haunted-england

I had sex in a graveyard and was walking around nude cause it was like 80 degrees and I was all sweaty and it was like midnight or whatever.
So this car rolls up out of nowhere and I’m stark fucken naked.
I’m also white as fuck. I glow in the dark.
I make eye contact with the dude driving.
I don’t make a move to cover up or anything because idgaf about being naked.
I see his eyes widen….


With fear.

He fucken books it out of there like a bat out of hell.

And that’s the story about how I became a ghost sighting in a small town in New England.

Mythological Throwback Thursday: Bad Dogs of the British Isles

Hello! Are you a dog person? We used to be, until we found out about all the terrifying mutts stalking the British Isles. We’re expecting Alex’s family back in Staffordshire to be devoured by supernatural hounds any day now. Arm yourself with the knowledge to protect your loved ones this Mythological Throwback Thursday!

One of the most notorious is Black Shuck, a ghostly black dog that stalks the wilds of East Anglia. It’s thought its name derives from the Saxon word for demon, ‘scucca’. Others believe it to be a version of the Viking Shukir, the war-dog of Thor and Odin. Black Shuck is a large hound, variously described as the size of a calf or even a horse. It has baleful red eyes (or just one large one in the centre of its head, in some tellings) and can coalesce out of mist on dark nights, to frighten lone travellers. Those who see Black Shuck usually live long enough to tell the tale, but many believed that those who see it are marked for death, and will pass away within the year.

Similar is the tale of the Barghest, a spectral beast that haunted the north of England, and was particularly infamous in Yorkshire. Described to principally take the form of a black dog with fiery eyes, it was said to be able to become invisible, to shapeshift (favouring the form of a headless person) and to have dominion over other dogs. Upon the death of any notable person in the community the Barghest would form the head of a funeral procession of sorts, followed by all the other dogs of the community, leading them in howling and baying. If you were fleeing the Barghest it was considered wise to cross a stream or river, since the superstition was that it was unable to.

On the Isle of Man, a ghost called Moddey Dhoo, which literally means ‘black dog’, haunted Peel Castle. Though it seemed relatively benign, wandering through the hallways of the castle, invariably settling by the fireplace of the guard chamber, it was frightening to those unused to its spooky demeanour. It would never appear during the day, returning always to a passageway that led to the guard captain’s chamber and disappearing. One night a drunken guard defied Moddey Dhoo. On entering the haunted passageway, dreadful sounds were heard. The guard, scared witless, returned to his comrades aghast and died within three days.

The Welsh passed down the tale of the Cŵn Annwn. Not ghosts but denizens of the supernatural realm of Annwn, these hounds were hunting dogs for the king of the realm, Arawn. Unlike the other examples, these dogs were pure white with red ears. During the Wild Hunt, the Cŵn Annwn would run down wrongdoers for their crimes. It is speculated that they accompanied King Arthur’s cousin Culwhch to Arthur’s court.

Of course, the good people of the UK and Ireland could not help but include their hellhound-riddled folklore in their literature. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre includes an encounter which the titular heroine initially mistakes for a Gytrash, a being similar to a Barghest. J.K Rowling includes the legend of the Grim in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with characteristics identical to those of Black Shuck. And of course we couldn’t go without mentioning the infamous Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Why dogs? Possibly we humans share an inherent, instinctual aversion to wolves, and when like in the British Isles wolves become extinct through our actions, we create our own. Monsters from the id! Or maybe it’s because we’re just really into dogs, and there’s nothing so terrible as being betrayed by something you love. Join us for another Mythological Throwback Thursday next week!

question: is new england haunted?
answer: it feels that way sometimes.

i. are you afraid of the woods?
are you afraid of branches scraping together, skeleton ribcages, playing a dark twisted hymn to shout at the sky? in the middle of the night, pine needles drift to the ground and the wind howls and whistles through the threadbare trees.
you know it’s trying to tell you something, but you’re too afraid to listen.

ii. are you afraid of the sunset?
are you afraid of the clouds, billowing up in shades of orange and grey, of smoke that has lilted from fireplaces of wood cabins tucked safely away into thickets of woods you don’t dare look into? do you think that there’s something creeping there, far beyond the thickets of thorns, deep into the places where even foxes won’t skulk away to?
you know every night the sun is returning to its grave, but you don’t speak those words aloud.

