; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, September 07, 2023

WOODWOSE: The Wild Man of Cheshire County

A Cheshire County, England boy is walking to an area in the woods where he and his friends play when he encounters a tall hairy man. He later discovers that the being was a Woodwose.

"I grew up in a small village in the countryside of northwest England. My mother and father split when I was around three years old. I stayed with my mom but she was largely absent for most of my youth and I was basically raised by my granddad whom I lived with until he passed away. I had two best friends. The world was a safe place back then and on weekends and during holidays my two friends and I would play outside in the woods from early morning until after sunset. It was during the school summer holidays of 1987 that this incident took place.

I was eight years old at the time and what I'm about to tell you is unbelievable and makes no sense to me, even now, but I think the time has come to share it. On the morning that this happened, I went around to call for my two friends to see if they wanted to come out and play. There's an area of woodland at the top of the village where a huge old oak tree had been struck by lightning and partially fallen down. My friends and I had claimed this area as our own little playground as the half of the tree that had fallen was really good for climbing and making tree houses and dens. We had christened it the base due to it being the place where we started the majority of our childhood adventures.

It turned out that one of my friends wasn't feeling well so he wasn't allowed to play and the other had gone shopping with his mom. So that day I headed out to the base alone to get to the fallen tree. I had to walk through a large field which was periodically maintained but at the time the grass hadn't been cut and was around three feet high. The fallen tree was part of a larger cluster of trees along the bottom edge of this field and the lighter wood where the tree had split apart was visible through the overhanging branches of the surrounding trees from about halfway across the field.

As I got to the middle of the field I looked towards the base to see if I could see any other kids there and I realized that I couldn't see the light of wood of the fallen tree. But in its place, all I could see was 'brown.' My eight-year-old mind couldn't process this and the best I could come up with was that the tree had somehow grown its bark back since I was last there just a few days before. I was intrigued. I took a few steps forward when an overwhelming sense of fear came over me and stopped me in my tracks. At this point, I couldn't see anything but somehow I knew that something was very wrong and that something was near to the base. As I stared towards the base I realized that there was something brown obscuring my view of the fallen tree and then it had started to move. The thing that was standing there had its back to me and the second I realized this it slowly turned to face me. It was at that point that I knew I was in trouble.

I realized that the brown I could see was hair, not fur, but hair about four inches long and it was exactly the same color as the tree bark. I couldn't tell if the hair was different colors or uniformly brown with dead leaves and branches and such in it. But from a distance, it would have been invisible to anyone looking. I couldn't move my limbs, which felt like lead and I could feel my heart beating in my ears. Every fiber of my being was telling me to run, but I was so scared. I was rooted to that spot. The thing squatted down similar to how a sumo wrestler does before a fight. I couldn't see its head or face as it was obscured by the overhanging branches but I got a clear view of its chest, stomach, and arms. The hair on its chest and stomach was slightly shorter than the hair on its back and arms and a bit lighter in color. It was huge, easily four feet across the shoulders, and at least eight feet tall in its squatting position. Keep in mind that as an eight-year-old I had never seen or heard of anything like this before. To me, this thing was a monster, plain and simple. Its shoulders and biceps were absolutely massive and my only point of reference was that this thing was like the Incredible Hulk, but with hair.

I was about 30 feet or so from it and I was so scared that I didn't even realize I had started to cry. If this wasn't unbelievable enough it brought its hands together in front of its chest making a circle shape with its thumbs and fingers. In the middle of the circle appeared a ball of pure white light which I now know to be an orb, but at that time I likened it to a floating crystal ball. The being stood up and dropped its arms down. As it did so its hands were close to being level with its knees and the orb stayed in the same position where it had appeared and rose with the creature. When it stood there was no sound. As this happened there were no birds singing, no grasshoppers chirping, and even though I could feel the breeze and see the grass and the leaves on the branches moving there was just deafening silence.

I don't know how long this all took but I realized I'd been holding my breath as all this happened. I exhaled hard and as I did so a crystal-clear thought flashed through my mind. "If you don't run now you'll never see home again!" I don't know how to explain where this thought came from but I know for a fact it wasn't mine. At that moment I felt a familiar nuzzling in my armpit and realized that Hobo, my granddad's Irish Wolfhound, was behind me. I don't know how it got out but I didn't realize he had followed me. He put his head beside my left shoulder and began growling and snarling and this somehow snapped me out of the trance I was in. I turned and sprinted as fast as I could back through the field.

Hobo ran beside me all the way home. When I got back home it took my granddad about an hour or so to calm me down and I explained to him what had happened. He responded by giving me the worst beating he had ever given me in my life and sending me to my room. He then left the house telling me not to move. He didn't return for about half an hour. When he did return he came into my room and he sat on my bed, he hugged me and comforted me while I began to cry again. I was scared and confused. He told me that I had seen the 'Woodwose" and that I had to stay indoors for the rest of the summer, that I was forbidden from ever playing at that base again. Needless to say, I never went back there.

Before this happened I was a happy outgoing kid. But this experience made me withdrawn and timid. I asked my granddad what the Woodwose was and he told me that it was the tall hairy man who guards the woods. He said that he scares grown-ups away and sometimes takes kids to a place in the woods where they're never ever seen again. At the time I had no reason to doubt my granddad. He had raised me and was the only father figure I had when growing up. I think he beat me because he was scared and angry at what had happened to me and took these feelings out on me. I never thought any less of him for that.

I didn't even hear the term 'Bigfoot' until years later in high school when I found a book on unexplained mysteries and cryptids. I have since learned the stories of the Woodwose go back to the 15th century, and it is referred to as the hairy man, the wildman of the woods, the Fawn, and sometimes the Green Man. I don't know if it is a Bigfoot-type being or if it's related to these adjectives but I know for a fact that there are things on this planet and in the woods and dark places that are beyond most people's understanding. I believe that my granddad also had some kind of encounter with one of those beings although he never admitted it until the day he died.

Anyway, that's my experience. I am 41 years old and still researching and looking for answers. I still believe that if it wasn't for my granddad's dog that thing would have taken me. I still live in the Cheshire County countryside in northwest England and the woods around where I live now are the playground of my kids on their friends. I don't want them to be scared of the woods but I do encourage them to be sensible."



Have you had a sighting or encounter?
Contact me by email or call the hotline at 410-241-5974
Thanks. Lon

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Welcome to Phantoms & Monsters 'Personal Reports' - cryptid & unexplained accounts directly from the archives of Phantoms & Monsters, and the Phantoms & Monster Fortean Research team. Narrated by Lon Strickler. Join us in the chat, discuss, and ask me questions about the accounts.

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Have you had a sighting or encounter?
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Thanks. Lon

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