Man, Beast, Monster or Hoax: The Wessex Way Monster

Wessex Way Monster
Traffic surveillance footage of the Wessex Way Monster has divided opinion. (Image source: YouTube)

Monster animals sightings are surprisingly common in the UK. There is one, however, which stands above the rest in the rankings of the bizarre.

Killer creatures in the British countryside

One such creature is known as the “Beast of Cumbria”. Described as a “killer”, the creature is “infamous for ripping the heads of sheep”.

In 2016, a hiker claimed to have captured the elusive beast on camera. As recently as March 2018, a retired couple described encountering a “big black thing”, thought to be the “Beast”, whilst on holiday at a nature reserve. 1

The Beast of Cumbria
The Beast of Cumbria: retired holidaymakers claim to have captured evidence of the “beast”, which they saw prowling sand dunes near Barrow-in-Furness outside the Lake District. (Image credit: Lesley Stenhouse and Gary Sweetman)

Elsewhere in the British Isles is the “Creature of Cornwall”.

In August 2016, a truck driver contacted police after seeing a large, “thorny coloured big cat with black markings on its face and a dark tail”. Whilst no creature was found, large feline footprints were identified at the scene. 2

Dangerous Wild Animal Act of 1976

The prevalence of such sightings is thought to be a result of the Dangerous Wild Animal Act of 1976, which changed the law regarding how owners of big cats had to conform to strict regulatory rules. 3 Unable to conform to these new regulations, many big cat owners across the UK released their specimens into the countryside. It is thought that the numerous big cat sightings in the years since are the result of vagrant killer felines wandering the British countryside.

In just five years, from 2010 to 2015, police recorded 455 sightings in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 4

Big cats seem to be so widespread that they have even been spotted in urban areas. This video appears to show a big cat roaming the bins in Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city.

However, not all videos of peculiar, large creatures in the UK can be so easily explained. Some allude label.

The Wessex Way Monster

The following piece of footage appears to depict a strange animal, described only as a “monster”.

Filmed on the 14th November 2007 by a traffic surveillance camera on the Wessex Way stretch of the A338, in the South West of England, the “monster” crosses the central crash barrier, barely avoiding a collision with a car. Far from being caught in the car’s headlights, the creature disappears into the shadows.

At first glance, the creature looks like a deer. However, those with experience of the animals have disagreed with this conclusion. One commenter on the original upload, who describes themselves as a deerstalker from Norfolk, England has stated that the creature in the video cannot be a deer.

I can definitely say it jumped elegantly like a deer would, however, look closely… Its hind legs are not inverted as in having hocks like deer, dogs or horses. The hind legs are clearly like humans ,i.e. knees. whatever it is, It has a shadow, is very large in status and behaved like an animal would crossing a road.” – Shane72634 5

  Still images of the Wessex Way “monster”

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Although the footage is low quality, its hind legs are discernibly different from that of a deer. Also, its shoulders and upper body appear too broad, suggesting that it is a creature other than a deer.

Those who have watched the video have provided plenty of colourful theories as to the creature’s identity. Some have suggested that it is a skinwalker; others a Wendigo; and some have stated that it may even be a feral human being.

Asides from these suggestions, there is of course the conclusion that the footage is a fabrication, and that an image has been overlaid onto a real traffic surveillance footage. All are possibilities, but whatever the case may be for the Wessex Way Monster, it cannot be denied that there are indeed exotic beasts living in the British countryside.

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About Erik 26 Articles
A life-long dabbler in the paranormal, Erik researches other-worldly phenomena to sate his curiosity. A habitual fence-sitter, he is of the opinion that only through science can the reality of the paranormal be confirmed. Some of Erik's main interests are demonic possession, occult groups and the possibility of parallel dimensions.