Image from Archaeologia Aeliana 5th Series, Vol. 1, 1973
In the garden of 3 Rede Avenue, Hexham, in 1971, two small stone heads were dug up by brothers Colin and Leslie Robson. The boys and their two 6cm high artefacts were to cause quite a stir in the months and years ahead, and the whole kerfuffle has still not been adequately explained to this day.
The assumption was that the items were ancient and, after a series of mysterious happenings in the boys’ family home, quite possibly evil. The Robsons said that the heads would change position when left alone in a room, as well as experiencing other poltergeist-like activity. Even their neighbours, the Dodds, began seeing strange apparitions such as a half-man, half-sheep creature.
The items were given to Hexham Priory, then Newcastle’s Museum of Antiquities, and eventually found their way to Celtic expert Dr Anne Ross, who herself reported strange goings-on. She said she saw a half-man, half-animal figure stalking around her Southampton home (among other incidents), whilst her daughter allegedly saw a werewolf-like creature on the stairs. Anyway, she soon got rid of the heads and the paranormal activity ceased.
A few years later, though, a Hexham man by the name of Des Craigie claimed he had fashioned the heads in his lunchbreak for the amusement of his daughter back in the mid-1950s. The Craigies had been previous occupants of the Robson’s house and the chap in question went to the trouble of making another replica head to prove his point.
In the meantime, the original heads were examined by various experts who didn’t quite know what to make of them – though the assumption was, originally at least, that they were ancient.
The mysterious heads were passed from pillar to post during the late 1970s, until, in around 1978, they were lost. And that was the end of that.