, submitted to Fortean Times magazine, during the May of 1998, from a Mr Martin Collins who believed that such a monster may well have been more than local hoax.
He wrote: “I first encountered the story of the Brentford Griffins while I was at St John’s School in the 1950s (note: some thirty years before the first sightings!). St John’s in those days sat in the shadow of Brentford’s football ground, Griffin Park. Inquiring why there were so many griffin references in Brentford, I was told that it was due to the family of griffins that lived on Brentford Eyot, an island in the Thames.
The story of how they got there was that the first griffin was brought to Brentford by King Charles II as a gift for his mistress, Nell Gwynn, who had a house in the Butts at Brentford. One day the griffin was playing on the banks of the River Brent, which flows past the Butts, and fell in. The hapless creature was washed down the Brent into the Thames, finally being washed up on Brentford Eyot. As it was assumed to have been killed, it was left alone and was able to live on the Eyot for many years – griffins having a lifespan of centuries.
Then Sir Joseph Banks brought back a griffin from a Pacific island where he had been with Captain Cook. This griffin was originally housed in the Pagoda in Kew Gardens, which is on the opposite bank of the Thames from Brentford Eyot where it found a mate awaiting it.
There was soon a whole colony of griffins and they spread out from the Eyot all over the town of Brentford, where they can still be seen to this day, if you look closely enough.
This story has stayed with me…it is a nice bit of Brentford mythology.”

Whilst intriguing, and seemingly in support of the legend, the details mentioned simply prove how the creature had become symbolic within a community, just as the dragons, satyrs, centaurs etc, have the world over. However, sightings of such winged monsters do still persist throughout the world, and whilst many of these reports describe griffin-like beasts, it seems that they could all be replicas of the more universal gargoyle figure, seen perched above many a town throughout this weird world. Merely stone guardians or echoes of what really lurks in the skies ?

Berkeley Square horrors

Once considered an extremely haunted location, and investigated by many ghost hunter's, including Elliot O' Donnell, Berkeley Square and its eeriness is now the stuff of legend but seems bereft of any further activity since its haunting during the Victorian era.
In his book HAUNTED HOUSES, author Charles G. Harper wrote:
"There is quite a literature accumulated around No. 50 and even in the staid pages of Notes and Queries the questions of 'haunted or not haunted?', and if so, 'By what or whom?', have been debated. It seems something or other, very terrible indeed haunts or did haunt a particular room. Whatever it is, has been sufficiently awful to have caused death, in convulsions, of at least two fool hardy persons who have dared to sleep in that chamber."

Mentions of a little girl ghost are rife but the main malignant entity seems to be a shapeless horror that terrified two sailors so much to the extent that one of them leapt to his death, whilst the other was arrested for it.
In 2001 one of the bookseller's now occupying the place saw a strange brown mist in the room, but nothing untoward or remotely sinister resembling the dark activity of the past has resurfaced.

Spring Heeled Jack

During the year 1788 a vicious attacker prowled the streets of London. The sinister fiend, often described as an 'inhuman monster', slashed, cut and sliced around several female victims in a two year reign of terror. The man and his evil acts have become the stuff of legend.

Unfortunately, descriptions of the vile 'monster', at the time, were inconsistent, leading some experts and authorities to argue as to whether the victims were merely fabricating the stories.

Some victims described being approached by a man holding a bunch of flowers. The man would then ask the victim if she would like to smell the bouquet, and in many cases when the woman neared, he would stab her in the face with a hidden spike or blade hidden among the petals. Other women claimed that the fiend slashed at their clothing, hurled abuse at them, and in some bizarre attacks the attacker would attach knives to his knees and swipe at the buttocks and hips of his victims.

During the series of hideous assaults, many local men were afraid to approach attractive women in the street for fear of being reported to the police, although the local authorities were also under scrutiny, with many victims claiming that the police were not doing enough to capture the mysterious villain. Several vigilante groups were set up, but these kind of gangs often picked out the wrong culprit and many pick-pockets and the like were often scrutinised for being the prowler. Some sceptics argued that the night prowler did not exist at all and was some wild creation imagined by some of the so-called victims. Hysteria was at an equilibrium during the height of the frenzy.

A club calling itself the NO MONSTER CLUB was formed by various local men who took to wearing badges in order to be able to identify themselves to women as harmless.

A 23-year old man named Rhynwick Williams was believed to have carried out the attacks when one victim, an Ann Porter, identified the man after he attempted to assault her for the second time. Williams had a strong alibi for several of the attacks however that had taken place, but during such a period of panic he was still convicted after to farcical trials and spent some six years behind bars.

Several reward's were put up for capture of the lunatic, but the mysterious demon seemed to vanish into thin air after two years.

