64. The Beast Beneath.
Of all the things I have written about with regards to weird phenomena in London, what you are about to read is possibly one of the strangest and most significant tales ever. This story comes via two good friends and fellow researchers – Jonathan Downes and Nick Redfern. Nick, a Texas-based investigator heard from Jonathan Downes, who runs The Centre For Fortean Zoology, that during the 1940s at the Royal Counties Hospital in Exeter, a very bizarre creature was rumoured to have been housed.
Downes worked at the hospital as a nurse between 1982-85 and recalled many weird tales regarding phone calls from Devonshire Police Force and the Lord Lieutenant of the county. These calls were in reference to a dangerous 'patient' who would be brought to the hospital. This patient was six feet in height, like a very muscular man, but more peculiar was the fact that the humanoid was covered in hair. It was alleged that the mystery patient was housed at the hospital for three days but was then transferred to an unspecified location beneath the London Underground.
No-one knows what happened to the wild-man, but in the 1960s a Mr Campbell recalled that whilst travelling on the Tube one evening he encountered what could well have been the monstrous entity. Mr Campbell stood at a deserted stop on the Northern Line when he heard a growl from behind him. When he turned he saw an ape-like beast heading towards the track. However this beast, which resembled Bigfoot from the Pacific Northwest of America, seemed to be ghostly in nature because part of its body appeared to be merging with the concrete platform whilst the rest of it was above the ground.
There have always been legends of weird things beneath the capital, and such fears were echoed in the 1981 movie An American Werewolf In London, in which a werewolf creature attacked victims on the Underground, and also previously in Deathline (aka Raw Meat), a film from the '70s concerning a race of wild cannibals living beneath London.
Could a strange creature from the wilds of the planet have been admitted to a Devon hospital and then restrained in an underground cell beneath London Underground? I believe such mysteries need to be re-examined, but when such a can of worms is opened what contents are likely to spill out?
During the 1940s a hair-covered wild-man may well have been held captive and died below the dark tunnels of the city, its existence long-forgotten, but does its tormented spirit still lurk in the gloom, searching for a route out into the light?
Photo by geese on flickr