The title of Cannock Chase Paranormal Hotspot is one that is well earned for this particular location and makes a firm case for being the weirdest location in the whole of the UK. While many hotspots might have a string of ghost sightings or a number of UFO encounters, perhaps a history of cryptid sightings, Cannock Chase seems to have it all – there is even a creepy black eyed kid that is hanging out there!
What is Cannock Chase?
Far from being the site of a haunted manor or a military base that could draw the attention of UFOs, Cannock Chase is merely an area of mixed countryside in Staffordshire, England. It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is a former Royal forest but neither of these things scream ‘paranormal hotspot’.
The location is found between Cannock, Stafford and Lichfield and combines mixed woodlands, conifer plantations, heathland and even some leftovers from early industry in an area that was once filled with it. There is an impressive amount of wildlife there including rare birds, over 800 fallow deer and many other creatures while it is also noted for having some unusual plants and flowers. Again, nothing that indicates a weird nature.
There was one incident that could have a part in some of the paranormal incidents – the remains of three girls were found on Cannock Chase in the late 1960s. They had gone missing from the Birmingham area and were discovered on Cannock Chase. The man guilty of the murders was tried and convicted, dying in prison in 2014.
One of the reasons that the area is known as a paranormal hotspot is that there are a number of sightings of cryptids – specifically, black dogs and cats that have been reported for a number of years and defy clear explanation.
Examples include a witness driving along the A5 through Cannock Chase who saw an animal cross the road ahead of them in the full beam headlights of the car. The animal paused and looked at the witness, who was shocked to see it had red eyes and was not an animal they could identify. It then walked across the road and again the witness saw a flash of red eyes.
Another story comes from 2005 when a witness saw a large, muscular black cat around three feet in length near some woodlands on the Chase. The cat appeared ‘from nowhere’ and caused the witnesses to flee in fear. A few days later, another witness was walking with her boyfriend when they saw the black creature walk past them completely ignoring their presence. According to Cannock Chase Post who reported the encounters, there are over 2,000 such reports of black cats from the area.
Nor are black cats and dogs the only cryptids that seem to make the area home – there are even reports of Bigfoot-type creatures from the area. one report from February 2006 reported that a giant, hairy creature with blazing red eyes had been seen near the Cannock-Rugeley road through the Chase.
Investigator Nick Redfern investigated the area and spoke to a witness who was forced to swerve to avoiding hitting the creature. She only had a split second view of it but said it was man-like and tall, very hairy with ‘self-illuminating, glowing red eyes’ before it vanished into the trees.
A similar sighting came from September 1998 when a witness saw a tall man-like figure crouching by a road on Cannock Chase. It was around 6 feet 8 inches tall with a dark black-brown hairy coat. Another witness from 2004 saw a creature around seven feet tall with shiny dark brown hair, a large head and red glowing eyes.
With its history, there is no surprise that there are a few ghostly sightings associated with the area. One of the most well documented is the Lady of the Chase. One witness reported this unnerving spectre as she was driving across the Chase at around 11:30pm. She had to brake suddenly when she realised someone was standing in the road and saw a tall woman who appeared to be named but had no physical characteristics. She had large, hypnotic eyes that transfixed the witness and seemed to ‘mentally examine’ her before the figure walked off into the nearby woodlands.
The other main ghost to occupy the area is the black eyed girl, a terrifying spectre that has been reported by a number of witnesses. Some connect the spirit to the murders of the three girls in the 1960s while other think that she may be something more akin to the black-eyed kids that have been reported around the world. Lee Brickley is an investigator who has written a book on the topic and has found reports going back some 30 years of the girl who is said to have ‘coal-black pits for eye sockets’.
Finally to complete the package of Cannock Chase Paranormal Hotspot are the UFO sightings. Examples of sightings are as recent as last year when hundreds of households in the area around Cannock Chase reported hearing a sound and then seeing a massive object flying over their homes. There were suggestions that it was some kind of prototype aircraft or some new type of drone but no confirmed details were received from the military.
Cannock Chase is a place that doesn’t look like it should be so busy in paranormal terms but the pure weight of reports and witness statements makes it clear that there is something going on. Whether all this paranormal activity has attracted attention from outside the planet too or not is still unclear. But there is little doubt that the area wins the title as a paranormal hotspot.