Some fifty years later and another, and quite similar fiend was stalking the streets of London. 'Spring Heeled Jack', as the phantom was to become known, was a similar street prowler who assaulted many women, and his exploits are now the stuff of legend, eclipsing the more obscure London Monster, yet forever remaining in the shadow of Jack The Ripper who emerged fifty years later.

These strange fifty year cycles may simply be coincidence, but all three of these fiends of the foggy streets had similar motives, to stab and assault women.

Spring Heeled Jack emerged in 1837 when he appeared to several victims including Polly Adams as she walked back to The Green Man public house in Blackheath. She was returning from a brief visit to the local fair where she'd been approached and grasped by a sinister man. Upon walking home on Shooter's Hill, a figure bounded out from the darkness and grabbed her. The figure wore a dark, swirling cape and seemed to have eyes that burned into her own. There was a sulphuric smell from the fiend and blue fire flashed from his lips towards her face, he kissed her, all the while his iron-like nails dug into her flesh, drawing blood and ripping at her dress, tearing it from her body with ease. The shredded garments revealing her curving figure to the night. The figure mocked, yet did not attempt any further malicious action such as rape, but merely bounded off, with great strides into the night.

Polly was one of many to be attacked by the grim marauder and certainly not the last. However, the shadowy figure was only brought to national attention in 1938 via the disclosures of the Lord Mayor in January 1838 at Mansion House.

The reign of terror began, or was at least first noted in the September of 1837 when he assaulted four people (three of them women) at locations in and around the capital. One evening of that Autumn a businessman took a short cut on his way home. The route took him past the cemetery where the man encountered a shadowy figure which vaulted from over the railings, springing him into the air. The figure landed with a thud in front of the terrified man who turned and fled. Despite his state of horror and panic he managed to recall that the figure had glowing eyes, pointed nose and pointed ears. The following night the figure displayed his first violent streak when he appeared to three girls in the same area. The mysterious character sprang from behind the railings once again, but when he landed he attempted to rip the coat from one of the girls who managed to flee, accompanied by her friends. They described the figure as having glowing eyes and mocking them. As one of the other girls tried to run Spring-Heeled Jack attempted to grab her breasts and tear at her clothes. The girl collapsed and was found in the same area unconscious by local police.
Servant girl Mary Stevens was attacked a month later at Cut-Throat Lane near Clapham Common. She had been visiting her parents house at Battersea and was heading back to Lavender Hill when she was confronted by a tall figure adorned in black who leapt from the darkness and grabbed hold of her. The stranger slobbered over her face, attempting to kiss her lips and grope her breasts. The woman screamed and the figure fled into the night. The woman was heard by many local people who calmed her down and she told them of the terror that came in the night. Unfortunately for the victim, she was blamed for having an over-active imagination, but on the following night he was back, and in the same area. A carriage drawn by horses was halted by a mysterious figure. The horses ran in horror, causing the carriage to crash and injure the coachman. Bizarrely the figure escaped the scene by effortlessly leaping over a nine-foot high wall. Then, another female was attacked, this time by a figure in a dark cape at Clapham Churchyard. Again, the harasser escaped from the site but left two mysterious footprints in the mud which were around three-inches deep and appeared as though the person who had left them had been wearing some kind of apparatus

During 1938 the Spring-Heeled Jack (as he was to become known in this year) enigma reached an equilibrium. In the February of this year the athletic phantom attacked eighteen-year old Lucy Scales who was with her sister Margaret. It was 8:30 in the evening and the pair were visiting their brother’s house in the Limehouse area. With Lucy walking slightly ahead, she reached the entrance to Green Dragon Alley and was startled by a cloaked stranger who emerged from the shadows and blew bright blue flames from his mouth into the face of the young woman. The girl collapsed in her terror, her distress causing her to fit on the ground and Jack leapt high over Margaret onto a nearby house roof and away into the evening mist. Two days later another eighteen-year old woman was assaulted, it occurred at Bearhind Lane in the district of Bow. Jane Alsop was reading a book on this particular evening, it was just before 9:00 pm and the bell of the front gate sounded. Jane answered the door to a man in a cape who claimed that, “I’m a policeman, bring a light! We’ve caught Spring-Heeled Jack in the lane!”. With excitement Jane ran into the house to fetch a candle and returned to the door with it lit only to be confronted by a terrifying sight. The stranger was illuminated in the flickering flame, revealing a grinning face of what she knew to be Jack. The figure blew a stream of phosphorescent gas at the girl which partially blinded her. Sensing her disability he then began to fondle her, tearing at her clothes with cold hands. Jane screamed into the night, alerting her sisters who came to her aid, dragging her from the attacker and shutting the door of the house in his horrid face.
Jane was quizzed by the Lambeth Police Court and she described in detail a man wearing a large helmet, an oily, tight-fitting costume and a cape similar to that worn by the police. She shuddered when she thought about how cold his clawed hands were and that his eyes glowed like fire. Soon, the local newspapers realised that a real figure was attacking these women and so the name Spring-Heeled Jack hit the headlines and vigilante patrols were sent out to roam the areas. The Duke of Wellington came out of retirement in order to hunt Jack down. Armed with two pistols he went off into the night, but came back with nothing.

