Hiking trails, picnic spots, idyllic scenery, and beautiful woodland apart, there is a dark history to the area that has paved the way for the legend of the Black Eyed Child of Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, England, with sightings of black-eyed children around the area reported still today.
During the 1960s, there was a real monster who wandered the area seeking out young female victims.
In 1965, Margaret Reynolds, a six-year-old girl, vanished on her walk to school. Although locals pulled together and a search party consisting of over 2,000 people set out in search of the missing child, they didn’t find her.
That very same year, another young girl, five-year-old Diane Tift, left her home to go and visit her grandmother, but she never arrived.
Her brother Terrance was the last person to see her alive.
It was January 12, 1966, when the dead body of a girl was found in a ditch in Cannock Chase and, when police arrived at the scene and they removed the body from the ground, made another horrific discovery: the body of another dead girl, lying underneath.
The two lifeless little girls had been stacked on top of each other.
And so, Margaret Reynolds and Diane Tift were no longer described as missing girls, as they were dead.
The story continued on August 1967, when a man approached 7-year-old Christine Darby.
The man had pulled alongside Christine and persuaded her to get into his car.
Another child witnessed what had happened and spoke of how he saw Christine enter the stranger’s car but, either way, Christine too was never seen alive again.
Several days after her disappearance, her body was found. The unknown killer had sexually assaulted and strangled her, before dumping her body approximately a mile away from the other two murdered girls.
Shortly after this, a local resident spotted a man in a green and white Corsair attempted to abduct another girl. The horrified witness shouted at the driver of the car causing him to flee, but luckily he took down the car’s license plate.
The car belonged to a man named Raymond Morris, a local factory worker, and he was said to be a creepy man who had allegedly been seen taking photos of schoolgirls in 1966.
Unfortunately, at the time, the police didn’t have enough evidence to actually arrest Morris for any crimes but, eventually, in 1969, authorities sent the man to trial for the murder of Christine Darby.
An officer that worked on the investigation literally said that Morris had cold, calculating eyes and showed no remorse.
The police believed that he was guilty of the murder of the two other girls too, however, there was only enough evidence to charge him with the murder of Christine.
On February 18, 1969, a jury took two hours to convict Morris of murder before he was sentenced to life behind bars.
He served forty-five years in prison before he died on March 11, 2014, at the age of 84.
However, the death of Raymond Leslie Morris did not bring an end to this story, as for many years people have claimed to see ghostly children who appear out of nowhere with no eyes.
Some people believe these to be the ghosts of the murdered children, and this is where the legend of the Black Eyed Child of Cannock Chase was born.
Over the years many people have claimed to have come into contact with a ghostly girl walking the trails of the area.
Those who have claimed to witness these phantom sightings have all said that she has no eyes, but two dark orbs instead of them.
Many locals believe that Christine Darby spends her eternity wandering around the trails and she cannot see, as Raymond Morris put a blindfold on her before killing her.
Also Paranormal activity is a common thing in Cannock Chase and the surrounding areas, over the years it has been the home to many reported sightings and strange phenomena, including what sounded like screams, and a girl no more than 10 years old with her hands over her eyes.
In any case thousands of people visit Cannock Chase every year, and many marvel at its beauty but the area is also known for exuding a strange and eerie feeling that is said to be difficult to describe.
Could it be possible that the spirits of these deceased girls are still walking the trails?
Images from web – Google Research