The Curse Of The Hexham Heads And The Terrifying Events That Followed

Updated: Apr 7

In May, 1971, In the UK town of Hexham, two young brothers un-earthed two stone heads in their garden, almost immediately the family became victims of a variety of terrifying paranormal activities.

The Hexham Heads
The story of the Hexham Heads is a tale of terrifying consequences for un-earthing the apparent ancient artifacts

It was May in 1971 when two brothers, Colin and Leslie Robson were playing out in their garden, nothing unusual just two brothers outside enjoying the sunshine. At this point it is worth adding that the Robson family were just your everyday family, living in an average house in the normal town of Hexham, their was nothing unusual about them nor had they ever reported being involved in anything out of the ordinary.

As children do, Colin and Leslie were throwing stones at each other in the garden as part of their game, and whilst they were digging in the dirt looking for more ammunition they both uncovered a stone, one each, however, these weren't your usual garden rocks. These little stone heads that they had dug out from the dirt were roughly the size of the boy's fists, they would later be described as tennis ball-sized.

Although similar in size, the heads were different from each other, however, they appeared to be made from the same greenish-grey stone and glistened with quartz crystals, they both had ridges for the nose and holes for the eyes and mouth, it is believed they had been carved from local stone.

One of the stones would later become known as "The Boy," which appeared to have its hair carved in stripes running back from the forehead, whilst the other stone later became known as "The Girl," or even in some accounts "The Hag," It is the female head that later was believed to be the cause of the paranormal activity that would follow.

The Robson's and The Hexham Heads

It didn't take long for things in the Robson family home, at 3 Rede Avenue, to take a strange turn. The family soon started to notice that the heads would appear to rotate by themselves, they claimed they would leave them facing in one direction before going to bed, but when they woke up the heads would be facing the opposite direction.

This grew from simply appearing to turn around to start moving around the room whilst no one was there, the family reported that the heads would just appear in different parts of the room and not remain where they had been left.

If that wasn't worrying enough, the Robsons claimed that they started to have some type of poltergeist activity in the house, with bottles frequently thrown around with no explanation and without prior warning.

Terrifyingly the Robson's even claimed that one of the daughter's (there were two sisters) mattress was covered in broken glass when she pulled back to duvet before going to bed one night, this caused both of the sisters to refuse to sleep in that room again.

The Robson's also stated that in the exact spot that the Hexham Heads had been un-earthed a bush grew, they said that every night a strange light would shine from it, Colin actually gave an interview to the Hexham Heads Blog in 2017 were he explained that it appeared the bush had its own light source.

The Dodd's and The Hexham Heads

Although the Hexham heads were uncovered in the garden of 3 Rede Avenue, the frightening phenomena didn't just just effect the Robson's, they lived in a semi-detached property that was joined onto 1 Rede Avenue, the home of the Dodd's family, were Isaac and Ellen Dodd lived with their 4 children, Brian, Trevor, Carol and Marie.

Not long after the Robson brothers found the stone heads in their garden, Brian Dodd woke up screaming in the middle of the night, claiming that something had pulled his hair whilst he was asleep.

His mother Ellen quickly went into check on Brian and was attempting to reassure him that he had just had a bad dream, when shockingly Ellen had claimed to have seen a "monster" in the room, she said that a "half man and half animal" creature entered the room. The "thing" was later described as looking like half man and half sheep, Ellen reported that it had touched her legs before leaving the room on all fours.

Whether you believe Ellen's claims or not, the incident spooked her and her family enough to ask to be moved from their home at 1 Rede Avenue and re-homed somewhere else. Strangely enough, more reports of paranormal activity at the property would further be reported in 2008.

Hexham Heads House
3 Rede Avenue, were the Hexham Heads were found (left) and 1 Rede Avenue (right) photo from 2009.

The Hexham Heads Leave The Robson's

The press picked up on this story but this wasn't until January 13, 1974, three years after the events surrounding the Hexham Heads. The first story was actually written in the Sunday People and the report was headlined Myth of The "Evil" Heads.