A week after the Jane Alsop incident Spring-Heeled Jack appeared at a house in Turner Street, just off Commercial Road. A servant boy answered the door to the shadowy figure who hid his face with his dark cloak and asked, in a deep voice if he could see the master of the house. As the boy turned away though, Jack made an error by stepping into the light where the boy could view the monstrous sight before him; glowing orange eyes and an evil sneer, clawed fingers and under the cloak an intricate embroidered design that resembled a coat of arms and the letter ‘W’ stitched in gold. The boy yelled with horror, alerting many people in the neighbourhood and causing a furious Jack to leap over the houses in Commercial Road and out of sight.
The male witness was interrogated after his encounter and many people believed that the mysterious ‘W’ stitched in gold on the strangers chest may have had connections to the Marquis of Waterford (Henry de la Poer Beresford), a widely known prankster known for his notorious hoaxes and jokes, which tormented and irritated many. However, how the Marquis managed to construct shoe apparatus to enable him to leap over twenty-feet into the air was beyond most theorists. Others believed that a whole posse of hoaxers were at work, in communication throughout the city. Throughout his days at Eton and Oxford the Marquis was known as a joker, during one extravagant day he painted a town red, slapping crimson all over people’s windows and doors, and even painting a watchman! Although fined for the activities, the Marquis and various associates continued their nasty frolics, and on one occasion he was blamed for the vicious attack on a Polly Adams whilst at the Blackheath Fair in 1837. The woman described her attacker as having ‘pop eyes’. In fact, his eyes were a noticeable characteristic, which possibly may well have linked him to the SHJ attacks. It is alleged however, that the family crest at the time was not a ‘W’ but many pinned the attacks on Waterford who was related to the various areas where the attacks took place. However, in 1842 the Marquis married and lived in Ireland, but a second wave of attacks emerged, only this time right across England, and included the murder in 1845 of a thirteen-year old prostitute named Maria Davis. Strange London leapers were still reported throughout London after the 1838 assaults but reports were inconsistent and sporadic throughout the late 1830s and early 1840s. In 1845 Jack was reportedly seen in daylight when he assaulted a prostitute crossing a bridge in the capital. He grabbed her shoulders and breathed fire into her face and then tossed her into an open sewer and watched her drown.

The Marquis of Waterford died in 1859 but in 1877 in Norfolk a similar figure was seen bounding across the rooftops in Caistor. Witnesses described the man as having large ears and adorned in something resembling sheepskin. He was also seen in an oily suit, a shiny helmet and seemed immune to bullets when he was fired upon by a sentry at Aldershot. Private John Reagan was guarding the powder magazine of the North Camp when he heard something ‘shrill and metallic being scraped’. With rifle at the ready the guard had a look around but found nothing. Upon returning to his box he felt a cold hand on his cheek which frightened the life out of him. Another sentry became alerted and they both saw the shadowy figure of Spring-Heeled Jack, his head garb shining under the moon. He leapt into the air and appeared behind them, laughing. Reagan raised his rifle and shouted, “Who goes there ?”. The dark figure charged the soldiers who, according to some sources only fired blanks. Jack spewed forth blue flames from his mouth, causing the sentries to run with fear.
A similar caped marauder was seen a month later in Lincolnshire, leaping over the thatched cottages in a rural village. The tranquillity was broken by his presence and the locals emerged with their shotguns only to hear their bullets strike something metallic. In the January of 1879 a man in a cart crossed a bridge on the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction canal. It was around 10:00 pm when he was confronted by an evil-looking figure in black that leapt from the undergrowth and landed on the horses back. The man tried to whip the ‘thing’ which eventually sprang off into the undergrowth. A year after this incident a Spring-Heeled Jack type figure was seen on the other side of the world, in Louisville, Kentucky. The figure leapt at women, ripping at their clothing. The culprit was described as male, with pointed ears and a long nose, long fingers and wearing a dark cape. He was adorned in a black shiny uniform and wore a helmet. A bright light was often seen on the attackers chest and he spouted blue flames at his victims as if to startle or temporarily blind them so he could grapple and grope them. Once the attack had concluded the figure was said to escape by leaping effortlessly away. Some fifty to sixty years later the same kind of figure appeared in Massachusetts where a number of attacks were connected to him. He was allegedly cornered on one occasion by four police officers but leapt a ten-foot tall fence to escape them. In most cases though, the attacker was described in familiar ways, with details which usually echoed the original London leaper. However, many Americans tended to connect their ‘Jack’ with UFOs, as they often felt that the figure was too tall and hideous to be human and walked like an astronaut does when striding across the surface of the Moon. In fact, in 1953 in Houston, Texas, a shadowy figure was seen crossing a lawn, the figure had a glowing outline, and either wings or a cape. The figure faded into the darkness but three witnesses claimed they heard a whooshing across the rooftops and a white torpedo-like object fizzed across the sky. Just over twenty years after this incident a motorist driving through the Yakima Indian reservation in Washington was startled to see a black figure leap fifteen feet out of a ditch and approach his car. The motorist believed the figure was around seven-feet tall, had long hair and wore a dark uniform with white markings on it. The driver sped off only then to see a strange light whiz across the sky.
In Lancashire during 1904 SHJ was blamed for many of the sightings involving a figure which was seen leaping from roof to roof. In Everton a strange figure was seen on the steeple of St Francis Xavier’s in Salisbury Street. As the crowds gathered the figure leapt into the darkness below. Many felt they had witnessed a suicide, however a few minutes later a figure in a helmet, dressed in white emerged from the shadows and hurtled towards the crowd. Women screamed as he approached but the figure somehow managed to fly above them, disappearing over William Henry Street.
Sixteen years later in Warrington another figure glowing in white was seen leaping across the rooftops in Horsemarket Street. The figure jumped the railway station and was never seen again. However, in 1948 another SHJ-type entity was seen prowling in the south of Wales. A weird-looking fellow was sighted leaping over a stream at Watery Lane, but this could have been anyone.