iii. are you afraid of the ocean?
are you afraid of the way the sea laps at the shore, sneakily and repetitively, churning over stones? you know that they’re too smooth for a reason. you spend your days with your coat zipped over your nose as the winter tries to infiltrate your breath and the salt air leaks through onto your tongue.
you know the sea holds secrets, but you aren’t sure you want to know them.

iv. are you afraid of the snowfall?
are you afraid of the ceaseless winters, the squawking black birds, the relentless change of the howling wind at your window? do you watch the moon as it follows your car, keeping a watchful eye as you disappear into the mountains, the radio garbled. the wind whistles and rattles your car as you remember with a spine chilling start that you are not alone.
you know that spring will come again, but the raven’s eyes are full of death.

v. are you afraid of new england?
are you afraid of the white mansions on the hills, peeling paint drifting in little chips to the frozen-over ground? does it bring a chill to your bones, thinking back on the horror of those witch trials, only a few states and centuries away? can you hear the wails of the widows in new bedford, waiting on husbands who will never come home, pacing their death on their overlooks, eyes to the cruel sea? are you in terror every night as the trees scrape their fingernails at your window, whispering to come play?

conclusion: don’t be afraid. not while you’re still alive.

—  are you afraid of new england? // a.m.j

Ghosts of Corfe Castle, Dorset

Corfe Castle, built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, has a few ghostly tales attached to its history. Before the current castle was built, the site where it sits was the location of the assassination of King Edward (Edward the Martyr) on March 18th 978, on the orders of his scheming stepmother Queen Alfthryth. Edward was stabbed while he was on his horse and then helplessly dragged along to his death by his own steed. The Queen Alfthryth’s son Athelred “the Unready”, was crowned in his place. Since then there have been reports of hearing a phantom horse’s galloping hooves at the bottom of the hill below the castle. Witnesses hear the horse approach and ride by but never see the ghostly animal.

Another tragic tale is that of Eleanor the “Fair Maid of Brittany” (1184 - 1241). In 1203 she was captured since she posed a threat to John, King of England, as she had a legitimate claim to the throne. The beautiful Eleanor was thus taken to Corfe Castle where she remained a prisoner until her death in 1241.  William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber (1144/1153? – 1211), also found ill favor with the king and as a result, his poor wife and child were starved to death at Corfe Castle. The disembodied sounds of a crying child can sometimes be heard around the castle grounds when there is no child to be found anywhere.

During the English Civil War, Corfe Castle was successfully defended by the leadership of Lady Bankes, a Royalist, in the absence of her husband who was away on business.  However in February of 1646, she was betrayed by one of her own people and the Parliamentary soldiers were then able to take control of the structure. Cromwell’s soldiers destroyed the castle,  reducing it quickly to the ruin that we see today. Soon after, stories began to circulate of ghostly occurrences. The best-known apparition is that of the headless ‘White Lady’ who sends chills down the spine of anyone who crosses her path. She has been seen mostly near the castle gate where she then fades away into nothingness, leaving witnesses shocked and shaken. It is believed that she could be the ghost of Lady Bankes, Eleanor “the Fair Maid of Brittany” or possibly even William de Braose’s wife.

Floating, flickering lights have also been reported moving around the castle at night. One popular explanation for this is that these are the spirits of the Royalists killed while defending Corfe against Cromwell’s forces. Whatever the reason, it just adds to the mysterious and creepy charm of this old Norman ruin.

2

June 7th, 2017
Point of Graves

Yesterday was the first day it’d been sunny and not raining for about a half of a week. I was, however, stuck inside working on a project I had to get done in the next few days. At the very least, I was in the good company of my cousin, home from college for the summer, and willingly harboring me in her home so I could have a little fun doing said project. Here I was, putting some stickers on my poster board, when a fleeting thought crossed my mind. Without a second thought, I turned to my cousin and plainly said, “I really want to go ghost hunting.” As soon as I’d said it, she said, “We could.” Confused, I asked her if she meant tonight. The group of people I usually go with is a bunch of young people like myself. With college classes out for summer, and the only thing holding us back the possibility of friends being at work, we threw a message in our group chat, and within minutes had a plan for a ghost hunt.

Our original thought was to travel to a place in Hollis, Gilson Cemetery. This was a place we’d known to be very active, and a place we’ve grown to love. It was only a short drive, and we were a bit low on gas. But, one of our friends suggested we go towards the seacoast area so he could join us. He’s living in Rye temporarily for a summer internship through school, and this gave us a reason to go see him. So, once we all met up and converged into one car, we hit the highway to meet our friend at his place in Rye. It was still sunny out, and we even stopped on route 1 to take some pictures, find some rocks, and watch the sunset. Once the sun was down and the moon came up, we followed route 1 all the way into Portsmouth.

