Saturday 14 September 2013

-GB-Sussex folklore: The continuing mystery of big cat sightings

Ever since man first set foot in the wilds of what we now know as the county of Sussex, he has spoken of strange forms said to inhabit the woods. Menacing apparitions, monstrous manifestations and unusual animals.
Welcome to my new regular column on Sussex folklore. Sussex as a county is steeped in history, and with history come peculiar stories, some true, some half-hinted, some factual, and so I’ve decided into delve into a majority of these for your pleasure. I’m an author and folklorist who is of the opinion that we need mystery in our lives, and over the years, with the advancement of modern technology, we have relegated our beliefs and fears to the backs of our mind and become sceptical as to which sort of things could still hide in the darkest corners of our forests.
For this first episode I’d like to begin with a relatively modern Sussex-related mystery that many of us like to call ‘big cats.’ Certainly since the 1960s there have been numerous reports of unusually large cats roaming the wilds of the county.
Sceptics argue that such animals are probably misinterpretations of dogs, feral cats and foxes, but fail to look at the startling evidence which shows sheep and deer carcasses completely stripped of meat, huge paw-prints – bereft of a claw indentation – unlike a dog, piles of faeces measuring some six-inches in length and consisting of deer fur, scratch marks found high up in trees, and of course, those rather blurry photographs.READ ON

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