However, during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s there are still recorded accounts of such figures. Some may well be hoaxes perpetrated by people who just do not want the legend to die, but some are weird all the same.
In the mid ‘70s at Westbury Street a weird prowler was spotted on several occasions and even pursued by the police. Said to have had red glowing eyes, the mystery entity was said to stand six to seven-feet tall, be adorned in all black and wear a dark cape. The figure was observed on number of occasions leaping from house to house, from roof to roof. The figure was also seen to walk down the side of houses and local pubs. One night the prowler was surrounded in the back room of Dexel Tyres but vanished without trace.
In the Summer of 1983 in County Durham, at a spot known as Nannygoat Bank, an odd figure was said to have been watched as he effortlessly cleared a six-foot high wall after flashing at people in the area. The figure was said to have worn pink tights and knickers on his head and exposed himself to motorists who passed on the A68 road. Whilst hardly sinister, the figure was noted for his athleticism as he escaped four farmers one night, leaving them trailing in his wake as he sped off across the fields never to be seen again. Yet three years later in Southern Hertfordshire a cyclist riding along a country road was startled to see a manly figure almost gliding over hedgerows. The figure leapt into the road, slapped the witness in the face, laughed and then jumped back into the field and took off. The witness described the man as wearing all black and having a long chin.
On December 2nd 1996 strange footprints were seen to trail for over two-hundred yards at Walton Park. The foot size was measured at around a ‘10’ and the strides measured three-feet apart, but most peculiar was the fact that the prints appeared to be burned into the soil!Meanwhile in 1995 in a village in West Surrey, a local school was terrorised by a figure in black with glowing red eyes, that appeared to children one evening during a leaving disco. Apparently none of the teachers ever saw the ghostly figure, only the children. The figure frightened the children who claimed that the ‘man’ wore black boots, gloves and played a flute-like object. The incident has become one of many similar ghost stories from around that particular area.

The 'vampire' of Highgate

During the late 1960s and early 1970s a tall, dark and mysterious figure prowled the vicinity of Highgate Cemetery in London. This sinister spectre was said to haunt the North Gate of the Western Cemetery, which, at the time, was a dilapidated entrance to an overgrown and gloomy metropolis where tombstones spilled unto unkempt pathways, catacombs were pallid in their expression and graves were desecrated for fun.

It was rumoured that dark, diabolical rituals were practised in the eerie confines of the foggy abode, and where on several occasions a red-eyed entity was seen hovering behind the wrought iron gate. This particular graveyard fiend was to become known as the Highgate 'vampire'. At times it drained passers by of energy, psychically sapping from them the air they breathed, whilst other rumours circulated that several female residents within the village had been attacked in the night, and, whilst during slumber had their blood drank from their necks via puncture marks allegedly left by the invader.

Unfortunately, during the time of the sightings of the malignant shade, hordes of reporters converged upon the cemetery, and hysteria reached a climax on several nights when hundreds of members of the general public bombarded the area, in search of the night stalker. These panics resulted in several bizarre events which make the tale of the Highgate apparition one of, if not London's most spectacular yet unsolved mysteries.

Did satanists raise the seemingly evil psychic apparition ?

