New Delhi, February 7, 2020: We have always known dogs as our caring and compassionate companion. Their relation with the men date backs to the evolution of humanity. The bond is so deep rooted that our four legged friend occupies special status in various folklores belonging to different cultures. Amongst them some stories are interesting and a few little scary. One such folklore mentions about European black dogs. They are considered as nocturnal apparitions and shapeshifters. They are often associated with demonic entity and are described as hellhounds.
Orgin from old religions
Though the origin of black dog so far has never been estimated accurately. But they are assumed to be associated with the old religions of Europe. Religions like Celtic Polytheism and Germanic Paganism were once prominent and practiced all across this region. According to their belief dogs were considered messenger of death. They were even presumed to be inauspicious, malevolent and were said to be the bringer of death.
According to the ancient stories the sighting of black dog symbolizes the upcoming death. As per the description, they are larger than the normal dogs with glowing eyes, bared teeth and shaggy black fur. Ancient tales say they are seen during electric storms, on crossroads. According to European mythology it is the location between the worlds, sites of execution and ancient pathways. Apparently due to their horror stricken description people get terrified even with the slightest mention.
Hauntings Across Europe
Sightings of the black dog have been reported all across Europe except a few areas. Dartmoor, Lancashire, Twyford in Winchester, Betchworth Castle in Surrey and other parts of British Isle have their tales of black dog appearing. It said that a headless black dog haunts Ivelet Bridge in Swaledale which is situated in Yorkshire. The dog leaps over the side of bridge. Anybody who saw this dog died within the year. The last sighting was reported around hundred years ago. So many years have passed but the locals still believe that black dog appears before the mishap.
Hound of the Baskervilles
Author Sir Canon Doyle was so intrigued by the stories of black dog. He accommodated them in his literature. Hound of Baskervilles is the third of the four crime novels composed by Sir Canon Doyle. The novel features the world famous detective Sherlock Holmes. It is based on the black dogs of Dartmoor. The Story narrates about an estate haunted by a black dog. However, Sherlock suspects that the whole story is plotted. With the events unfolding its is revealed that the criminals are taking advantage of black dog stories.
Belief in Other Cultures
Black dogs also find mention in American and Asian cultures. Interestingly not everyone considers them bad omen. Here they are supposed to be the guards of underworld.