A beast described as half man, half dog has been reported at the same south London graveyard eight years apart.
British cryptid researcher Andy McGrath admits the witness accounts “sound like something for fantasists and horror fans” but should not be dismissed as such.
The “Werewolf of Camberwell” has fascinated the 44-year-old Londoner, whose digging has found chilling tales of encounters with the creature from 1996 and 2004.
He said: “On October 9th, 1996, a man en route to see a friend, had decided to take a shortcut through Camberwell Old Cemetery to save time, when something prodigiously strong grabbed him by the arm and smashed him into the ground.
“He saw a large creature, with dark fur and a head like a German shepherd, looking at him intently, slobbering and growling and sniffing his body up and down, just as a dog would.
“Just as quickly as the attack started, it was over and the beast sprinted off on its hind legs.
“Curiously, the witness believed that he was spared because he suffers from a disease that dogs can smell and thinks that probably because of this, the creature left him alone.”
Andy explained that on a summer’s night years later, the unidentified beast terrified two pedestrians walking parallel to the cemetery on Underhill Road.
One of the witnesses said: “ We heard a low growl. Then a large tree in the corner of the cemetery was shaking incredibly hard, as if something really powerful was shaking it with all its might.
“It was definitely not made by a person or an animal. The tree looked as if the roots were ready to be ripped out.
“My friend and I took to our heels and ran as fast as we could in different directions.
“We could not rationalise the sheer terror we both felt. We knew we had to get as far away from the cemetery as we possibly could.
“There is something very sinister there.”
Despite vivid accounts of experiences people claim to have had with a cryptid, Andy maintains most have a natural explanation.
These two matching accounts however make it difficult for him to ignore the possibility that the “Werewolf of Camberwell” does or, at least, did exist.
Dad-of-two Andy said: “If a creature is described as being animal-like, then it probably is an animal and not uncommonly, a known animal; even if the qualities it portrays seem superficially supernatural, at the time.
“Modern day sightings of the dogman, or as it has been traditionally known throughout European history, the Werewolf; are the type that I would have laughed off a few years ago, while simultaneously believing in the possible existence of Nessie and Bigfoot.
“This is because the likelihood of an upright, bipedal, Wolf-Man had seemed biologically implausible to me. Nothing more than a fanciful faerie tale, to scare medieval kids straight and keep them out of the woods.
“It was a mystery too difficult to fit into my ‘ natural animal’ viewpoint; and unlike the other cryptids I have pursued, its history lay deeply embedded in the paranormal; a pastoral parable of good and evil, to warn parishioners away from sinful conduct; with a tale of beastly transformation.
“Anecdote is often an accurate portrayal of the experience of the witness, but fallible due to its subjectivity to the comparative mental library stored within the witnesses own mind and of course, their ability to respond and function in highly stressful and confusing situations.
“After researching this phenomenon for many years, I have become fascinated by the sheer volume of eyewitnesses who claim to have encountered this, Bipedal, wolf-like creature, in our modern era.
“Something which defies rational explanation as much today as in those formative fabled days of myth and legend.”