We were headed to Point of Graves, a tiny cemetery I’d investigated before over the years. Though it’s technically inside Prescott Park, with close proximity to downtown Portsmouth as well as a road leading onto Peirce Island, it tends to be quiet. It’s surrounded on three sides by houses, and on the fourth side, the park. Sometimes, you have a car drive by, or someone walk or bike by, but other than that it’s in a part of the city where you can perform your EVP sessions in peace. The occasional cop will drive by, and it even happened to us last night, but we weren’t kicked out, so that’s a plus.

Point of Graves burial ground has a sort of weird origin story. It’s one of the oldest cemeteries in the state of New Hampshire, our seacoast being the first land really explored by settlers. Back in the 1671, Captain John Pickering II decided to prompt the city with an idea for a cemetery. He’d donate a half acre of his land on account that the Pickering family cows could graze the land within the walls of the cemetery. The plans went through, and townspeople in the area were buried there, including a few prominent Portsmouth families. The earliest readable grave marker still standing today belongs to a man named John Hoddy, who was buried there in 1684. But, there are also some graves that are no longer visible, be it age, or from clumsy grazing cows.

Once we arrived, I pulled out the digital voice recorder and started rolling, hoping to maybe catch some EVPs. My friends and I had visited this cemetery once or twice during the day on our seacoast excursions; I absolutely love the American Gothic style carvings on the headstones, and really enjoy showing them off to whoever I can possibly drag to this quaint little cemetery. Now, they head amongst the graves with flashlights on, looking at the stones in the almost-full moonlight. I decided to start our investigation in an area I’d gotten a few K2 meter hits in the past. Years ago, we’d been sitting on the wall closest to the Peirce Island road, the K2 meter on the grass amongst the stones, and we had seen a few blips, the lights going from green to orange a handful of times. Last night, I sat along the wall with my pendulum, trying to channel whoever might be here with us. My friends gathered around as I asked the entity that came through about his name, age, and year of birth. The man we’d talked to was named William, and we went home with enough information to start our search of public record to pin down exactly who we talked to.

After I let the entity rest, my friends were off looking for a readable headstone that matched the channeled description, but to no avail. Silently, I made my way to the corner closest to the Vaughn family plot with just one of my friends who was itching to try out her own pendulum. Here, she channeled another man named Richard, who also gave us a good amount of information about himself for our research. I relayed it to my other friends, and soon they were looking for both William and Richard. Though, we can only hope whoever we did talk to was being truthful. After a while, my friend who was channeling decided to leave this entity to rest, and so we did one last sweep of the cemetery before heading back home.

Point of Graves seems very peaceful, and although it is right on top of houses and a park, and there is some foot traffic, you seem to lose yourself inside the walls. We felt nothing but comfortable here, and ended up wasting more than two hours in the cemetery. There was just enough action that my friend who’d never ghost hunted before found it interesting and intriguing, and we all left feeling satisfied with the night. Now to review the recorders, and go check records for the men we’d talked to who lived hundreds of years ago, before New Hampshire was a state, before the United States were put into existence. We are lucky to live in an area with such a rich history, and lucky to have to experiences we do when we go out hunting for ghosts.

If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that people love reading about the weird and unexplained, real-life horror and the supernatural. But even though we love reading about them, there are a few places on Earth that hit all our “NOPE” buttons, places only the bravest - or craziest - of us would visit.

I’m one of those people :3

Here are five of the freakiest places on Earth.

1.) Isla de las Muñecas - Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico

There’s a district of Mexico City, Xochimilco, that’s full of canals, lakes, and islands. One of those islands is very, very creepy - the Island of the Dolls.Did I say “very, very creepy?” I meant, “never going to sleep again creepy." The island full of nightmare was created by landowner Julian Santana Barrera. But why in the world would he do such a thing? According to the story, Barrera found the body of a dead girl floating in the canal near the island, which is creepy enough. But Barrera decided to ward off evil spirits and bad luck by out-creeping them.

He started collecting dolls and random doll parts and hanging them from the trees in an attempt to scare off ghosts and evil creatures, and, apparently, every single other living thing that might have once visited the island.

After he died in 2001, the island was abandoned, but the dolls remained, slowly decaying and becoming even more terrifying than they were before they started rotting and falling apart.

