This film is part of Free

The Hairy Hands of Postbridge

Beware the hairy hands if on Dartmoor because they steer you off the road.

News 1965 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive

Overview

David Mudd explains The Witchcraft and Folklore of Dartmoor which is a book by Ruth St Leger-Gordon. The myth of the hairy hands appears to drive unsuspecting travellers off the road. People attest to a stretch of road on the B3212 between Two Bridges and Postbridge that is notorious for accidents. According to locals, drivers have been victims of a pair of hairy hands which appear and take over the steering and that’s where things take a turn for the worse.

Contemporary sightings are based on real life accounts reported by travellers in the 1920s and 50s; an Army Captain recounted that muscular hairy hands clamped over his own forcing his motorbike onto the verge; Dr Helby from Princetown was killed when motorcycle and sidecar carrying the prison governor’s children drove off the road; and a woman staying in a caravan in the ruins of Powder Mills reported hairy hands creeping up the window. The stories became national news. The hands are described as disembodied, possibly from a werewolf. Werewolves are common representations in Christian folklore in Europe and date back to medieval times. Noooow, you have been warned about lycanthropy!