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#76 Cryscat

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 04:36 PM

Here' s the location of a good article on Black Dogs in myth and folklore. I think hell hounds are included

http://www.indigogro.../edge/bdogs.htm

Another link:

http://www.indigogro...ge/hellhnds.htm

Edited by Cryscat, 14 May 2009 - 04:38 PM.

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#77 mellilotflower

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 08:08 PM

Hey Folks - long time since 've been around; I just happened to be looking back at these myths, and thought of the village. So I may as well share what I know while I'm here.

Throughout most of England aparitions of black dogs are ominous, the exception being in Lincolnshire - where they tend to be guardians (so much so that one lincolnshire woman who moved to yorkshire continued to be protected by a large black dog walking by her side on lonely nights). Only very occasionally will these dogs cause direct harm - and this is usually as the result of provocation. If you meet one, do not try and shoot it, hit it, or shout at it. They have been known to cause deafness and blindness and paralysis in retaliation.

Different types of black dog occur in differnt stories - some are like Phookas, or mischevous kelpies - they can change shape, enjoy scaring people and playing tricks on them and tend to have some link to water. Some are personal - they are linked to a dead criminal or witch, or are thought to be the ghosts of an actual dog that had lived in the area. Then there's the dog that is just referred to as "the black dog" or regional variant - they don't have personalities per se, tend to be linked to specific regions and sometimes certain times of the year.

It's not clear that the first creature being buried in a graveyard actually can work as an explanation for the prevelance of the black dogs in England - especialy when you take into consideration the fact that many are linked to cross roads, where criminals, suicides and witches would be buried with some idea of keeping them out of consecrated land, and away from salvation. It would make little sense to save them from the duty of guarding their burial place by first burying an animal guardian. I expect we'd also find different animals throughout the country that played this role as well - not just dogs. In Scandinavia lambs and kids and cats are also associated with this role.

Interestingly in many accounts the same terms are used - "eyes as large as saucers" is a common one - as is "the size of a calf" - this was even remarked upon by the original 1930's folklorists.

While the black dogs are associated with water, and - unlike many similar creatures - can cross water, they are more closely linked to man made passages - roads. Often seen near bridges and cross roads. These could, of course, have just been handy landmarks when describing the incident. They only rarely appear inside.

Domestic animals are terrified of the black dogs - there are a few accounts of mimic dogs. A dog will enter it's home, or teritory, only to be confronted with its double.

Dogs are generally seen as guardians - several mythologies suggest a dog guards the afterlife, and so it is suggested that Black Dogs guard thin places between this and the other world, walk along ley lines, and suggests the belief that they are omens of death.

Black Dogs aren't encountered so much in Scotland, the Cu Sidhe has been said to take its place, described either as white or green - the irish myth of the Cu Sidhe is very similar to the black dog stories. In the scottish stories he's more likely to drag you off himself, and take you to a fairy howe - rather than just warn of death.

Some notable accounts of black dogs -

At Tring, in Hertfordshire there is a black dog associated with a man who was hung for falsley accusing a woman of witchcraft - she was drowned near the sight that he was hung. It is unclear who the black dog is supposd to represent.

In Lincolnshire- one of the few accounts of the dog speaking. A month nurse was going home one night, and when asked by the children if she were not afraid of the dog she replied that if she should meet him, she'd put him in her pocket. On her way home she came upon the dog, who proceeded to bound round her, yelping "put me in your pocket, put me in your pocket".

There is a dog, associated with a family on Mull, scotland, which foretels the death of a member of the family. If anyone lets the dog into the house, family member or no, "he is letting in death to the Maclean family"

The best article to read is Thea Browns. If you can't find it, message me and I'l try and get a copy to you.

Hope this finds you all well.

Mellilot

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#78 Oiche

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 12:56 AM

According to churchyard legend the first interred became the churchyard's guardian for eternity, so back in the day, the first to be buried was always a large black dog charged with frightening off trespassers. I know this custom was largely observed in the UK but have any of our UK kin ever encountered one of these guardians

I think they're called Barghasts in Gaelic
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#79 Silvertongue

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 09:57 AM

And here all this time I thought those black dogs were supposed to be incarnations of the devil. Hmmmmmmmm...
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#80 Oiche

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 02:24 PM

Hiya, Silver and thanks, mate...thought this thread was just going to go gently into the night.

Isn't that odd though I'd also heard that the black dog was diabolic or demonic, I'd say maybe its a cultural difference but both sources were British...region maybe
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#81 Silvertongue

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:07 PM

I think I'd prefer to think of them as guardians rather than something evil. But you're welcome. :ghost: Sometimes you just never know what threads will go gently into the night as you said.
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#82 Oiche

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 04:24 PM

Me, too, to my knowledge no one's ever been harmed by the dogs, just frightened or chased off by the red-eyed mastiff sized spook, which sort of points at a guardian...unless.

Silver could it be that there are two camps of Barghasts? One calmly accepts its duties as a guardian of its churchyard but the other camp is aware of animal rights and is protesting the indignity of their stewardship so they dig up bodies, chew on Grandmama's femur, tp mausoleums and mug late night strollers?
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#83 DEATH DEALER II

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 02:40 PM

I noted while reading up on the subject, black dogs" that they might even be of a local nature, as in black dogs in Devon, might act and mean something different in York. Some seem to be anything from openly hostile to people to acting as guides to those out walking. They usually have red or yellow eyes, both a described as "burning", they were about the size of a calf, nothing to ignore, and can be seen mostly in the country or back roads in about any part of England, Scotland, Wales, and sometimes in eastern Ireland, based on what I could find out.

#84 Oiche

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:46 PM

Very, very interesting, Death Dealer! As I said my two sources were from different parts of England, one from Essex, the other from Kent
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#85 DEATH DEALER II

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:07 PM

It seems they do get around but I think I would be better off not always assuming they are of a gentle disposition.

#86 Oiche

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 04:34 PM

Agreed, but the legends seem to have them just frightening off would be thieves or desecrators

Though there are other canine spirits in the UK that aren't quite so friendly
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#87 Silvertongue

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 02:06 PM

Death Dealer...??? I don't see any responses from Death Dealer... >.>

Anywho... in response to your question about there being two camps of Barghasts, I don't see why not. If you look at the Wikipedia entry for 'black dog (ghost)' you'll see that there are differing stories depending on the area of the UK in question.

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#88 DEATH DEALER II

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 02:43 PM

I had heard that too but my reply to comments seems to have been relocated.

#89 Oiche

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 02:46 AM

Hiya, Silver, they were here I swear, maybe he asked a mod or TC to strike the posts

That makes a lot of sense, Bud, a friend of mine in Surrey said there's a dog spirit that's said to attack can't think of the things name to save my life though
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#90 babalon1919

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 08:03 AM

wow. i didn't realize that there was a name for the black dog apparition

i live in the SW USA and i have had, personally, a couple of people i know tell me of separate incidents in their lives involving the spectre of a black dog

and as far as i know, neither one of them would have known about the UK legends

in the one case that i recall the details on, it was if the dog represented some sort of warning, kind of like a 'heads up.'
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