It seems that there’s a lot of weird stuff that goes on at Cannock Chase and, for a Paranormal Investigator, there’s a lot to choose from. So, consider the list of ghoulish goodies that I had to pick from when I was looking for a new case:
The Black Eyed Girl
This apparition allegedly first made an appearance on the Chase over thirty years ago, terrifying local residents with her evil gaze and dangerous tricks. Is she the ghost of a young girl, buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in this beauty spot?
Cryptozoologists call him the British Bigfoot; other’s think he’s something else entirely. This hairy hominid has supposedly lived in the dense thickets of Cannock Chase for hundreds of years. There are sightings that date back to the 1800s, and plenty of recent ones too.
The Cannock Chase Werewolf
Reports are abundant of a werewolf near the German War Cemetery on Cannock Chase – an eerie enough location at the best of times. This mysterious creature is said to have bright eyes and razor sharp teeth – and it isn’t restricted to night-time appearances. There are a significant number of daytime sightings that make the Cannock Chase werewolf an exception to the usual mythological rule. Is this beast linked to the Man-Monkey?
The Lady of the Chase
A grey lady type ghost who is believed to have roamed the area for a very long time. Since the black-eyed child burst onto the scene sightings of this apparition have dropped off somewhat but she’s still out there. Watching.
To me, the above four are all fascinating and worthy of a really good investigation, but when it comes to supernatural beings believed to haunt the wooded expanse of Cannock Chase, the Pig-Man has got to be the strangest of the lot. Believed to have been created during a military experiment in the woods during World War 2 the Pig Man continues to roam the Chase today. Some people claim that it was just a story designed to keep the public away from German prisoners of war stationed on the land but increased reports of the Pig-Man make this particular subject worth a closer look.
Picture by Skarabokki
The Origins of the Pig-Man
It is about now that we must consider our quarry – the Pig-Man. Who, or what, is he? To explain the origins of this porcine person some assistance comes from a local legend from the Cannock area:
Following the Second World War a team of British and American military scientists combined to conduct a series of strange experiments in the region. Similar to the eugenics movement and worringly similar to the Nazis methods of human experimentation, the tests went too far. The tale tells of how they abducted a woman, hypnotized her and impregnated her with an artificially created human-pig DNA seed. The plan was to obtain a creature they could perform their tests on.
The story goes on to say that after ten months, and no child, the scientists decided that the experiment was a failure. But in actual fact, the pregnancy was delayed and the child was born late. The creature that was born was a chimera – part pig, part human. This beast subsequently escaped captivity and went to ground on Cannock Chase where, it is believed, it remains today.
There are some flaws with this story. If this was such a secret experiment, then how did the story get out? Who was the mother of the Pig-Man, and where is she now? And where did such an experiment actually take place?
Well, looking at the later question, as we have seen, Cannock Chase was well known for its military presence during the two World Wars so it is possible that there may have been some establishment on the Chase where experiments took place. Indeed, there were, across the United Kingdom, several establishments that undertook secret scientific research. Some locations have now revealed what took place, others remain tight-lipped – or even demolished such as Emmott Hall in Lancashire (known to have been taken over by the army as a barracks in 1939, rumoured to have been a scientific establishment) which was demolished in 1967. We also know that following the Second World War, the United States executed Operation Paperclip, which saw the capture of German scientists to deny their expertise to the Russians and, surprisingly, the British. Amongst those scientists were those who engaged in human experimentation.
So, have genetic experiments actually taken place upon Cannock Chase, or at least in the surrounding area? Is Cannock Chase a landlocked version of the Island of Doctor Moreau with the Pig-Man, the Monkey Man, and the Werewolf all manifestations of some secret experiments? I suppose it’s fun to cast around these ideas and, when conducting a paranormal investigation, you do have to keep an open mind.
So, Cannock Chase – here I come…
But please let me know of your experiences of Curious Cannock Chase too…