Through the years, I’ve written quite a lot of articles on the unusual phenomenon of the “Man-Monkey,” which is claimed to hang-out the centuries-old Bridge 39 that spans the Shropshire Union Canal, England. The story is a really unusual one, the origins of which date again to January 21, 1879. On the evening in query, a person crossing the bridge together with his cart and horse had the fright of his life: a semi-spectral chimpanzee-like animal raced throughout the bridge, terrifying each the person and his horse – and which immediately vanished into the woods. A number of different sightings had been made within the days and weeks that adopted. Though the unique case remains to be well-known within the space, far much less is thought about a few of the newer encounters with the ghostly beast. After all, the truth that the Man-Monkey has been seen for greater than 100 years – and is spectral, relatively than absolutely flesh and blood – means that it’s no regular animal. As for these newer circumstances, they’re as fascinating as had been those reported within the latter a part of the 19th century.
Margaret Baker’s story of the canal creature, associated to me within the autumn of 1999, was temporary, however equally as intriguing as these of greater than a century earlier. On a weekend evening within the winter of 1997, Margaret had been driving via the close by village of Ranton together with her daughter, Kathleen, when at round 11:30 p.m., the pair was shocked and scared witless by the surreal sight of a shambling, furry man-beast. It loomed out of the darkened fringes of the roadside, “threw its arms round within the air,” and proceeded to “shout at us, like an enormous roar.” Not surprisingly, the terrified mom and daughter didn’t as soon as decelerate to get a more in-depth take a look at the creature, however as a substitute fled the scene with the utmost haste.
Simon Ferry was a personality who popped out of the cryptozoological woodwork within the wake of an article on the Man-Monkey that Irene Bott (previously head-honcho of the Staffordshire UFO Group) and I wrote for the now-defunct Chase Publish newspaper in the summertime of 2000, and who supplied an interview over drinks one night at an outdated pub within the Staffordshire metropolis of Lichfield. A jovial bird-watcher and nature-lover, Simon advised me and Irene in an preliminary and temporary phone name that he had been strolling by the Shropshire Union Canal, roughly three-quarters of a mile from Bridge 39, on a vibrant summer time’s day in 1982 when he heard what he described as “a very loud noise from throughout the opposite aspect of the canal and within the timber.” Notably, Simon added within the lengthier interview for us that: “It was like [the scream of] a fox and I assumed that’s what it was.” That’s till, as he described it, “I noticed this bloody good thing, like a gorilla, get up [and] take off. Nevertheless it was gone earlier than I might assume to do the rest about it. And, in any case, it was [on] the opposite aspect of the canal and I used to be nowhere close to [the] bridge to recover from there. However I shook after, I’ll let you know.”
In reply to our questions, Simon stated that the creature was not at the entire excessive top often attributed to such cryptozoological entities because the Yeti of the Himalayas and the Bigfoot of North America, however was maybe 5 to 5 and a half toes in stature on the very most (and probably barely much less, even). And it seemed to be each extremely agile and really muscular, and positively not the form of beast that an individual would wish to cross paths with on both a darkish, and chilly winter’s evening in 1879, or on a vibrant summer time’s day in 1982. Florence Abbott – now deceased, and who grew up in Staffordshire – advised of listening to uncanny tales of the Man-Monkey as a toddler within the late 1920s. Very apparently, in keeping with Florence, one such story that had been diligently handed down via her household advised of a supernatural-like encounter with the Man-Monkey within the village of Ranton – solely a brief journey from Woodseaves – approach again in 1848.
Because the story was associated to me by an amusingly cantankerous Florence (whose daughter was mainly answerable for appearing because the go-between that introduced us collectively after the Chase Publish highlighted the story of the Man-Monkey as advised by me and Irene Bott), it was an autumn evening in 1848 when the witness – a younger lady on Florrie’s father’s aspect of the household who was strolling to her mother and father’ house in Ranton – encountered within the shadows of the neighboring property a five-foot-tall, man-like creature that was lined in darkish, matted hair and that emitted unusual grunting noises. For greater than a minute or two, the pair stood gazing one another, each seemingly transfixed and rooted to the spot. Immediately, stated Florrie, the animal – if that’s what it actually was – ambled off in direction of a close-by subject and promptly vanished, fairly actually, in a vibrant flash of sunshine very a lot akin to that of a digicam flash. Within the Abbott family, evidently the Man-Monkey was just about the native equal of the basic bogeyman, as Florrie effectively recalled: “My brother and sister and I had been all advised this story as kids and that if we had been mischievous the Man-Monkey would come for us. The story was well-known in our household after I was somewhat lady.”
One other story that surfaced to me in 2000, and that the majority positively deserves a point out right here, got here from a person who declined a private assembly with me and even declined to disclose his title, however who, in a lunchtime phone name, briefly advised me how he had personally heard of an encounter with the beast of the bridge on the top of the Second World Struggle. Based on the story, the person was a twelve-year-old in 1943 when a younger evacuee – a boy of about 9 or ten who hailed from someplace in London’s East Finish – got here to stick with his speedy neighbors. The pair repeatedly performed within the woods and fields round Woodseaves through the summer time of that 12 months. A major diploma of darkish melancholy overcame the younger Londoner, nonetheless, when he confided in my caller that, one evening, he had overheard the husband and spouse he was staying with quietly discussing a wierd occasion that had occurred a number of days earlier: Specifically, nothing lower than the sighting by the husband of a big, hair-covered factor that “walked upright,” appeared like a bear and that had been seen roaming menacingly via Woodseaves shortly after midnight.
The witness had apparently been deeply disturbed by the encounter and swore his spouse to finish and utter secrecy. My supply knew not more than that and had not spoken to the boy from London for greater than half a century; for what it was value, nonetheless, he stated that he needed to narrate the small print to me, as he thought I might discover them attention-grabbing. I most actually did discover them attention-grabbing. I thanked the person and he shortly hung up the phone, by no means to name once more. So it goes within the subject of monster-hunting. Experiences have positively dropped off in the previous couple of years. Maybe, the spectral factor has returned from the unusual actual from which it absolutely originated. Or, perhaps, it’s nonetheless round, ready for the best time to make its presence identified once more. I hope it’s the previous!