The Haunted Road of England - B3212
The land of Princetown, Devon in England is damp and fair weathered. Over the centuries this rural landscape has a unique history. In the 1800’s this area was home to a Powder Mill; a factory that manufactured gun powder. Over the years in operation there were a great amount of devastating accidents that occurred in these powder mills, so much so that there is an urban legend that surrounds an Italian worker Mike Cutler. It is said that this lowly worker suddenly came into a large sum of money and celebrated his new fortune by indulging in “to much cider.” While intoxicated, Mr. Cutler went to his forge at the factory while still wearing his hobnail boots. The story continues to say that his boots created a spark that ignited the flammable material around him. All that was left of him was his hands…his large, hairy hands.
In the early 1800’s the Napoleonic Wars were ongoing with no signs of ending anytime soon and later the War of 1812 joined the fray. Due to the influx of French prisoners of war, a man named Daniel Asher Alexander was commissioned to design a massive prison facility to be known as Dartmoor Prison. At one point, the prison was documented to have 6,000 inmates at one point. In 1815 the Wars came to an end and the remaining prisoners were released; Dartmoor Prison remained closed until 1850. Dartmoor officially began taking civilian inmates in 1851 and then closed again in 1917. Then once again reopened in 1917 and remains active to this day.
There is a rural road near Dartmoor Prison marked as B3212 and stretches from Princetown to Two Bridges and is said to be haunted by a pair of disembodied hairy hands. According to legend these hands take control of a motor vehicle by grabbing the steering wheel/handle bars and driving the vehicle off the road. The first victim of the hairy hands is the medical officer of Dartmoor Prison, Dr. Ernest Hasler Helby. Dr. Helby was riding his motorbike down B3212 with the Deputy Governor’s two daughters in the sidecar.
Dr. Helby suddenly realized that he had lost control of the bike and ordered the two girls to jump out of the sidecar. The young girls did as they were told and survived the crash with no injuries. Unfortunately, The Guardian newspaper reported on March 28, 1921, that Dr. Helby died in that motorcycle accident due to a skull fracture at the age of 51. However, one of the girls told an officer that as Dr. Helby lost control of the bike, she saw a pair of hairy hands gripping the handle bars and took over control of the bike. As the girls rushed to the crashed bike the disembodied hands were still holding on to the handle bars.
This eye witness report can be chalked up to the imagination of a traumatized child, if it were not for another motorcycle accident that occurred only two months later. The Daily Mail, October 14, 1921 issue reported that a man, who wished to remain discreet and called “Captain M” crashed his bike, also on B3212, but he was able to survive. In his report as to what happened Captain M stated “Believe it or not, something drove me off the road. A pair of hands closed over mine…large, muscular, hair hands.” This fatal haunting was only just beginning to collect victims and it doesn’t seem to be limited to motor vehicles; regular bikes and caravans have also been known to attract the spirit hands. Author and Folklorist Theo Brown was 9 years old in 1924 and went on a little road trip with her parents. The family ventured through the countryside in their family’s caravan. One night the family parked the caravan near B3212 and near to the site of the old Powder Mill.
Theo’s mother was awakened in the middle of the night by scratching sounds coming from just outside the thin glass window. When she investigated she spotted a “bristly” hand crawling itself up the side of the caravan. An ominous feeling came over her and she felt that this ownerless hand had evil intent and prayed for protection until the hand vanished. Theo, herself did not experience this event, even though she was sleeping within the caravan. In later years she convinced her mother to write down what she witnessed that night.
Fatal and non-fatal accidents continue to take place to the present day and the bizarre hairy hands are still being reported by those who survive their crashes. Even those riding pedal power bikes are targeted by the hairy hands and have caused the riding victims great injuries. This hairy handed poltergeist targets random victims, seemingly for the sole purpose of causing harm; making it one of the few hauntings where people are actually killed by the spirit. There is no pattern or connection between the hands’ victims and no signs of stopping or slowing down. Daring to drive down B3212 for the desire to have an encounter with the hairy hands is not advised as it could be the last road trip you ever go on.
Katrina The Good
A Little About Katrina the Good: Katrina is an aspiring and talented writer with a passion for blogging. As the resident blogger for The Spirit Realm Network, she focuses her talents on a variety of thought-provoking topics, everything from the Paranormal to Cryptozoology. By day, Katrina can be found working on the frontlines as a health care provider fighting the battle on Covid. The Spirit Realm Network is proud to have her as part of the network and we all look forward to many more thought-provoking articles from her.