Nocturnal Emissions – Haxham Heads


Do you believe that an object can become cursed? Do you think that objects can grow more haunted the more we believe in them? Because they look like their haunted? Because it makes for a more exciting story?


If you found a mysterious and creepy item in your backyard, buried for who knows how long, would you bring it back into your house? Would you let your children play with them? What if you swore you placed them on the mantle facing right and when you came back they were facing left? What would you do?


Hexham is a borough in the valley of the Tyne in England, it’s a land with a rich history of battles and royalty, of 12th centruy abbies and 14th centure jails. It’s an old land, older than most people can imagine here in the US. The land reaches back to the time of the Holy Roman Empire and who knows the amount of stories the land could tell. Around the 19th century, Hexham became synonymous with the word Hell. If you wanted to curse someone you didn’t like, you just told them to go to Hexham.


It was around 1972 when a young boy started weeding in his back yard at 2 Rede Avenue.


11 year old Colin Robson was playing in his backyard, digging around in the dirt, like kids do. Perhaps he was imagining that he was trying to find buried treasure, playing the role of the neighborhood pirate plundering for good prizes. But instead of gold treasure he struck a hard rock. It was round, too round to be a normal stone and had markings on it. Excitedly he called for his younger brother Leslie to come and look.

Both of them began to look for more, hungry for the mystery that was unfolding, and later Leslie found a second head.

They were about the size of a tennis ball, but heavy heavier than concrete, a greenish grey color with quartz crystal. There were markings on the head, that looked like hair, eyes, nose and lips; it was a face. Each one had different characteristics, one was called “The Boy” and the other “The Girl”, some thought of her as resembling a witch with bulging eyes and a sharp, pointy nose. Some refer to her as the “witch” or the “hag”. Both had a protusion on the neck, that was perhaps connected to a base or a body at one point.


Who put them there? How did the heads which had an archaic appearance to them get there? Were they relics from another time? Buried as a prank or perhaps someone purposely put them there as part of a ritual. No one knew but shortly after they were uncovered and brought inside did strange things start happening.


When someone would put the heads out at night, they would awake in the morning to find both the heads looking in another direction. When people were looking at the heads, they would have their hair pulled. Items that were placed near the heads would just explode. During Christmas that year a strange flower grew in the exact spot were the first head was found, along with a glowing light that only remained as long as the flower was alive.

But what was most horrific about the events was actually what happened next door. Next to the Robsons in an attached home, the neighbor Mrs. Dobbs awoke to a hulking, dark presence. There, in her house she saw a beast, with the head of a sheep and the body of a man, was standing in her bedroom before silently padding its way down the stairs and out the house. That same night she heard screaming and something being thrown around at the Robsons. But when she checked, nothing had happened. Was it real? Had Mrs. Dobbs seen an actual werewolf? What were the noises she heard next door?


The heads were then taken away to be studied and given to the Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle University to try and figure out what era these figures came from. While there no one was able to decipher what material the heads were made out of.


Then when the heads moved into the possession of Dr. Anne Ross who said that while they were in her possession a series of strange paranormal experiences happened to her. Her findings were integral in the spreading of the legend of the Haxan Heads into more than just local lore.

Two nights later, Dr. Ross awoke suddenly at 2am in a fit of terror.  A deep chill was in the air as Anne looked towards the door where a tall dark figure over six foot in height and appearing as if to be made of shadow, was slipping out of her room.  In her confused state, the figure seemed to Dr. Ross to be part animal and part man. Overwhelmed by an irresistible force, Dr. Ross rose from her bed and followed the strange creature form her room.


She followed the sound of it to the landing and again caught sight of it moving towards the kitchen.  Seeing it more clearly now, the upper part of its body was unmistakably that of a wolf, it’s back covered in a black fur, while the lower half seemed to be that of a man. Terrified she ran back to the bedroom and woke her husband, archaeologist Richard Feacham. Together they searched the house but found no sign of the intruder.


The scientist Dr. Robins was also interested in the reports about the sounds that are said to have been occured in connection with the heads. He pointed to a parallel of a being from the ancient Nordic mythology, the “Wulver”. He was powerful and dangerous but benevolent towards human people as long as they did not provoke him. Dr. Robins was so fascinated by the heads that he intended to take them home with him. When he laid them in his car to drive home and turned the ignition key, all electronical appliances on the dashboard failed. He took a look at the heads and commanded them: “Stop with that!” – and the car started.


During this time the heads moved around quite a bit- not on their own- but by people who wanted to study them. And in true paranormal object fashion, the whereabouts of the heads today are unknown.


You can hear me tell this story on my podcast, due out next week!