Woodseave Staffordshire Upright Bear 1943

From the Old Fortean files:  A story that surfaced to me in 2000 and that most definitely deserves a mention here came from a man who declined a personal meeting with me and even declined to reveal his name; but who, in a lunchtime telephone-call, briefly told me how he had personally heard of an encounter with a strange creature at the height of the Second World War.

According to the tale, the man was a twelve-year-old in 1943 when a young evacuee – a boy of about nine or ten who hailed from somewhere in London - came to stay with his immediate neighbors: in Woodseaves, a village in Staffordshire that has been the scene of more than a few man-beast-type encounters since the 1800s.

The pair would regularly play in the woods and fields around Woodseaves during the summer of that year; however, a degree of dark melancholy overcame the young Londoner when he confided in my caller that he had overheard the husband and wife he was staying with quietly discussing one night a strange event that had occurred several days earlier: namely the sighting by the husband of a large, hair-covered thing "like an upright bear" that had been seen walking menacingly through Woodseaves shortly after midnight.

The witness had apparently been deeply disturbed by the encounter and swore his wife to complete and utter secrecy. My source knew no more than that and had not spoken to the boy from London for more than half a century; however, for what it was worth he said that he wanted to relate the details to me, as he thought I would find them interesting. I most certainly did! I thanked the man and he quickly hung up the telephone; never to call again.