Hell Hound

Lore

The Black Dog lurks in graveyards, roads and moors throughout Britain and Europe. They are littered throughout fairy tales, found in the music of Robert “the man who gave his soul to the devil” Johnson, and even Sir Arthur Doyle’s HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. But, what exactly is this creature that strikes fear into the heart of millions?

The Black Dogs are of supernatural origin, often said to be a phantom, ghost, fairy creature, or an elemental force, that mysteriously appears and disappears bringing fear, chaos and sometimes death! The Black Dogs are rumored to have many dark agendas: prophecy, revenge, bloodlust, the hunt or merely a warning. These dark and foreboding creatures are most commonly found in Britain and Europe, and go by many names: Barghest, Galleytrot, Hell Hound, Padfoot, Shuck, Snarleyow, Striker, Trash, Wish or Whist Hound, Yell or Yelp Hound- to name a few. Black Dogs can either be pitch black with burning red eyes, or ghostly white with red ears.

Sometimes, such as in the widely spread legend in Europe of The Hunt, these Black Dogs are joined by Lucifer himself! The common prey of these Hell Hounds are unwary humans wandering around on a dark and stormy night. It is also believed that the Hunt is chasing the souls of the recently-deceased unbaptised, with the intention of retrieving them for Hell!

When encountering a Black Dog, there are various ways to escape. An iron horseshoe, is it’s most common weakness- due to the iron, known for warding off spirits, and the horseshoe’s crescent moon appearance that invokes a powerful feminine protective magic. Another useful item of the trade, is a pocketful of iron fillings or salt that can be flung into the path of the Hunt and will distract it from its course. In some legends, the Hunt is foiled when its prey crosses running water.

Most Black Dogs, such as the ‘Grim,’ guard cemeteries and scare off any unwanted visitor past dark. While other Black Dogs, often prefer roads and pathways as their haunts. It is a rare occasion to run into these Hell Hounds in urban environments, but there have been documented sightings in the York alleyways.

Hell Hound

Supernatural MikeHill