Few outsiders have heard about the horrific tales originating from a woodland region of Britain’s Staffordshire County known as Cannock Chase… but the research of Damon Simms might change all that.
Simms (pictured above), who writes a column for the Stoke Sentinel entitled “Supernatural Staffordshire,” has dedicated much of his research to the many monstrous myths and unexplained mysteries that have persisted in the county for centuries. Most interesting (and more recent) among these is the so-called “Werewolf of Cannock Chase.”
Simms compares the werewolf to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster in terms of local lore — which revolves around countless sightings of the creature over the past few decades.
His research has uncovered what he theorizes may be the monster’s origin story, which he traced to 1975: that year, a boy in Eccleshall claimed to have used a Ouija board to contact Satan and barter his soul in exchange for the ability to become a werewolf.
This boy allegedly began to behave strangely afterward, making guttural growls and acting like a wild animal; after confiding to a friend he was terrified of what was happening to him, he reportedly committed suicide with a silver knife… and that, Simms claims, is when the first werewolf sightings began. Most of these have centered around the Chase’s German War Cemetery, Simms says… or at least, the “official” accounts have.
But the werewolf is just one aspect of Staffordshire’s macabre and often bloody legacy.
“There’s been murders in the area and all sorts of horrendous things that have gone on up there,” Simms recently reported in the Sentinel. “It’s got a dark past.”
That nightmarish history may be part of the reason Cannock Chase is “one of Britain’s most active paranormal hotspots,” according to Simms, who also cites the legend of “The Black Eyed Child” (pictured at top, and possibly connected to the infamous worldwide Black Eyed Children phenomenon), as well as “The Pig Man” and “The Lady of the Chase.”
All of this eerie local lore — which Simms has covered for the past two years in his column — has sparked discussions about a new paranormal documentary series, which, according to the Sentinel, may include content dedicated to the werewolf legend. Simms was reportedly approached for his input on this project, and would likely be tapped as a primary resource on the subject.