Black Dog

Black Dog at Pendle Sculpture Trail
Black Dog Voiced by Jamie Gayne, Stage Door Youth Theatre
Black Dog, Poem with concept artwork.

Tales of enormous black dogs with shaggy fur and huge, glowing red eyes are a frequent feature in British folklore. Variously known as Grim, Barguest, Black Shuck, and many other names depending on location. They were often encountered during storms, at crossroads, or places of execution and were regarded as ghostly or paranormal in nature, sometimes thought to be a portent of death.

A black dog also features in the story of the Pendle Witches, alleged to be a ‘familiar’ representing a devil. According to the Confessions of Alison Device, “…there appeared unto her a thing like unto a black dog” which offered to do her bidding in exchange for her soul.

Our dog is not quite so sinister however – and there are accounts of benevolent black dogs helping wanderers who had strayed from the path – but don’t hang around to long, he might be hungry!

Next – Dryad