Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hellhounds and Black Dogs

Hellhounds as they appear in the hit game Call of Duty Black Ops 2

A hellhound is a supernatural dog in folklore. A wide variety of ominous or hellish supernatural dogs occur in mythologies around the world, similar to the often seen dragon. Features that have been attributed to hellhounds include mangled black fur, glowing red eyes, super strength or speed, ghostly or phantom characteristics, and a foul odor. Certain European legends state that if someone stares into a hellhound's (perrish's) eyes twice or more, that person will surely die. In cultures that associate the afterlife with fire, hellhounds may have fire-based abilities and appearance. They are often assigned to guard the entrances to the world of the dead, such as graveyards and burial grounds, or undertake other duties related to the afterlife or the supernatural, such as hunting lost souls or guarding a supernatural treasure.

In European legends, seeing a hellhound or hearing it howl may be an omen or even a cause of death. They are said to be the protectors of the supernatural(scotts pack). Guarding the secrecy of supernatural creatures, or beings, from the world.
Some supernatural dogs, such as the Welsh Cŵn Annwn, were regarded as benign, but encountering them was still considered a sign of imminent death.


The most famous hellhound is probably Cerberus from Greek mythology. Hellhounds are also famous for appearing in Northern European mythology and folklore as a part of the Wild Hunt. These hounds are given several different names in local folklore, but they display typical hellhound characteristics. The myth is common across Great Britain, and many names are given to the apparitions: Moddey Dhoo of the Isle of Man, Gwyllgi of Wales, and so on. The earliest mention of these myths are in both Walter Map's De Nugis Curianium (1190) and the Welsh myth cycle of the Four Branches of the Mabinogi (ca. tenth to thirteenth century).

Robert Johnson
In southern Mexico and Central America folklore, the Cadejo is a big black dog that haunts travellers who walk late at night on rural roads. The term is also common in American blues music, such as with Robert Johnson's 1937 song, Hellhound on My Trail.

In Greek mythology the hellhound belonged to Hades, the Greek god of death and the underworld, its name in Greek mythology is Cerberus, it has three heads but is still black with razor sharp teeth and super strength, it is used to guard the gates of hell.

Barghest, Bargtjest, Bo-guest, Bargest or Barguest is the name often given in the north of England, especially in Yorkshire, to a legendary monstrous black dog with huge teeth and claws, though in other cases the name can refer to a ghost or Household elf, especially in Northumberland and Durham. One is said to frequent a remote gorge named Troller's Gill. There is also a story of a Barghest entering the city of York occasionally, where, according to legend, it preys on lone travellers in the city's narrow Snickelways. Whitby is also associated with the spectre. A famous Barghest was said to live near Darlington who was said to take the form of a headless man (who would vanish in flames), a headless lady, a white cat, a dog, rabbit and black dog. Another was said to live in an "uncannie-looking" dale between Darlington and Houghton, near Throstlenest.

The derivation of the word barghest is disputed. Ghost in the north of England was once pronounced guest, and the name is thought to be burh-ghest: town-ghost. Others explain it as German Berg-geist (mountain spirit), or Bär-geist (bear-spirit), in allusion to its alleged appearance at times as a bear. Another mooted derivation is 'Bier-Geist', the 'spirit of the funeral bier'.

The Bearer of Death is a term used in describing the Hellhound. Hellhounds have been said to be as black as coal and smell of burning brimstone. They tend to leave behind a burned area wherever they go. Their eyes are a deep, bright, and almost glowing red. They have razor sharp teeth, super strength and speed, and are commonly associated with graveyards and the underworld. Hellhounds are called The Bearers of Death because they were supposedly created by ancient demons to serve as heralds of death. According to legend, seeing one leads to a person's death. Sometimes it is said to be once; other times it requires three sightings for the curse to take effect and kill the victim. These factors make the Hellhound a feared symbol and worthy of the name “Bearer of Death”. The Hellhound has been seen several times throughout history, and it is not specific to any one place. The most recent sightings occurred in Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Vilseck, Germany, in or near cemeteries.

The hit TV show Mountain Monsters, did a show on the Hellhound. They traveled to Pike county Kentucky. Here is the full episode.



Black Shuck or Old Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog said to roam the Norfolk, Essex, and Suffolk coastline. Black Shuck is sometimes referred to as the Doom Dog.
For centuries, inhabitants of England have told tales of a large black dog with malevolent flaming eyes (or in some variants of the legend a single eye) that are red or alternatively green. They are described as being 'like saucers'. According to reports, the beast varies in size and stature from that of simply a large dog to being the size of a horse.

There are legends of Black Shuck roaming the Anglian countryside since before Vikings. His name may derive from the Old English word scucca meaning "demon", or possibly from the local dialect word shucky meaning "shaggy" or "hairy". The legend may have been part of the inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.

It is said that his appearance bodes ill to the beholder, although not always. More often than not, stories tell of Black Shuck terrifying his victims, but leaving them alone to continue living normal lives; in some cases it has supposedly happened before close relatives to the observer die or become ill. In other tales he's considered relatively benign, and said to accompany women on their way home in the role of protector rather than a portent of ill omen.


Sometimes Black Shuck has appeared headless, and at other times he appears to float on a carpet of mist. According to folklore, the spectre often haunts graveyards, sideroads, crossroads and dark forests. Black Shuck is also said to haunt the coast road between West Runton and Overstrand.

One of the most notable reports of Black Shuck is of his appearance at the churches of Bungay and Blythburgh in Suffolk. On 4 August 1577, at Blythburgh, Black Shuck is said to have burst in through the church doors. He ran up the nave, past a large congregation, killing a man and boy and causing the church tower to collapse through the roof. As the dog departed, he left scorch marks on the north door that remain to this day. Two men were touched by the beast and fell down dead
The encounter on the same day at Bungay was described in "A Strange and Terrible Wonder" by the Reverend Abraham Fleming in 1577:
This black dog, or the devil in such a linenesse (God hee knoweth al who worketh all,) running all along down the body of the church with great swiftness, and incredible haste, among the people, in a visible forum and shape, passed between two persons, as they were kneeling uppon their knees, and occupied in prayer as it seemed, wrung the necks of them both at one instant clene backward, in so much that even at a moment where they knelled, they strangely died.
Other accounts attribute the event to lightning or the Devil. The scorch marks on the door are referred to by the locals as "the devil’s fingerprints", and the event is remembered in this verse:
All down the church in midst of fire, the hellish monster flew, and, passing onward to the quire, he many people slew.
The appearance in Chignal St James/Chignal Smealy, small villages near Chelmsford, Essex are said to have occurred many years ago. All those said to have seen the red-eyed devil dog are rumored to have met an untimely end within a year, matching the legend that all that see Black Shuck perish within a year of looking into his eyes.

(source wikipedia )

I can remember an old story that was told throughout our family about a family member walking at night on the railroad tracks. As he walked something kept brushing his leg. He reach down with his hand, without looking, a couple times and nothing was there. Then after feeling it again, he looked to see what it was and seen a headless dog walking beside him. The dogs tail was hitting his leg. Now, I can't remember the story in a lot of detail but best I can remember the dog vanished as the man ran off.  This supposedly took place close to where I live now and probably more than 50 years ago.

I have heard reports about truck drivers seeing the "black dog" but have never spoken to anyone who said they saw one.

If anyone has seen what they think might be a Hellhound or Black dog, feel free to share your story via the "Report a sighting" link or just Click here.

Hellhounds and Black dogs - are they real? lets us know what you think or have saw.

Thanks
~Tom~

This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and poet.


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