Was the 'vampire' responsible for several fox deaths in the cemetery ?

Was the spectre simply a dark spirit roaming the ivy-strewn pathways ?

Does the phantom still haunt the darkness in the present day ?

Much of the case has been regurgitated in paranormal-related books over the years, but something very strange went on all those dusty decades ago. Theories range from a real-life king of the undead, to a soul-draining shadow, others claim a hoax, some believe that the spectre was a manifestation that grew stronger as more and more attention was paid to its murky presence.

Today, the Highgate anomaly still remains obscenely overlooked when you consider just what exactly went on. The cemetery itself now exists in gothic splendour, in a state of manageable neglect, a wonderful abode that looks like a Hammer Horror film set. It's just a shame the mystery itself remains dormant, because somewhere amongst the thickets, the mist and the fiction there lurks a very real horror.

Phantom Bear of the Tower Of London

During the early 1800s, possibly 1815/16, a ghostly bear was observed in the Jewel Room of the tower. The guard at the time, was keeping watch over the Crown Jewel's when the apparition emerged from the room. As the phantom approached the man lunged at it with his bayonet, but his weapon glided through it and embedded itself in the door.
According to legend the guard died a few days later, of shock most probably.

Phantom dogs

As mentioned in the above link London's most known phantom hound was that which stalked the old Newgate Prison, but other hellhounds and ghostly dogs have also been reported around the capital although such legends are ar less common than the more classic canid apparitions such as Black Shuck, Striker, Padfoot, Guytrash, Roy Dog etc.
Some ghostly dogs are simply just that, and are said to roam the Spanish galleon public house in Greenwich, whilst another haunts the Anchor Tavern in South East London.
Other dog apparitions have been seen at 523 Wandsworth Rd, this particular spectral animal was sighted during the 1960s after a dog was killed on the road outside.
At Baker Street a glowing dog, possibly a Dachshund, is said to haunt a stretch of the road.
Ghostly dogs around London seem far and far between however, but if you've heard of any such legends please get in touch.

An 'Angel' over the Thames

By Richard Porritt 2007
After the Great Fire of London a mysterious story started being whispered across the charred city. People began claiming they had seen an angel floating above the Thames. Soon the sightings stopped and the myth disappeared. Then during the First World War the angel returned. Then again during the Second World War. Each time there were six sightings and many believed they represented the number of people who died in the fire in 1666. Eerily so far this year four people claim to have seen the angel near the London Eye and an internet cult is growing. Student Jemima Waterhouse, 16, from Sheen, spotted the angel in May as she wandered down the South Bank to meet a friend. She said: "I felt a sense of calm spreading over me. "It was comforting and familiar - a kind of peace that lasted for a while after. "It is really hard to put into words, but I guess you could describe it as peace of mind." She quickly snapped the apparition (circled) hovering close to the Queen Mary floating restaurant on her camera phone but when she showed her friend the quality was poor. She added: "My friend remained unconvinced until we got the photo onto a computer that evening when the image became clearer and the outline of what could only be described as an angel became distinct." These sightings have prompted much online chat about the so-called Angel of the Thames. Already angel walks are being offered along the waterside and Angel T-shirts are available. One angel obsessive - who meets up with other people who have spotted the ghostly figure to share their experiences - thinks it must date back to the fire. "It makes sense and the sightings do seem to come in waves and patterns," said the middle-aged woman - who did not want to be identified for fear of being laughed at by her pals at work. "I definitely saw something and believe totally in the angel. "There are too many sightings for it to not be true.The angel is real." But South London Press chief photographer Leah Desborough thinks there might be a more scientific explanation. She said: "There are a number of possible explanations such as boat fumes creating a mirage on the water. Also it's possible that the poor resolution of the camera phone could have created a flare. "However it is interesting that all the supposed pictures of the angel capture her in a similar form."