2.) Aokigahara Forest - Japan

All you need to know about Aokigahara Forest, near the base of Mt. Fuji, is that it’s also known as "Suicide Forest.”

This isn’t a random nickname either - Aokigahara is the second most popular place in the entire world for people to commit suicide (the first being the Golden Gate Bridge). In fact, the suicide rate is so high that officials have placed signs in both Japanese and English urging visitors to reconsider their actions if they are feeling suicidal, and squads sweep the forest once a year to search for bodies.

And while that’s horrifying enough, the truly creepy part is the forest itself, which is eerily silent thanks to the density of the trees and strange absence of wildlife. Hikers have been often known to get lost, even when marking their route with tape.On top of that, many blame the suicides and lost hikers on demons, which locals say haunt the forest, along with the angry spirits of those who were left to die by the ancient and barbaric practice of ubasute, which was practiced in Aokigahara as recently as the 19th century.

3.) Willard Asylum - Willard, New York

So many of its inmates died within its walls that it became a running joke that the only way you left Willard was in a wooden box. And since the inmates were deemed too “insane” to be allowed into society (though sadly, many of their “incurable” mental illnesses were probably things like PTSD and post-partum depression), a great number of them were abandoned by their families, their bodies unceremoniously buried in an unmarked cemetery on the property. According to local legends, many of those inmates never left Willard, even in death, and their insane, restless spirits still haunt the halls - including the overcrowded morgue - today.

4.) The Borley Rectory - Borley, Essex, England

In England, a country full of haunted places, unsettling folklore, and bloody history, one place is known as “the most haunted house in England,” and that’s the Borley Rectory. 

The history of the rectory itself is fairly recent, being built in 1892 by Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull, the new rector of the parish. However, the land upon which it was built had a much older, violent history: The rectory was built atop the site of 14th-century Benedictine monastery.The legend goes that one of the monks fell in love with a nun from the nearby convent. When the elders discovered their plans to elope, the monk was executed and the nun walled up alive in the convent, and their spirits have haunted the area ever since.Over the years, the rectory has experienced various paranormal events, such as unexplained fires, multiple accounts of ghost sightings (including a carriage drawn by a headless horseman), lights turning on and off, ghostly footsteps, poltergeist-like phenomena, and more.

5.) Hoia Baciu Forest - Transylvania, Romania

Along with asylums, what writing this list is teaching me is that forests are also full of “HELL no.” If you thought Aokigahara up above was bad, the stories that surround Transylvania’s Hoia Baciu Forest make it look normal by comparison - but what else would you expect of a forest that has Vlad Dracula’s history stamped all over it?

Because Hoia Baciu doesn’t just have a few kinds of creepy, unexplained supernatural phenomena attached to it - it has all of the supernatural phenomena.

People who enter the forest regularly complain of severe headaches, anxiety, sudden nausea, and, in some cases, mysterious burns and scratches appearing on their bodies.

The forest itself is just as strange and unexplained, with sections where trees grow in strange, unnatural shapes, and other areas where the forest is dead and nothing grows or moves at all.But that’s not where the terrifying weirdness stops: Along with the already strange physical reactions and strange trees, the forest is rife is reported UFO sightings, with people often claiming they see lights floating through the trees.

Reports have also been made of visitors to the forest experiencing that hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing-up feeling of being watched by unseen eyes, along with mysterious giggling and crying. But when hikers trace the sound to their location, they find…nothing. Oh, and people regularly vanish, never to be found again.

Scientists claim there’s a logical, scientific explanation for the phenomena, but locals steer clear of the forest, claiming it as an evil, cursed place.

Fields of Stars in Bloom

Pairing: Sam/Dean, references to Sam/Jess

Rating: Gen

Length: 1.8k

Summary: Sam is overcome with grief when he and Dean pass where Sam was going to propose to Jess on the way to a hunt. Dean comforts him. Written for madebyme_x the 2017 Spring Fling over at LJ.

On AO3

The past fifteen weeks have been stuffed full of silence. Dean’s not sure how to break it. They’re trapped in a fragile glass bubble, and if he chooses to pop it, they’ll be worse off.

Nothing makes the situation any better. He’s never felt more restless in his life. They tear up miles of highway, and never sit still for more than a couple of days, but stagnancy is creeping up on Dean, making the little hairs on the back of his neck itch.

The worst part about it all is how awkward he feels with Sam. They’re not strangers, never have been, but this kind of grief… Dean can’t understand, can’t touch it. If only Dad were here, he thinks for the millionth time, maybe he could help Sam cope.

