The Burnell Beast logo



There is an unidentified creature. An insect? A reptile? A monster? There have been numerous sightings but until there is irrefutable and verified evidence, no-one knows for sure. It first came to our attention when we heard of Brett Moore's encounter. Brett's story was different. On the surface it seems fabricated; too crazy to be true. But we investigated further and we believe him.

We decided to film a reconstruction of his encounter and start this blog as a way of bringing the various sightings and accounts together in one place. In doing so, we hope to uncover the truth behind what has become known as the Burnell Beast. If you have seen this creature or have any evidence, we would like to hear from you.
Industrious Dark, May 2013

What does it look like?

child drawing of the Beast

Six-year-old Sam Riley, from the Serlingside area, drew this picture. When asked what it was, he replied he had "seen it at the pond in the back garden." This is just one of many reported sightings of a strange creature that has come to be known as The Burnell Beast.

There has been no official description of the Burnell Beast, although several witnesses have given various accounts of their experiences. Many have likened the creature to a cat, monkey and even insect; "could not say for certain how many legs it had- could have been four or six. It definitely didn't move like a cat or dog. It was more spider-like".
Fur was one common factor amongst eye-witnesses, ranging from fully covered to small patches, looking "quite mangy". Reports on it's size have also differed with the smallest sighting comparing it to that of a rabbit and the largest "about the size of a medium dog. Large enough to harm a child or even an adult."

Of course in certain instances, there is the definite possibility a cat or even an escaped pet arachnid could be responsible. All witnesses have agreed on one thing; it was very quick and agile- one observed "it scaled a 10 foot wall in about two seconds"
Until there is some definite visual evidence, we can only imagine...

The Description

No photographic evidence exists of the creature as yet. There are several conflicting descriptions between eye-witnesses. The reason for this being that memories can be unreliable, there may be a number of creatures involved or simply some cases of false sightings. We do know it is more active at night, extremely agile, can climb walls and it's toxin can cause intense pain and paralysis.

Missing Pets

Missing Pets poster

In recent weeks, a number of cats and a small dog have gone missing from residences in the Serlingside area and fringe regions. Local animal control have been informed and are patrolling the area for anything unusual.

Until further notice, people are asked to keep a watchful eye over their pets. "Don't leave your cat out at night is our advice right now", says Gareth Hurkman of Serlingshire Animal Control. "Keep checking our website for updates and if you hear or see anything suspicious please contact us right away on 04822 777 2947."

Video captured of Burnell Beast?

We found this clip on YouTube; a video which seems to fit what we have heard about the Burnell Beast so far. The creature doesn't seem to be visible in the trees, but you can certainly hear it; fits in with witness descriptions of the "guttural" sound it makes.

Are we getting closer to conclusive visual evidence?

Man hospitalised in freak animal attack

Mystery creature still at large

artist impression of the Burnell Beast
Artist's impression based on Brett Mcghee's description of the creature

Police are warning residents in the Serlingside area to be on the lookout for an as-yet-unidentified cat-sized animal which attacked a man in the early hours of monday. Brian Mcghee, who lives with his family in the quiet area of Moss Grove, was awakened around two am by what he described as a "guttural croaking noise" from the attic of his home. Assuming it to be a trapped or wounded bird, he investigated further. He opened the attic hatch whereupon "there was a loud screech and this cat-like creature leapt at my face. I raised my hand in defence and it bit my arm". Mr Mcghee then fell from the ladder, knocking his head and watching helplessly as the creature scurried away. "I was terrified for my five-year-old daughter who was asleep in the next room but I then blacked out." His wife Catriona managed to chase the creature into the kitchen, where it must have escaped through their cat flap.

Mr Mcghee's next recollection is wandering in and out of consciousness as paramedics were called to the scene. "I remember waking up with the paramedics shining a light in my eyes. My entire body felt like it was on fire. I couldn't move and just couldn't stop trembling. When I tried to speak, my tongue wouldn't work and I had trouble breathing. I've never felt pain like that before in my life. I kept thinking this is the end for me. The next thing I remember was waking up in hospital two days later. I was grateful to be alive."

Originally physicians feared that Brian may have been infected by some rare strain rabies, however after running further tests, doctors gave him the all-clear and he was discharged later that evening. Doctor Kawa, the ward consultant, stated "We did find some traces of a toxin or venom in Mr Mcghee's blood but have been unable to identify it at this time. From what we can ascertain, it is somewhat similar to the venom of the Bullet Ant but in greater quantity. It would have been an extremely painful experience."

When asked what he thought the creature might be, Brian answered he had "no idea at this point. We are are consulting with some zoologists who are working under the impression it may be an exotic animal brought into the country as a pet. It was definitely something I have never seen before and most definitely something dangerous." Catriona added "It was not a cat or dog. This was something very agile and vicious- I hope we never see anything like that ever again".
Police are asking everyone in Moss Grove and the surrounding area of Serlingside, to be extra vigilant, especially dog walkers. They are urging people to report anything unusual to the Serling Animal Control on 01244 776 899.

Confirmed Sightings

Eye-witness accounts and their precise locations. Below are also some of the quotes we have managed to gather.

map of potential sightings of the Burnell Beast

After hearing sounds in my attic and investigating there was a loud screech and this cat-like creature leapt at my face. I raised my hand in defence and it sank it's teeth deeply into my arm. I was terrified for my 5 year old daughter sleeping in the next room, then I blacked out. It was definitely something I have never seen before and most definitely something dangerous.
Brian Mcghee, Moss Grove

I was walking my dog in the Rowe Hills area of Serlingside, when I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. I didn't think anything of it, presuming it to be a rabbit. My dog went running after it as he usually does and chased it into the gorse bushes. I carried on walking slowly, when my dog yelped in pain. When I ran over to him, I saw this little creature scurrying away; I've never seen anything like it in my life- it was lizard-like but with fur and had razor-sharp teeth and massive claws. It had scratched my poor dog across the nose and drew blood. The encounter frightened me so much, I will not venture in those parts again. I've tried to google it but nothing seems to match what I saw. I reported it to the authorities but don't think they were taking me very seriously.
Rosie McDonald, Moss Grove, Serlingside

I've been hearing some strange noises at night outside my home. At first thought it was foxes- a lot roam in the area. The other night was even noiser than usual- sounded like foxes fighting and I saw a fox race away and into a neighbours garden. However, what seemed to be chasing it was like a furry reptile about the size of a large cat and vicious-looking.
D Smith, Serlingshire

I found a dead cat in my back garden- the really unsettling thing was it seemed to have been torn apart. I guess it could have been foxes but I've never heard of foxes acting so aggressively. Luckily, I managed to dispose of it before my 4-year-old saw it. The other strange thing was when I told one of my neighbours, they say they've found dead birds in their garden, mutiltated in a similar way. Alerted the authorities but don't think that dead animals rate too highly on their agenda. It has really got my wife worried- a lot of foxes roam in this area and she's worried about the safety of our wee one-especially after hearing in the news of the twins attacked by a fox last year.