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Lair of the Beasts: Werewolves of Scotland
Nessie has Rivals!
By Nick Redfern
April 14, 2012
Make any mention of “strange creatures” and “Scotland” in the same sentence, and for most people it will surely conjure up graphic imagery in the mind of the nation’s most famous monsters: the long-necked, mysterious beasts said to dwell deep in the heart of the near-legendary Loch Ness.
But, it’s a little-known fact that Scotland’s most famous monster is actually not its only monster. Strange stories of nothing less than definitive, savage werewolves abound, too.
For example, early one morning in the winter of 1952, says now 76-year-old Margaret Shelley, she saw “a very big, hairy man with a wolf’s head,” roaming near the shore of Loch Morar – a Scottish loch that, rather notably and just like Loch Ness, also has a longstanding lake-monster legend attached to it.
According to Shelley, she was there with her fiancé, as the pair was visiting friends in the area, and had decided to take a trip to the loch to pass a few hours. Today, Shelley wishes she had never set eyes on the cursed loch.
Shelley further adds that when she first saw the beast, it was at the edge of the loch, seemingly “lapping-up the water.” She estimates that at the time, she was perhaps no more than two hundred feet from it. As Shelley attempted to move closer “and get a better look,” however, the creature reared up to a standing position, swung its head around and stared intently her direction.
“It gave me a big fright,” she says, with understandable justification, adding: “It was a horrible look; evil, and with big pointed ears. And it was so tall: about seven-feet.”
For no more than a few seconds both woman and werewolf locked eyes on each other, before something truly startling happened, as Shelley explains: “It was standing upright; but when it went to run away it went down on all-fours like a dog and raced off up the hills.” Shelley never saw the animal again.
But this was not the only occasion upon which Scotland has allegedly had a real-life werewolf in its midst: a similar event occurred in 1967 – again, interestingly, during the winter months.
In this case, the location was the town of Oban, and the witness was a postman, driving to work in the early hours of the morning. As he headed along the moonlit road in question, he was shocked to the core to see coming in the opposite direction, a tall, man-like figure with wolf-like features.
Not only that: it was hurtling along the road at breakneck speed. “It was there one second and it had raced by in the next,” says the witness.
Finally, there is the story of the Shirley family of Kent. According to Pat Shirley, while picnicking in an area of woodland on the east coast of Scotland in the late 1940s, her grandmother had seen a huge animal that looked like something straight out of An American Werewolf in London.
In this incident, the beast had what was described as “flaming red hair all over it,” and possessed a pair of huge and powerful jaws. Again, it was only seen for a moment or two before vanishing into the trees.
Whatever the true nature of these beasts – which surely count amongst the strangest of all the many and varied monsters that encompass the field of Cryptozoology – they most certainly demonstrate one thing for sure: Scotland is monstrously weird!
Nick Redfern is the author of many books on paranormal, supernatural, and conspiratorial subjects, including The Pyramids and the Pentagon, which will be published by New Page Books in June 2012.