Low priority but it has been noted in the relevant briefing documents.
April 23rd, 1882
Millicent Hardgrave and George Mitchell
I digress. A very distinct change in attitude came about when the creature attacked and mauled the driver and passengers of a coach travelling between York and Scarborough, leaving one poor gentleman dead and another severely wounded. At this point, with a surviving witness to the event, it was deemed serious enough by our august police department to investigate.
I myself am aware of a remarkably similar incident that occurred almost one hundred tears ago in the very same area. The coach was travelling in the opposite direction and had therefore just left Scarborough on route for York when a large creature, described as resembling a wolf but with the ability to raise itself up on its hind legs like a man and consequently reach a height of around eight feet, attacked the driver and then the passengers. On this occasion one of them managed to shoot the creature which did not, apparently, result in the death of the animal but did at least frighten it in to retreating. Furthermore, the beast was not seen again, which presupposes a possibility that it died elsewhere; that is unless the recent attack is by the same creature, although this would seem unlikely given the length of time since the initial attack.
- FLIXTON, a township, in the parish of Folkton, union of Scarborough, wapentake of Dickering, E. riding of York, 4 miles (N. W.) from Hunmanby; containing 329 inhabitants. An hospital was founded here in the reign of Athelstan, by Acchorn, a knight, for an alderman and fourteen brethren and sisters, “to preserve travellers from wolves and other wild beasts;” it was restored in the 25th of Henry VI., by the name of Carman’s Spittle, but was dissolved before the 26th of Henry VIII., and a farmhouse now occupies its site. There is a place of worship for dissenters.
A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
Yorkshire map from the General Atlas. A New Map of Great Britain and Ireland. 1794 Robert Wilkinson.
Flixton Carr looking north-east.Supplied by local photographer Christopher Yeates
Flixton map from the Boundary Commission Report 1885. Publisher: H.M.S.O. Scale: 1:253440.
Ordnance Survey of England and Wales.
Supplied from maps undergoing revision.
A photograph of the main road through Flixton village.
April 25th, 1882
Please gather whatever materials you can and submit for revue.
In addition, please interview Patricia Sedgewick at your earliest convenience.
Subject : Flixton Attack
Although the belief in werewolves has its origins in antiquity the recent upsurge of sightings and attacks throughout Europe coincide with reports of a range of supernatural creatures that are being either observed or actually engaged with.
We are confident that this upsurge began around the beginning of the eighteenth century, although an earlier one seems to have occurred around the middle of the fifteenth century.
As you are aware, it is the Paranormal Club’s primary objective to identify the source for these creature’s existence, for a source there must be, and it is imperative that folklore and fiction be separated from fact.
The creatures that terrorised the ancient Greeks in their mythologies and works of art are unrelated to the entities that are plaguing Europe today. There is a possibility that these modern entities share characteristics and even a common origin with the reports from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century but this has yet to be verified.
The word ‘were’ is from Old English and means adult male, so werewolf is, literally, man wolf. In legend there existence can be due to a curse or an affliction which results in a metamorphosis from human to animal. In legend this has been ascribed to the advent of a full moon although this has proven to be a fictional detail that is not in accord with our perceived knowledge.
Whatever the nature of the man, once he has become the wolf there seems to be an accompanying aggression that is far greater than that attributable to wolves, who are generally non aggressive, unless provoked, and fear man. Conversely, the man wolf is often highly aggressive and frequently attacks and kills with no apparent motive.
It perhaps need not be said that all members tasked with the investigation of one of these creatures must exercise extreme caution at all times.
Engraving depicting a wolf attack from Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg’s ”Die Emeis” – 1516.
File:Werewolf in Geneva
In Geneva a man killed 16 children when he had changed himself into a wolf; he was executed on 15 October 1580″.
Coloured pen drawing by Johann Jakob Wick.
Werewolves of Ossory
An illustration from Topographia Hiberniae depicting the story of a traveling priest who meets and communes a pair of good werewolves from the kingdom of Ossory.
Date : between circa 1196 and circa 1223.
F18th-century engraving of La Bete du Gevaudan
Date : 1765.
Alleged photograph of a werewolf taken in the market square in Sauveterre de Rouergue in France. Unknown source.
Fascinatingly, the details of a werewolf (or possibly more than one) in the Flixton area are documented in a pamphlet that has been archived in the Scarborough Library. It would appear that there have been reports of a werewolf in the vicinity of Flixton for over a thousand years, with the earliest documented reference to the creature being a report in the year 940 that details the plan to create a shelter for travellers with the principal role of protection from the werewolf, which may be the reference to ‘other beasts’ made in ‘A Topographical Dictionary of England’ (see note one in my initial report). However, the author is uncredited and there are no details as to the source of the information, so we must disappointingly assume it to be apocryphal, although the information is at least intriguing. I have submitted a request to the British Library, whose extensive collection of documents may yield a more reputable provenance for the story. it would be terribly exciting if this were true so we can but hope.
