>The Hound of the Baskervilles and other big Black Dogs

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Malcolm Jones’s account on the Uncanny UK website of a huge, unidentifiable animal he saw in Brymbo, North Wales, recalls mysterious dog-like apparitions that are prevalent throughout British folklore. In Wales these spectres are known as Gwyllgi (translating as ‘Dog of the Twilight’); in England they go by a variety of regional names, including Padfoot, Skriker, Trash and Black Shuck. In the literature, they are usually simply referred to as Black Dogs.

They are commonly described as being black in colour, with a shaggy pelt and closely resembling a dog of the mastiff breed but much larger, about the size of a calf. They are said to haunt lonely lanes at night or twilight. Mr Jones’s spook, which may be an earlier sighting of ‘The Beast of Brymbo’, has many of these characteristics, although his had a leaner outline, more like a lurcher.

Such tales are believed to have been the inpsiration for Conan Doyles’s famous Sherlock Holmes story ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, set on Dartmoor. This wild area of South Western England certainly has its Black Dog traditions, and they may be linked to the big black cats now currently haunting the moors. However, it has also been claimed the author got the idea while staying at the village of Clyro in Mid Wales (which has its own Black Dog and a pub called the Baskerville Arms), or while on holiday in East Anglia, an area particularly rich in Black Dog lore.

It’s interesting to learn that such weird and inexplicable apparitions are still to be seen, at least as recently as 1971, the date of Mr Jones’s encounter. When I was writing my ‘Wales of the Unexpected’ column in the North Wales Daily Post newspaper, I received accounts from readers of two separate Gwyllgi seen on Anglesey, dating back to approximately 1915 and 1930 respectively. These accounts are reproduced in my book of the same name (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, ISBN 1-84527-008-8).

The are several other stories of the Black Dogs to be found on the Uncanny UK website, including one that could fly! To read more visit www.uncannyuk.co.uk

If you are interested in ghosts in Britain, check out my other blog: http://hauntedwales.blogspot.com
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About UncannyUK

I am the editor of Uncanny UK (www.uncannyuk.com), a website devoted to British ghosts and folklore. I am the former editor of Paranormal Magazine and the author five books on Welsh folklore. Just launched Apparition Developments, first product of which is Ghost Finder London - an app plotting 300 haunted sites in London for iPhone. I'm a highly experienced journalist and corporate copywriter. I'm an enthusiast on the subjects of UK folklore, the supernatural and antiquities and am fond of old horror and sci-fi movies, cult TV such as Dr Who and I collect Victorian/Edwardian magazines. I also enjoy weird art and macabre literature by the likes of M R James, E F Benson, Algernon Blackwood, W Hope-Hodgson, H P Lovecraft etc. I live in North Wales, which is a very spooky place.
This entry was posted in Beast of Brymbo, Black Dogs, Black Shuck, Dartmoor, ghosts haunted Britain, Gwyllgi, Hound of Baskervilles, Padfoot, Skriker, supernatural paranormal folklore legends, Wrexham. Bookmark the permalink.

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