The Hexham Heads

The Hexham HeadsSet of drawings of the so-called Hexham Heads by Mary Hurrell, who was at the time Archeological Illustrator for the Museum of Antiquities.By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

Hexham is a market town in Northumberland with a rich and varied history spanning several millennia. The legend of the Hexham heads began in 1972 when two young boys from the Robson family were playing in their garden and dug up two ancient artefacts: small stone heads about the size of small orange.

The first was described as vaguely skull-like in appearance with rough features, possibly masculine with hair carved into the crown, and was carved from greenish-grey stone with a number of quartz crystals. The second stone was more rounded and depicted a stern-faced woman with a prominent nose and hair
pulled back into a possible bun. This stone also showed traces of some form of pigment on the hair. Both stones were dense and very heavy.

The finding of the stones seems to have sparked a series of sightings of a creature many describe as the Hexham Werewolf, said to be the guardian of the stones. A couple of nights after the finding of the stones
was made public, neighbours of the boys reported that their home was invaded by a strange creature, described as half-wolf, half man that ignored them and seemed to be searching for something. Whilst the creature left the house with nothing to show for itself other than frightened residents and an open door, this seems to have been enough to prompt the stones being handed over for study. On top of the wolf-man sightings, the presence of the heads at the Robson household seemed to spark off a series of allegedly supernatural events, with the heads moving themselves, objects placed near the heads breaking without cause, and glass shards were found on the mattresses of some of the house’s other residents.

The Hexham Heads were taken into the possession of Doctor Anne Ross, Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Southampton. Labelling the heads broadly ‘Celtic’ in date, she took them for comparison with other similar artefacts in her possession.

However, with the Hexham pair, it seems she got more than she bargained for. According to reports, a couple of nights after taking possession, Ross was woken at 2am and witnessed a strange creature in her doorway: “It was about six feet high, slightly stooping, and it was black, against the white door, and it was half animal and half man. The upper part, I would have said, was a wolf, and the lower part was human and, I would have again said, that it was covered with a kind of black, very dark fur. It went out and I just saw it clearly, and then it disappeared, and something made me run after it, a thing I wouldn’t normally have done, but I felt compelled to run after it. I got out of bed and I ran, and I could hear it going down the stairs, then it disappeared towards the back of the house.”

Post-event, Ross put her experience down to having a nightmare. However, a couple of days later her daughter came home one afternoon to find a large creature, described as a ‘large black shape’ on the stairs. Upon her entry, the creature jumped down the stairs and vanished. This was enough for Ross, who then donated the Heads, along with the rest of her collection of stone heads, to the British Museum, where they only appeared on public display a short time before they were removed due to ‘mysterious occurrences’.

At that point, the Hexham Heads vanished from the public view, and have not been seen since.

McEwan, G.J. (1986) Mystery Animals of Britain and Ireland



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