the beast of Exmoor

In many places around the world, story's of beast's in the woods and unknown forces haunt local legend, folklore and are sometimes refereed to as urban legends.

The most famous of these myths comes all the way from the highlands of Scotland. Where it is claimed that an unknown beast lurks the dark waters of the loch and is rarely seen by man. There are many claimed sightings of the monster and a few photographs depicting the supposed beast exist.

The earliest and most famous claimed sighting among believers of the beast, comes from the 7th century and a irish monk named Saint Columbia. The story goes that while staying in the land of the Picts, he came across a group of people who were burying a man next to the river Ness. The group told him that while the man was swimming in the river, he was attacked and eventually dragged under the surface. The group tried to rescue him in a boat but without success, the were only able to retrieve is corpse. When Saint Columbia heard this tale, he was in shock and utter disbelief. He then stunned the group by sending one of his followers to swim across the river and try to lure the beast to the surface. It worked and the monster was quickly in pursuit of the man. Upon seeing this, Saint Columbia made the sign of the cross and commanded: "Go no further. Do not touch the man. Go back at once.". The monster stopped dead in its tracks and then fled in terror.

The loch has since been a staple must see landmark in the are and people flock from from all over the world in the hope of getting a glimpse of the loch ness monster.

A bit closer to home is based right here in the heart of the south western tip of the British isles. The myth goes, a wild cat like beast roams the countryside around Exmoor and is often seen at night by many locals.

There are only a few photographs of this supposed animal but many have claimed these to be merely of domestic cat's or simply fakes.

The last known sighting was made by the Carrigan family from the town of Darlington backin April of 2010. They were out walking one day when they stumbled into the beast and managed to snp a few pictures. It was later discovered though that Mr Carrigan had been using Photoshop as well as his new found love of photography to doctor the images.

Real or not, I think you'll agree that folk tales and myth's have a deep place in our society. They help us understand our heritage and provide us with a deeper understanding of who we are and where we come from.

Submitted by Kevin Tuck.

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