West Ham struggled to contain Carroll's aerial presence
Andy Carroll scored his first Premier League goal to equalise for Newcastle and prevent his team from slipping to a third straight league defeat.
Michael Owen struck the post before his 20-yard strike put the Magpies ahead.
Craig Bellamy equalised with a composed finish from 10 yards, while Shay Given made an unbelievable save from Jack Collison after the break.
Carlton Cole put West Ham in front with a vicious close-range strike before Carroll headed his team level.
The Hammers and Newcastle are the subject of intense speculation, with several key players at both clubs strongly linked with moves during the transfer window.
But they cast aside their off-the-pitch uncertainty to produce an entertaining game in which the quality of attacking play was far in excess of the respective defensive displays.
Magpies showed real character - Hughton
The draw was probably a fair result for the 300th Premier League game to be played at St James' Park.
And as well as stopping the rot at Newcastle it meant that West Ham failed in their attempt to win three straight Premier League fixtures for the first time under Gianfranco Zola.
In many ways it was a game of contrasts - with Newcastle often searching out tall striker Carroll, while the visitors looked to play the ball down the channels for Bellamy - but both teams were united by their desire to attack.
James Collins struggled to contain the aerial threat posed by 20-year-old Carroll but it was Owen who first threatened the Hammers goal.
His first touch from Jonas Gutierrez's low pass completely wrong-footed Collins and the striker was unlucky not to score when his low strike across goal defeated Rob Green but not the woodwork.
Collins then lost his balance as Owen closed in on goal and the striker had the time to pick his spot from 20 yards, with his low strike putting the home team in front.
Carroll should have extended his team's lead after Danny Guthrie picked him out at the far post with a deft cross but the unmarked striker found the side netting with his header.
Zola happy with Hammers' away form
Bellamy was repeatedly caught offside but timed his run to perfection for his goal, latching on to Scott Parker's deft pass before lifting the ball over Given.
Mark Noble ought to have put the Hammers ahead after a long ball forward caught out the Newcastle defence but Given made a good block and Bellamy hit the side netting from an acute angle with the rebound.
Zola's team were superb in the early minutes of the second half and and they were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Sebastien Bassong clearly impeded Bellamy.
Given then made an amazing save to deny Collison, who looked stunned that his eight-yard effort had not found the net.
The away team's dominance was rewarded when Herita Ilunga's through ball was controlled by Cole with his first touch and smashed into the roof of the net with his second for his fourth goal in as many games.
The hosts were awakened from their second-half inertia after conceding and thought they had equalised when Hammers skipper Lucas Neill quite spectacularly miscued a volley that flew into the roof of the West Ham goal.
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