Serpents and dragons

During 1222 many dragons appeared in the skies over London. Shortly after a terrific thunderstorm ensued.
In 1776, a strange beast was also seen. In his book, DRAGONS: MORE THAN A MYTH?, cryptozoologist Richard Freeman writes of The Gentleman's Magazine article pertaining to a dragon:
"In the beginning of the month of August, 1776, a phenomenon was seen in a parish a few miles west of London, which much excited the curiosity of the few persons that were so fortunate to behold it. The strange object was of the serpent kind; its size that of the largest common snake and as well as could be discovered from so transient a view of it, resembled by its grey, mottled skin. The head of this extraordinary animal appeared about the same size as a small woman's hand. It had a pair of short wings very forward on the body, near its head; and the length of the whole body was about two feet. Its flight was very gentle; it seemed too heavy to fly either fast or high, and its manner of flying was not in a horizontal attitude, but with its head considerably higher than the tail, so that it seemed continually labouring to ascend without ever being able to raise itself much higher than seven or eight feet from the ground."
The same publication printed a second account of a winged serpent. A reader signing him/herself 'J.R.' wrote in with an account that allegedly happened to a friend between Hammersmith and Hyde Park Corner on June 15th 1797 at 10:30pm:
"The body was of a dark colour, about the thickness of the lower part of a man's arm, about two feet long. The wings were very short, and placed near the head. The head was raised above the body. It was not seven or eight feet above the ground. Being an animal of such uncommon description, I was particular in noticing the day of the month, and likewise being the day preceding a most dreadful storm of thunder and lightning."
In 1925 a sea serpent was seen in part of the Thames Estuary known as the Black Deep. The area had been closed to shipping since WW1. It was seen by Captain F D B Haselfoot and Commander M R Southern of HMS Kellet in August at around 9 am. It was a typical 'long neck' that showed around 8-10 feet of neck above the water. The Captain drew a sketch showing long teeth in the open mouth of the creature. Ref; 'In the Wake of the Sea Serpents' page 408.
As posted by Richard Freeman of the Centre For Fortean Zoology
In the 1940s a strange animal was observed on several occasions in a pond in Hampstead Heath. A young wild seal was allegedly caught in the body of water.
During February 1993 several on-lookers witnessed a long-necked animal swimming slowly in the Northern part of the Thames Estuary at Leigh-On-Sea at Essex.


Rare sighting of vulture in park - The vulture could be one which escaped from a zoo in Staffordshire. There has been a sighting of a vulture in a London park, according to the Royal Parks Agency (RPA). Bird watchers who have seen the bird in Richmond Park, south-west London, have identified it as the endangered Indian white-backed vulture. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said the bird could be a vulture named 'Bones' that escaped from a Staffordshire zoo in August. The RPA said it was not native, so had probably been released or escaped. A RPA spokeswoman Louise Wood said: "We don't believe it is roosting or feeding in Richmond Park, but it has been sighted in the vicinity." But, she added it had not been seen since Saturday. Cath Harris of the RSPB said: "Vultures can fly fairly large distances, and Britain is a fairly small country, so it's possible there are no more than two". She emphasised that vultures do not pose any threat to local wildlife, and that they would most likely feed on a diet of road kill. "They're scavengers - they don't kill," she said. A vulture was spotted in Snowdonia six weeks ago but RSPB conservationists said they did not think this was the same bird.
November 2006

Mystery over UK vulture sightings It has got birdwatchers scratching their heads - why are vultures gathering over Britain? An increasingly large wake of vultures is gathering over southern Britain, it was reported today. A listener to BBC Radio Five Live's Drive programme yesterday reported that birdwatchers had seen an Indian white-backed vulture in Richmond Park. It is thought that the sighting could be of Bones, a vulture which escaped from a Staffordshire zoo in August. The vulture could have been in the park for the past few weeks as there were reports of a sighting of the bird ten days ago. A vulture was also seen over the Beddington sewage farm, near Croydon. But it was reported that the sightings are not just confined to London. Vultures have also been seen in Norfolk, Snowdonia and Bodmin Moor over the past six months. An RSPB spokesman said: 'I suspect these are all sightings of the same vulture which has escaped from captivity. 'There is speculation that vultures from Europe could soon make their way to Britain but I haven't heard of this happening yet.'
March 2007

London Alligator...that was a Lizard!

Nov 18 2005 South London Press :
RSPCA inspectors were called to reports of an alligator in a popular park. They rushed to Tooting Bec Common after a member of the public discovered the three-and-half foot "gator" on Sunday morning. But once on the scene, RSPCA Inspector Ian Gough identified the creature as a Bosk monitor lizard. It had died, unable to survive in cold weather. The reptile was the second monitor lizard to be found in the wild in South London in the last few days. On Thursday last week a Nile monitor was discovered alive in a Lambeth park. Monitor lizards feed on a diet of mice and chicks and can grow up to 6ft long. The RSPCA recommends the reptiles are not kept as domestic pets because of the space required and the expertise needed to keep them in good health. Inspector Gough said the Bosk monitor had probably been kept as a pet but escaped. He said: "We were called at around 9.30am on Sunday to reports of an alligator on Tooting Bec Common. "It was reported to be lying at the common next to Elmbourne Road. "When I arrived there I realised it was a Bosk monitor. "It was dead and had lost one of its legs. It might have escaped from someone's home or been dumped there after it became ill. "It was in a poor condition. "Monitor lizards come from warm climates and cannot survive in cold conditions like the current cold snap."