By the time this story was published the Robson's no longer had the Hexham Heads, they had passed them over to the Church, Hexham Abbey.

Initially the Robson's had given the Hexham Heads to a women by the name of Betty Gibson who worked at the Hexham Abbey. Betty however, had handed them over to Professor Richard Bailey from the Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle University.

The University of Newcastle sent the heads down south to the University of Southampton. Dr Anne Ross, who was an expert on pagan Celtic religion had requested to examine them. She was a specialist in the Celtic cult of the head, and was well known for her published articles about various Celtic stone heads discovered all over Britain and Europe.

Dr Ross said that she took an instant dislike for the Hexham Heads as soon as he saw them in person, she did, however, take them to her own home on Rose Road in Southampton in November 1971. She wanted to get them geologically analysed. She put them in a box for safekeeping at home and said that she forgot about them for a few days. It didn't take long before even Dr Ross was reporting a terrifying encounter she endured after taking the Hexham Heads home.

“…a tall figure slipping out of the room. My impression was that the figure was dark like a shadow and that it was part animal and part man. I felt compelled to follow it, as if by some irresistible force.”

Dr Anne Ross described what she saw as what appeared to be a man below and a wolf above, she said that it was covered with what looked like thick dark fur.

She told the story of how she had jumped up and followed the creature so far, but was to frightened to follow right behind it, she claims that it vanished after heading downstairs towards the kitchen. As you would expect, Dr Ross was somewhat in shock at what she had witnessed and woke her husband, Richard Feacham, they both searched the property to look for the illusive wolfman but there was no sign of it again.

She said that at the time she didn't connect the terrifying apparition with the new addition of the Hexham Heads to her home.

A few days after the event, 15-year-old Berenice, the daughter of Dr Ross returned home from school at 4 pm. Both of her parents were at work so she was home alone when she arrived, upon the return of both Dr Ross and Richard Feacham, they found their daughter Berenice in a state of stock and horror, she described to them what she had seen:

“..something huge, dark and inhuman on the stairs. It had rushed down towards her, vaulted over the bannisters, and landed in the corridor with a soft thud that made her think it's feet were padded like those of an animal.”

This wasn't the only encounter that Berenice would claim to have with the mysterious creature, it was later said that whilst her father Richard Feacham was ill in bed, Berenice was taking him a meal to his room and found the werewolf looking beast just standing on the stairs blocking her way before vanishing again.

Dr Anne Ross Hexham Heads
Dr Anne Ross (right) described the creature as half-man, half-wolf

The experiences within the Ross-Feacham household continued for several months, they said they would frequently see a dark figure in all parts of the house, and at times it would solidify into something that they could only best describe as like that of a werewolf.

They also reported that their cats would often stand and arch their backs and start hissing as if they could see something that the family couldn't.

Dr Ross also spoke of another time, whilst working in her study at home, the door suddenly burst open with no obvious cause, nobody was there but she recalled a horrible sense of dread that came over her and that the temperature dropped considerably.

In the years that would follow, her son Richard Feacham also came forward and confirmed that he had also seen the werewolf like creature that his mother and sister had both described, similar to the experience of Ellen Dodd, he said how the creature stood in the doorway of his bedroom, standing upright and how it definitely looked how he would picture a werewolf.

Dr Ross described the Hexham Heads as "evil' she said that they radiated a wicked energy, she also believed that they were originally part of a Celtic death cult. She said that the presence seemed to be getting more solid and that it was "definitely growing" and that she needed to get the Hexham Heads out of her house.

After the Hexham Heads had gone, Dr Ross explained that the strange happenings didn't stop, the phenomena did not go away, she spoke about how she had seven other definite ancient Celtic heads in her home, in the end she decided to get rid of all of them, after all of them had been removed, the house returned to normal, no more doors flying open and no more werewolves.

The Claim of Des Craigie

In 1974 a previous occupant of 3 Rede Avenue, Mr Des Craigie who lived in the property before the Robson's came out and claimed that he had made the heads for his daughter back in 1956.