I found an additional reference in an 18th century publication to the werewolf being a local magician who had gained the ability to shape-change at will. The book was written by a local folklorist of poor reputation and therefore must, I feel, be disregarded as entirely fanciful.
However, speculation is not fact and as there was nothing further that will help us accurately deduce the nature of these attacks it has been decided that we should travel to the scene of the incident. There is an inn at Flixton by the name of the New Inn and we have secured a room for such a length of time that is needed. I’m bound to say that my husband is decidedly unenthusiastic about my being away, although he does trust George implicitly so I suspect his attitude has more to do with his inability to cook than any fear of despondency as the result of my absence.
We arrived at the New Inn without incident earlier this evening and our host, Mrs Jane Mook, was most genial and helpful. She told us that the attack had happened just after the carriage had passed by the inn on the road to York and that she had heard the noise the beast had made, which she described as something akin to a tormented wolf howl only very much louder.
We have been supplied with a supper and have retired for the night. I fear that although I am far too tired to indulge in even one chapter of The Mysterious Island the excitement of our task may prove sleep to be equally as problematic!
Mrs. Mook’s has made the uncommonly generous offer on behalf of her eldest son that he accompany us so as to provide extra safety (I fear George’s manly pride was a little offended by this and, in truth, I’m not entirely convinced that Mrs. Mook’s son was overjoyed with the prospect either) our intention is to search the surrounding area for signs of anything that may indicate the presence of a large wolf.
Mrs Mook’s son, Peter, proved extremely useful with his knowledge of the immediate vicinity and led us to a cave that he had passed by a few days earlier and noticed movement from within. As such, we felt it worthy of investigation and entered what proved to be a shallow but quite spacious cave. What we found within was rather harrowing. Strewn around the floor were remnants of a torn dress and items of broken jewellery, all of which were covered with blood and pitch black fur.
Despite the filth, it was apparent that the pieces of dress were made of the same material that had been found in the carriage. I retrieved a suitable sample and placed it into the correct compartment in my bag.
Peter, whose colour had drained from his face, voiced the concern that had suggested itself to us all; the wolf creature had eaten the woman.
Almost as though the beast had taken it’s cue from Peter’s remark there came from somewhere in the nearby wood a spine-chilling howl. George pulled out his pistol and as we emerged from the cave there followed another, but this time not as loud. The creature was moving away from our location.
We decided that we had done enough investigating for the day and that a stiff brandy was in order. Peter led us back to the New Inn where his mother was serving a group of locals with their first beer of the evening. George offered to take my bag and deposit it safely in our room while I sat down near the fire with my much needed drink. Peter was amongst the men who had been in the Inn when we arrived back and was telling them what we had seen. As they all fell silent at the conclusion of his account there erupted a noise that seemed to shake the very building itself. This was followed by a guttural snarl that sent a chill down the full length of my spine. Looking towards the window, I could make out a shape blocking what was left of the setting sun, a shape that began to move around the building, it’s front half appearing in the following window while it’s back half was still visible in the previous one. With no one daring to make a sound a terrible silence descended upon the proceedings, a silence that was deafeningly shattered as the creature broke through the door, shattering it into small pieces and bringing the door frame and part of the wall with it. The sight of this behemoth standing in front of them was too much for the gathered assembly and all but myself took to their heels and ran.
Sat in my chair, a glass of brandy only a few inches from my lips, I was frozen, transfixed by the wolf’s stare as it slowly moved towards me, it’s lips pulled back over it’s enormous yellow teeth. As it’s jaws came to within a foot of my face and I could feel it’s hot breath the beast stopped, it’s snarling ceased and it’s head tilted to one side. For what seemed an eternity the wolf just starred at me, almost as though it wasn’t quite sure what to do. As I starred back, inexplicably engrossed, time seemed to slow to an inconceivable level, so that as the great beast began to fall to the side, a stream of blood disgorging from it’s neck, I was able to study each hair on it’s face suddenly pulling to the right with utmost clarity, and as it’s eyes filled with a clear liquid and slowly began to close, a level of detail was obtainable that I fear will afflict my mind until my death.