Whale in the Thames

This incident was widely covered in the press, here's just one link regarding the stranded creature:,,1691203,00.html

Parakeets around Surrey

Pretty boy invasion Parakeet population in Britain exploding Ring-necked Parakeet Submitted Sightings of Ring-necked Parakeets BIRDS AND THE BEES,5753,-26170,00.html

'Invasion of the parakeets' By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor Published: 22 March 2007
It's been a case of pretty polly up to now, but it may not be for much longer. Government scientists are to investigate the activities of the flocks of rose-ringed parakeets breeding in London's suburbs, amid rising fears that they may be harming native British bird species. The brilliant green parakeets have hitherto been a popular sight in the parks and gardens where they are to be found, squabbling and dashing from tree to tree, in a broad swath of south London from Croydon in the east to Esher and beyond in the west. But since they first began breeding in the wild more than 40 years ago, their numbers have built up to a point where now some ecologists fear their population is exploding, with potentially damaging results. It is feared that the parakeets, which nest in holes and crevices in trees, may be displacing British tree-nesting species such as woodpeckers, nuthatches and starlings. There is as yet no hard evidence that this is taking place, says the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). But as a precaution the society has asked the Government to investigate the risk from the parakeets under its recently launched strategy for dealing with invasive non-native species. The strategy is focusing on troublesome plants such as the rapidly-spreading Japanese knotweed, whose eradication from the Olympics site in east London alone may cost millions of pounds, and invertebrates such as the Chinese mitten crab, which is doing much damage burrowing under the banks of the Thames and other rivers. The rose-ringed parakeet,Psittacula krameri, which is native to a great belt of land stretching from Africa across to India and the Himalayas, is the most obvious bird which in Britain today could be seen as invasive and non-native. No one knows how it came to start breeding in London, although it is certain to have been the result of the accidental or deliberate release of captive birds. One persistent theory is that an entire flock escaped from Shepperton Studios in Surrey in 1951, during the filming of the adventure drama The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. They are now particulary plentiful in west London, especially in the wooded stretch of the Thames from Kew to Hampton Court; they have become a permanent feature, for example, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, where their sharply-loud screeching call and long flight silhouette are as distinctive as their brilliant emerald plumage. The ecologist Tony Drakeford thinks their population must be in excess of 30,000, and rapidly expanding. He is convinced they must be displacing native birds. "Recently I went to Bushy Park where there thousands of parakeets and very few native birds," he said. But he thinks it may be too late to do anything about it. "A major cull would meet with a lot of opposition," he said. News reports of the Government inquiry, to be carried out by the Central Science Laboratory, have prompted local paper headlines that a cull is imminent, backed by the RSPB. But an RSPB spokesman, Andre Farrar, denied the society was backing any mass killing. "We have simply asked the Government to study the situation," he said. "Some people think they are doing harm, but as yet there is no hard evidence that they are." If it were proved that the parakeets were causing a reduction in the conservation status of native British bird species, "then a cull might be the right answer", Mr Farrar said - pointing out that of the 1,200 globally-threatened species of birds, 340 were threatened by introduced non-native species. But, he said, at the moment the RSPB was not calling for any cull, merely for an inquiry.

Muntjac Deer

Barnet Times -
Bambi finds home in capital If you've noticed recently that your roses have been nibbled, or your twig-perfect topiary has been tampered with, the suspect may not be who or what you expected. Along railway lines and main roads, hiding in wooded areas, and skulking in back gardens, the deer is back in Barnet, and this time these fleet-footed beasts have a penchant for your prize flowers and vegetable patch. The thought of muntjac deer roaming the streets of Hendon may be a strange one, especially if you consider that they originate from China, but there are growing signs that these animals are back in the city, and, according to experts, Barnet is a prime site for them. But not all our urbanites are rejoicing at the return of Bambi look-a-likes, as they like nothing more than to feed on garden flowers, and can cause damage to woodlands. The London Wildlife Trust recently said in a report: "While deer living in London might be a welcome sight, their arrival poses several dilemmas." The deer population has been rising rapidly in recent decades, due in part to the lack of natural predators, and the muntjac has been particularly good at adapting to life in the borough thanks to its ability to survive on a variety of foods, and to live in small woodlands because of its diminutive stature. Muntjacs have very small antlers and a glossy red-brown coat with white patches on their thighs, and a pair of tusks. Robert Donaldson-Webster, of the British Deer Society (BDS), said: "The North Circular is heaving with deer. When I left the south of England in 1981 there were a large number around London but since then numbers have grown significantly." Hugh Rose, the BDS's technical officer, added that he had regularly seen deer footprints in areas like Golders Green and Mill Hill, and that they arrived in Barnet along railway lines and main roads. Clive Cohen, of London Wildlife Trust's Barnet group, was called to help a pregnant doe last year which had become trapped in a fence on Worcester Crescent, Mill Hill. "A doe got caught in the trellis work of the fence," he said. "I helped to get her free, and she gave me an almighty kick in the jaw. "They are very muscular."
2:50pm Thursday 19th August 2004

Eagles escapes...