‘I made them — about 16 years ago. I made the heads from bits of stone and mortar simply to amuse my daughter when she was a little girl. I actually made three but one appears to have got lost. They were out in the garden for years. I definitely made them. I have been laughing my head off about these heads, and I cannot understand why all this attention is being paid to them.’

At the time, Des Craigie was working for a company that manufactured things using cast stone, he says that he created the heads after his daughter asked him what he did at work. He claimed he made the heads whilst on his lunch break and took them home for her, however his daughter didn't appear to have much of an interest in them and must have buried them in the garden.

Dr Ross challenged Mr Craigie over his claims, she was convinced they were ancient, and if not ancient they were at least evil. Mr Craigie attempted to create two more heads to prove what he was saying, however, the new heads were very much inferior in quality and nothing much like the originals, which then led many to believe that Mr Craigie was trying to draw attention to himself, either to get into the limelight or because he was simply bitter that he did not find the heads whilst living in the property himself.

True story of the Hexham Heads
A journal extract compiled during the investigation into the Hexham Heads

What Happened To The Hexham Heads

It would appear that between 1971 and 1974 that the Hexham Heads had predominantly been in the possession of Dr Ross as well as in a box at Southampton University.

We found out that Mrs Robson, the mother of the two boys that originally discovered the Hexham Heads, wrote a letter to the university in March 1975 requesting to have the heads returned to the family.

There was a note from 1977 when Dr Ross confirmed that the Hexham Heads were in Southampton and in the hands of the geologist who was analysing them in 1972, she said she believed that they had not been out of the box that he kept on his shelf since.

A Mr Don Robins of the Dragon Project, managed to get his hands on the Hexham Heads on 21 September, 1977, from Dr Ross. He had travelled down to Southampton to interview her about the true story behind the Hexham Heads, she allowed him to take them away so he could attempt to run some tests on them.

Don Robins said that as soon as he got the Hexham Heads into his car, all of his electrics failed and the car died. He said that he instantly believed that his car problem was due to the heads and firmly told them to "stop it", the car electrics are said to have promptly started working again.

Robins said that he felt uneasy and wary of the Hexham Heads so opted to keep them in his garden shed, he described how he had strange feelings coming from them, more so the female head that had become known as "The Hag."

This was a distinct and growing feeling that the power, and the palpable sense of menace, actually resided in the wall-eyed hag.”

The next person to have the Hexham Heads in their possession was Frank Hyde in 1978. Mr Hyde was an astronomer and electrical engineer who as a side-line delved into dowsing.

Robins would later explain how Hyde had conducted experiments on the Hexham Heads using a Faraday Cage, a device used for blocking out electromagnetic radiation. He said that whilst in his presence, Hyde has used dowsing rods on the Hexham Heads and that "The Hag" stone had caused a lot of activity and made the rods twitch excessively.

There is no further knowledge of where the Hexham Heads went after being with Hyde, he appeared to vanish not long after and no one, including Robins could get into contact with him, it wasn't until many years later that Hyde was traced back to living in Camden, London, until his death in 1984.

Strangely or conveniently, we will let you decide, the Hexham Heads appear to have just vanished, with no one claiming to have any idea where they are or what has indeed happened to them.

The next thing we would hear about this was in 2008, when the Newton family moved into 1 Rede Avenue in Hexham, the property that used to be occupied by the Dodd family.

The Newtons ended up getting a priest to come to the property to perform an exorcism as they claimed they had also had problems with the apparition of the wolfman back in the home. The Newton's didn't really want to speak about what had gone on in the property or what they had experienced, they confirmed they had a priest perform an exorcism and said they wanted to get on with living their lives. Since then there have been no further reports of the Hexham Heads.

We have found the story of the Hexham Heads absolutely fascinating, we would love to hear your thoughts on the story in the comments section below. Now you have read about the Hexham Heads, make sure you check out the story of the terrifying possession of Gottliebin Dittus.


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