However, that death was not today. As the wolf hit the floor with a deafening crash the sound brought my conscious back to full momentum and I turned to see a smoking rifle being held by George. Rushing over, he pulled me up and began to lead me away from the creature now sprawled out on the Inn floor. As we moved past it I felt a compulsion to look back. The creature was shrinking. And its fur was gradually dissolving. I pulled away from George, who stopped and also turned. Lying in the dirt of the wooden floor boarding was a naked woman, her hand pressed over the wound in her neck. George and I stared at her for some moments, attempting to fully comprehend a situation that was beyond both our experience and imagination. George recovered his wits more rapidly and went in search of a towel that could be used to press against the wound. As he did so, the woman’s eyes opened and she began to speak, but her words were too quietly spoken for me to hear. I cautiously moved closer and her words gradually became more clear, although the act of creating them was obviously being done with considerable difficulty. Before she could speak further George returned with a towel, and with no hesitation approached the woman and moved to place it upon her wound. On this occasion the fear belonged to Sabina, although she possessed neither the will nor strength to resist and George gently moved her hand away and replaced it with the towel, applying pressure in an attempt to stem the profuse flow of blood. This appeared to make it easier for her to speak although how she managed to do so when in possession of such a wound I cannot fathom.
In a pronounced European accent she told us her name, which was Sabina, and that she had been cursed to live part of her existence as a demented wolf . She begged me to find her daughter and that it was the smell of my child that had momentarily broken her insanity. I began to explain that I had no children but she cared not for reason at this time and with her last breath implored me to go to the cave. Her eyes closed once more and her breathing ceased.
A number of the men who had been present earlier reappeared and were happy to oversee the contacting of the relevant authorities with regard to the lifeless body of Sabina. Mrs Mook also graced us with her presence and covered the body with a large blanket.
It seemed probable that despite there being no evidence of a child, the cave of which she referred was the very one that we had been in not an hour hence, and with the immediate situation under control George and I felt it important to go back to the cave without further delay. We had no information as to the age or state of Sabina’s daughter and feared that she may be in a most vulnerable predicament. George prepared our portable lamps and we headed out into the darkness. Peter once again accompanied us and it was therefore not long before we were once again inside the cave. As we were now in the possession of lighting the interior of the cave was much clearer than it had been earlier when the only illumination was afforded by remnants of daylight. However, after a thorough search for the child all that we found was a wooden box containing some documents and a journal.
Arriving back at the New Inn I set about reading the contents of the box, which proved enlightening and troublesome in equal measure. I will summarise the salient points and forward the complete documents to yourselves for further assessment.
This, I feel, can wait until tomorrow.
The journal purports to be a record of notable events during the travels of Sabina and all entries are written in what is undoubtedly the same hand. However, the first entry, which details a brief outline of why they are leaving their home, is dated 1793, almost ninety years ago. The woman lying dead on the Inn floor claimed that she was Sabina, but she looked no more than around twenty five years of age.
Sabina had originally lived with her husband in Bregenz on the shore of Lake Constance in Austria at the end of the last century but following a curse being placed upon them they became persecuted by the townsfolk and were forced to leave. Continually moving around Europe to avoid oppression they had travelled as far as Britain and were heading for Scotland through the north of England when she became pregnant and gave birth to a girl, whom she named Katarina. The pregnancy afforded her the ability to control the curse and she was able to stop the transformations into a wolf. However, her husband, who remained afflicted, left for fear of harming both her and the child and she never saw him again.
A journal entry dated August 1807 is essentially a confession of the attack on the original coach. Having just given birth to a daughter Sabina’s protective instincts resulted in the curse being less easy to control and the coach’s proximity to her home resulted in the transformation and subsequent assault.
As the child grows, Sabina regains her ability to keep her instincts under control and all is well for what appears to have ben a period of ninety years. Assuming my translation to be accurate, the culmination of this period brought about a pubescence that resulted in the child manifesting the curse and, like the father before her, leaving for fear of harming her own mother.
The next diary entry, dated only two months ago, details her grief and anger at losing her family and how these emotions are destroying her resolve. There is a final entry on the 21st of last month but the writing is unintelligible.
The attack on the carriage took place the following day.
Which begs the question: who was responsible for this curse? Is it the discretion of an unsympathetic deity, or the work of man. And if man, how was such an act brought about? And for what purpose?
I am afraid that I am unable to even speculate about such a series of questions at this stage. It is my sincere hope that the work of the Paranormal Club leads us to an understanding of such matters in the very near future.
Subject : Flixton Attack
Dear Mrs. Hardgrave,
We are most grateful for your report and accompanying articles concerning the affair at Flixton and sincerely hope that the ordeal has not left you too dispirited.
If we may impose upon you further; in addition to details concerning the experience by Patricia Sedgewick, we would be indebted if you would forward additional information regarding the tale of the shape-changing magician.
I remain, Madam, your faithful and obedient servant,
George A. Westow
It is with both regret and joy that I must inform you of the necessity to withdraw my services as an active Paranormal Club member.
I have recently been told that I am due to have a child in the late autumn and that I must refrain from activities that are strenuous or create anxiety.
The past year’s involvement with your organisation has been most rewarding and I sincerely hope that I may still be of value during the following months but my I am afraid that I must now consider my child’s needs a priority.
I remain, sir, your most humble and sincere servant,
journal that Mrs Hardgrave recovered …
please ensure that this is attended to as a matter of importance.