BBC News 13th March 2004 :
Escaped eagle captured in London Zookeepers tracked an eagle to a park after the bird escaped from its tether in north London. Delilah, a six-year-old African Tawny Eagle, is thought to have freed itself from London Zoo at about 1230 GMT. Londoners enjoying the sunshine watched as zookeepers wearing leather gloves and carrying food followed it to parkland at neighbouring Primrose Hill. Delilah was safely recaptured at about 1545 GMT - after keepers spotted frightened birds circling the eagle Robert Goodchild, from London Zoo, said Delilah - who has a 6ft wing- span - had probably got carried away by the strong wind. He and colleague Claire Horton easily found her, as seagulls and crows were making such a racket. "She's been off work all winter so she's very unfit, Primrose Hill is about as far as her range would have taken her," said Mr Goodchild. "We tried coaxing her down but because of the windy conditions she couldn't get close enough to land properly." Eventually fatigue and the circling birds overhead forced her down on Primrose Hill. He was surprised Delilah had managed to give them the slip by somehow untying her tether. "It's very unusual. There's a special knot we use which is very difficult for a bird to be able to undo," he said. Although tired, Delilah managed to eat all her food when she got back to the zoo which is a good sign, he added. Eyewitness Kate Newman said: "There were lots of seagulls in the air and birds going mad and there was a big circle of people - in the middle was an eagle sat on the ground. "[The keeper] just went straight up and got it and another guy came up in a van and fed it a couple of little chickens, then they left. "

The Crocodile of Croydon

Posters warning of a small crocodile-like creature living in a pond in Shirley are a hoax. Croydon Council has denied issuing the signs, which bear a fuzzy reproduction of its logo, saying it is the work of a prankster. News of the croc broke on Monday on the website Then another contributor posted a mock-up picture of a croc sitting on a grass verge near one of Croydon's trams. The following morning a copy of the poster arrived at the Guardian offices, with an anonymous hand-written note saying: "Council are trying to keep this quiet." The posters - several have been posted round the park - warn of a "small crocodile-like creature" living in Millers Pond, which is thought to be "an escaped pet which has thrived due to the recent hot weather". It signs off with: "Important: do not approach creature." A council spokesman said: "The sign is obviously a spoof sign put there by a prankster and is not an official Croydon Council notice."
10:13am Friday 5th September 2003

Monday 2 April 2007

A Coyote!

LAND & WATER of July 19th, 1884 reported that a coyote had been found in Epping Forest and given to the superintendent of the zoological gardens of London. Rumours circulated that four cubs were imported to England with the understanding that the animals were in fact foxes, and came to the UK via sea freight on a ship owned by a Mr J.R. Fletcher. It is alleged that the animals, at the time quoted as being 'Prairie wolves', were released into the wilds.

A mysterious kangaroo.

Kangaroo Blamed for Attack on Dog: South Londoners 'distressed' by animal-on-animal violence!

A MYSTERY creature - thought to be a Kangaroo - has been terrifying women and attacking dogs in Beckenham, South London.Yesterday the animal made two women jump with fright as they were walking their dogs through Beckenham Palace Park. Jim Horn, manager of the park, said: "They were visibly distressed. One said her dog came flying out of the bushes after being kicked by the creature."Council workers who went to investigate failed to catch sight of the assailant, but found a set of footprints which they believe could belong to an escaped Kangaroo. A park worker who discovered that tall shrubs had been munched on said: "This could only be the work of a tall creature, like a Kangaroo. We don't know where it could have come from."Park owners, Lewisham Council, have urged members of the public not to seek out the animal. "Kangaroos are potentially dangerous and the last thing we want is anyone getting hurt," a spokesman for the council said.

Animal welfare experts have sprung into action after reports that a 6ft kangaroo is prowling a golf course and park in south London.
Members of Lewisham Council's animal welfare department have found a set of paw prints - but so far the creature is keeping one jump ahead of them.
Beckenham Place Park manager, Jim Horn, said that several golfers had reported seeing the animal.
But the latest sighting was made by two women walking their dogs.
Her dog had been kicked by the creature and came flying out of the bushes.
Beckenham Place Park manager, Jim Horn
"They were visibly distressed," said Mr Horn.
"One claimed her dog had been kicked by the creature and came flying out of the bushes."
Another park worker, who did not want to be named, said that a number of tall shrubs had been uprooted and eaten.
"This could only be the work of a tall creature like a kangaroo.
"We just don't know where it could have come from," he said.
A council spokesman urged people not to go looking for the antipodean beast.
"Kangaroos are potentially dangerous creatures and the last thing we want is anyone getting hurt," he said.

London 'big cats' and Surrey pumas.