Every time he wishes for an easy way to help Sam he wants to deck himself. Of course it’s not easy. Loss is ever easy. Their entire life is underscored by that exact damn sentence.

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Listener email re: comics!

We recently got a great email from @redgoldsparks, reading (more or less in full):

As you may know, I have a Master’s degree in Comics from California College of the Arts, and am working towards a full time career as cartoonist. Naturally, I prick up my ears whenever comics are mentioned on your show. Before this latest episode I’d have said the show generally had a tentative enthusiasm for the form with only a mild negative view of comic fans/comic shops. It was really only in this latest episode that a more extreme negative position towards interactions with other comics people came out. It seems that this is mostly based on bad experiences that Flourish had in comic shops in the past, maybe as many as 10 years ago. That is such a shame, because there are really a huge number of very supportive and welcoming comics shops all around the county. I would know, because not only have I walked into them in the hopes of buying comics, but with the hope of selling my own comics to the shop. I’ve visited every one of the 10 shops within reasonable driving distance of where I live in the Bay Area, and a few in Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, Bethesda, Maryland and New York City. Not once have I been made to feel uncomfortable in a shop and not only that, I have never had my work turned away. Every single shop owner I’ve spoken to wanted to monetarily support the up and coming artists in their area. How many other industries can say that? Perhaps it is relevant to say that I am a nonbinary, assigned female at birth person who uses weird pronouns. Yet I’ve fallen hard for comics because comics was what took me in as a naive illustration major in despair of ever landing book deal.

Comics are so, so much more than superheroes. The world of comics is so much wider than Marvel and DC. I read 49 comic books in 2016 and only two of them were from one of The Big Two (coincidentally, they were titles mentioned by the Desi Geek Girls- Miss Marvel and Squirrel Girl). Instead of superhero comics I read Congressman John Lewis’ heartwrenching biography of violence and bravery as a Civil Rights leader (the three volume March series, from Top Shelf); I read four volumes of John Allison’s fabulous webcomic Bad Machinary about a group of elementary school detectives in a haunted town in England (in print from Oni Press); I read Sisters and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier, two stories of sibling love and rivalry, published by Scholastic Graphix, both of which dominated the New York Times best sellar’s list; I read three volumes of Hellboy by Mike Mignola, a series that has been running for over 20 years from Dark Horse; I tried the first volumes of Bitch Planet, Paper Girls, Monstress and Giant Days, all out from Image Comics to rave reviews; I caught up on Saga; I read By Chance or Provenance, a collection of Becky Cloonan’s originally self-published short stories; Finder: Third World by Carla Speed McNeil; a comic about the history of Tetris by Box Brown, a whole anthology of queer paranormal romance stories, a comic about people’s deepest fears, a comic on film history, a comic about being a tall ship sailor and about three years of James Kochalka’s diary comics. That doesn’t even include the roster of webcomics that I keep up with (from gay smut like Starfighter to sweet fluff like Always Raining Here) or the huge piles of mini comics and zines I bought and traded for at the six comics conventions I attended OR the political journalism comics I subscribe to on sites like The Nib and Every Feminism!

Comics is a vast, multi-faceted world. Does it have problems? Yes, absolutely. Is it still dominated by white, straight, heterosexual narratives? Yes, but less and less all the time. I read somewhere recently that if you counted all the comic books published on kickstarter as coming from a single publisher, kickstarter now puts out more comics than either of The Big Two. And a huge amount of those books are helmed by queer authors of color, or trans authors, or nonbinary authors. If you spend some time getting to know comics, it will open up around you, offering its many and varied tales. As a professor of mine in grad school said: Comics will love you back.

We don’t have a lot to respond to in this, we were just thrilled to get it and wanted to share it with our readers!

Well, actually that’s not strictly true - partly in response to this and partly in response to another recent listener comment, from @missyuka, Flourish wrote a personal essay about her experiences with comics. So go take a peek at that as well…!

The Rules

There are certain rules to follow when growing up in a small, very haunted New England town.

There’s all the usual, of course. Look both ways before going across the street, and all that. 

Some of those rules were the same, but the reasons behind them were different. For example, everyone knows not to take candy from strangers. Only in places like the Passage was that the rule because there’s a better than even chance if someone you don’t know is offering you food, you’ve probably wandered into an otherworld and shouldn’t eat or drink anything.

