|Photo courtesy of www.hawaiikawaii.net
|Illustration from Conan Doyle's "Hound of the Baskervilles."|
‘Eyes of flaming fire, shaggy… and as big a
Part of the horror these legends instilled was the fear of losing your soul. Because people believed that the physical body needed proper burial for the soul to be released, any animal that was seen to eat carrion was labelled as evil.
|Photo courtesy of Keith Evans.|
|Warwick Castle - photo courtesy of Martin Dawes|
All over Europe tales of spectral hounds exist such as ‘Gabriel’s hounds’ in
Finally, some dogs were used to break spells and bring good luck. Dog’s blood poured at the village threshold would protect the inhabitants from evil and be a barrier for epidemics. Three thousand years ago, when a Prince of China undertook a long journey, disturbingly, he would deliberately roll his cart over a dog to crush the poor animal. The blood was said to consecrate the road and the body buried as a sacrifice to the road god for his goodwill. Who knows what ghostly form these sacrificial dogs might then take – the Black Shuck perhaps?
|Black dog legends are widespread |
and part of local culture.