In February 2015, I wrote an article for this blog titled “The Graveyard Werewolf.” It was focused upon a wave of encounters with a wolf-man-like beast in central England. In part, I stated:
“The controversy (which soon overflowed with hysteria) began in late April 2007, when the local newspaper, the Stafford Post, astounded and entertained the folk of the Cannock Chase with the following story: ‘A rash of sightings of a ‘werewolf’ type creature prowling around the outskirts of Stafford have prompted a respected Midlands paranormal group to investigate. West Midlands Ghost Club says they have been contacted by a number of shocked residents who saw what they claimed to be a ‘hairy wolf-type creature’ walking on its hind legs around the German War Cemetery, just off Camp Road, in between Stafford and Cannock. Several of them claim the creature sprang up on its hind legs and ran into the nearby bushes when it was spotted.’”
I also noted in the article that Nick Duffy, of the West Midlands Ghost Club, said the following regarding this very weird mystery: “The first person to contact us was a postman, who told us he had seen what he thought was a werewolf on the German War Cemetery site. He said he was over there on a motorbike and saw what he believed was a large dog. When he got closer, the creature got on his hind legs and ran away.”
So, why am I bringing this matter up now? Well, the answer is simple: in the last couple of weeks something very similar has been afoot in the north of England. And to the extent that not just the local media, but the national media, too, have been busy chasing down the strange and sinister story of what has become known as the “Werewolf of Hull,” reportedly an eight-foot-tall, hair-covered monster.
Most of the reports have surfaced in and around the vicinity of what is called the Beverley and Barmston Drain, a land drainage operation, the origins of which date back to the latter part of the 1800s. A tunnel that carries the drain can be found below an old bridge on Beverley Beck, a canal in East Riding, Yorkshire, England – a location where a number of the encounters with the hair-covered thing have taken place. The bridge connection is an important one that should not be overlooked.
In her 2006 book, Mystery Big Cats, author Merrily Harpur provides the following words on what she terms “liminal Zones:” “These are the transitional zones between one area and another – the kind of no-man’s-land traditionally regarded as magical.” Harpur’s research has shown that such “zones” include streams, gates, churchyards and bridges. With that in mind, there’s a good chance something of a definitively supernatural nature is afoot at the Beverley and Barmston Drain.
In December 2015, a woman who encountered the beast said: “It was stood upright one moment. The next it was down on all fours running like a dog. I was terrified.” Of course, this is very similar to the reports coming out of the Cannock Chase in 2007, of a dog / wolf-like creature that had the ability to run on both two legs and four.
Even more controversial was the story of a husband and wife who claimed to have seen the monster of the Beverley Beck canal feasting on a dead dog, and which bounded over a fence more than two-meters in height – and with the remains of the poor dog clamped in its jaws, no less. Very wisely, the couple’s very own dog made it abundantly clear it had no wish to head down to the canal. Even the local authorities have gotten involved. Labor councilor Steve Wilson said: “I am happy to keep a diary of sightings by people around here and report them to Hull council.” Although, what the local council might be able to do about a rampaging werewolf on the loose is anyone’s guess. Arm the local police with silver-bullets, perhaps?
So, what might the creature be? The U.K.’s media has picked up – and picked up quickly and widely – on a local legend of an abominable beast known as “Old Stinker.” It’s a terrifying half-human / half-animal-style thing that has a long history in the area – one which dates back centuries. So the story goes, it took its name from the legend that it allegedly suffered from severely bad breath! And its physical appearance was said to have been no better either: it was covered in hair, and had piercing and glowing red eyes. On top of that, it regularly devoured the corpses of the recent dead. As for the hunting grounds of Old Stinker, they were said to be the Yorkshire Wolds, which – interestingly – are just north of the Beverley and Barmston Drain.
Have we seen the recent and sudden resurrection of a very old monster? Maybe so. As for why? Well, right now, it’s a case of wait and see. Almost certainly, we have not heard the last of Old Stinker, of the werewolf of the old canal, or of terrified witnesses encountering something unearthly.
Nick Redfern is the author of many books, including his most recent Weapons of the Gods. He has appeared on more than 70 TV shows, including: Fox News; the BBC’s Out of This World; the SyFy Channel’s Proof Positive; the History Channel’s Monster Quest, America’s Book of Secrets, Ancient Aliens, and UFO Hunters; the National Geographic Channel’s Paranatural; and MSNBC’s Countdown. Nick writes regularly for UFO Magazine, Mysterious Universe, and Fate.