Then there were things specific to the town of Martin’s Passage, like not counting the steps leading up to the town hall, because if you stepped on the thirteenth step of the twelve step stairway, you’d be cursed by the ghost of Ezekiel Martin himself. 

And then, of course, there were the rules specific to certain families. The Marshalls never talked about where they’d lived before the passage, and were notably evasive on the ailment that had carried off their paterfamilias, Mortimer. The Boyds didn’t take it kindly if anyone remarked on how their oldest son didn’t look much like his father, and it was considered wisest to not take a dinner invitation from the Robincheauxs; not, as school children often told each other, because they were cannibals, but because they lived out in the cranberry marsh on the south side of the lake and were really bad at marking the safe paths.

They were just part of the background noise of life in the Passage, and everyone had a story about what happened to someone who broke them.

     The Black Shuck or just Shuck, is a legend that comes out of East Anglia, England. This creature, which is considered a cryptid, is believed to be a ghostly spirit of a dog, though some believe it to be a demon of sorts. Reports of the creature date back many hundreds of years and since then has become a topic of folklore across the British Isles.

     The name “Shuck” could be a word derived from the old English word “Scucca” meaning demon, or possibly from the word “Shucky” meaning shaggy or hairy (or a combination of both). The creature itself has been described as a black somewhat ethereal dog or wolf wandering alone along the coast of East Anglia. Some reports have placed the creature in graveyards, forests and even on bodies of water siting

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Mythological Throwback Thursday: British Hellhounds

Hello! Are you a dog person? We used to be, until we found out about all the terrifying mutts stalking the British Isles. We’re expecting Alex’s family back in Staffordshire to be devoured by supernatural hounds any day now. Arm yourself with the knowledge to protect your loved ones this Mythological Throwback Thursday!

One of the most notorious is Black Shuck, a ghostly black dog that stalks the wilds of East Anglia. It’s thought its name derives from the Saxon word for demon, ‘scucca’. Others believe it to be a version of the Viking Shukir, the war-dog of Thor and Odin. Black Shuck is a large hound, variously described as the size of a calf or even a horse. It has baleful red eyes (or just one large one in the centre of its head, in some tellings) and can coalesce out of mist on dark nights, to frighten lone travellers. Those who see Black Shuck usually live long enough to tell the tale, but many believed that those who see it were marked for death, and would pass away within the year.

Similar is the tale of the Barghest, a spectral beast that haunted the north of England, and was particularly infamous in Yorkshire. Described to principally take the form of a black dog with fiery eyes, it was said to be able to become invisible, to shapeshift (favouring the form of a headless person) and to have dominion over other dogs. Upon the death of any notable person in the community the Barghest would form the head of a funeral procession of sorts, followed by all the other dogs of the community, leading them in howling and baying. If you were fleeing the Barghest it was considered wise to cross a stream or river, since the superstition was that it was unable to.

On the Isle of Man, a ghost called Moddey Dhoo, which literally means ‘black dog’, haunted Peel Castle. Though it seemed relatively benign, wandering through the hallways of the castle, invariably settling by the fireplace of the guard chamber, it was frightening to those unused to its spooky demeanour. It would never appear during the day, returning always to a passageway that led to the guard captain’s chamber and disappearing. One night a drunken guard defied Moddey Dhoo. On entering the haunted passageway, dreadful sounds were heard. The guard, scared witless, returned to his comrades aghast and died within three days.

The Welsh passed down the tale of the Cŵn Annwn. Not ghosts but denizens of the supernatural realm of Annwn, these hounds were hunting dogs for the king of the realm, Arawn. Unlike the other examples, these dogs were pure white with red ears. During the Wild Hunt, the Cŵn Annwn would run down wrongdoers for their crimes. It is speculated that they accompanied King Arthur’s cousin Culwhch to Arthur’s court.

Of course, the good people of the UK and Ireland could not help but include their hellhound-riddled folklore in their literature. Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre includes an encounter which the titular heroine initially mistakes for a Gytrash, a being similar to a Barghest. J.K Rowling includes the legend of the Grim in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, with characteristics identical to those of Black Shuck. And of course we couldn’t go without mentioning the infamous Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Why dogs? Possibly we humans share an inherent, instinctual aversion to wolves, and when like in the British Isles wolves become extinct through our actions, we create our own. Monsters from the id! Or maybe it’s just because we’re just really into dogs, and there’s nothing so terrible as being betrayed by something you love. Join us for another Mythological Throwback Thursday next week, when we’ll be feeling a little sunnier…