The ‘Hairy Hands’ are a unique legend to Dartmoor in England, and to quite a specific area at that. Only dating from the 1920’s, the stretch of road between Postbridge and the Two Bridges area has been the scene of a number of unexplainable accidents involving motor vehicles and people of authority in the majority of cases.
The area of the moors that the hairy hands manifest at is very ancient, it was a densely populated spot during prehistoric times and theories have suggested that the legend comes from elemental forces that have lingered at the site since then. Spirits, myths and superstitions are linked to many areas of Dartmoor, but not many are blamed for so many deaths and accidents, especially in such recent, modern day times.
One of the most well-known reports is of a Doctor who was riding his motorcycle with sidecar, the vehicle crashed and he was killed at the scene, however his two sons travelling in the sidecar survived, they gave an account that the vehicle was forced from the road by a pair of hairy hands that took control of the handlebars, resulting in the accident. Shortly afterwards, a similar thing happened to an Army officer, he survived his accident but reported the same thing.
Some less severe, but equally inexplicable events were to follow some years later. A couple were sleeping in their caravan near the stretch of road, the woman awoke to see a hairy hand clawing at the window, shocked, she made the sign of the cross and said it simply disappeared. Also a doctor’s car stopped dead on the road at the same spot with no apparent mechanical problems, he was not hurt, but was puzzled by the legend. Yet another doctor survived an incident in 1979 when his car was forced into a ditch by a ‘powerful force’ that took over control of the vehicle.
Another recent occurrence involved a young man in the early 1960’s. He was travelling from Plymouth to Chagford but did not reach his destination. He was found dead underneath his upturned car on the same stretch of road. The car and his body were both examined and no conclusion could be drawn for the cause of death or the accident.
Many people travelling through the area, either on foot, cycling or in a vehicle have told of a sense of malaise or even fear, even if they did not previously know of the hairy hands legend. This could simply be due to the barren, desolate nature of the moors, especially at certain times of year, or maybe there is more to the eerie history relating to it. A Bronze Age burial kist can still be seen at the site today giving a link back to those who once lived there.
There do not seem to be any very recent accounts of the hairy hands causing more trouble along the road from Postbridge to Two Bridges, maybe they have stopped manifesting, or perhaps people are less keen to report incidents due to the fear of ridicule. Either way, no news is good news, but caution should probably be observed.