Severed deer head placed on New Forest memorial stone in latest ‘occult’ attack

New Forest National Park Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A rotting dear's head has been found placed on a new Forest centenary stone along with an upside down cross.

A resident who removed the head has described how local people are “quite appalled” by the latest incident involving animals which have been linked to the occult.

The severed head was found by a member of the public on top of the stone in Burley village on May 8.

And on the following day, Hampshire police received a report that five sheep had been stabbed in Cadnam.

The incidents come after 50 dead animals were scattered outside a community shop in Broughton.

Two men were arrested and later released after the corpses of hares, a barn owl and a kestrel were found dumped outside Broughton Community Shop on March 15.

And in February, 25 dead wild animals including pheasants, hares and a decapitated deer were found close to a primary school on Danes Road in the village of Awbridge, six miles away from Broughton.

Also in 2019, occult symbols were painted on a killed sheep and on the door of St Peter’s Church in Bramshaw in a previous spate of animal attacks in the New Forest.

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The dead ewe, found in Penn Common Road, Bramshaw, on November 19, 2019, had a pentagram painted on its side, a star on its face as well as an inverted cross and the number 666 which is linked to the devil.

Retired police officer Chris White, who works in Shappen Stores in Burley, said of the latest incident: “It was myself that removed the severed head from the memorial stone in the centre of the village.

“A member of the public came into the shop and said there’s a severed head on the centenary stone with a hedonistic upside down cross.

“I just removed the head and put it somewhere in the forest to let it rot and kept the cross for the police.

“People are quite appalled because children were walking by, because it was a rotting head after all.”

The New Forest is home to thousands of free-roaming animals Credit: PA Images

Mr White said that rumours had circulated that these animal attacks were linked to a Green Man parade which happened shortly afterwards and added: “There is no evidence to suggest it was but everyone is clutching at straws.”

He added that the village had historic links with witchcraft as it was home to Sybil Leek, who was called “Britain’s most famous witch”, in the 1950s.

Countrywatch officer Pc Matthew Thelwell, of Hampshire police, said: “We are investigating two incidents, the most recent of which was reported to us on May 9. This was a report of five sheep which had been stabbed in Cadnam.

“The previous incident was reported to us on May 8. On that occasion, a deer’s head was found on a milestone next to Burley High Street.

“Officers have been in contact with the owner of the sheep, as well as Burley Parish Council.

“After being made aware of this incident, officers have been completing follow-up inquiries, including house-to-house and CCTV scoping in the nearby area, as they attempt to identify the person(s) responsible.

“We understand just how distressing it is for someone to make a discovery such as this, as well as how upsetting these incidents are for the community as a whole.

“Our officers and teams will continue patrolling in the affected areas, as well as engagement with the local community.”