Popularly known as “The Bearers of Death”. These mangled, black furred, dog-like beasts have existed in legends for centuries. They’re reported to be supernatural in nature and possess ghostly characteristics with a foul odor. They’re also known to terrorize their victims with their gnarling sharp teeth and razor claws. They have red glowing eyes, super strength and speed, and may even have a fiery appearance with hellish abilities.
According to European folklore, many have claimed that if a person stares into a hellhound’s eyes three or more times, or hear its terrifying howl, it could be an omen or possibly the cause of that individual’s death.
These naughty little pooches’ purpose? Often, to protect the entrances to the realms of those who have passed on, like burial grounds and cemeteries. The nefarious beasts may be responsible for other ghastly duties like protecting unearthly treasure and/or hunting the souls of the lost.
The tale of these ferocious creatures is well-known throughout Great Britain. The Isle of Man has their own version referred to as “Moddey Dhoo“. Wales has their’s known as “Gwyllgi”. The “Cadejo”, according to Central American folklore, is a large black canine that haunts those who walk late into the night on country roads.
As stated earlier, hellhounds are referred to as “The Bearers of Death”. These creatures were given this title because it was alleged that they were created by ancient demons to serve as heralds of death. Sightings have been documented all throughout history, including locations within the United States: Louisiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, Hawaii, Ohio and then even abroad in Vilseck, Germany. The hellhound known as “Black Shuck” roams the Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk coastline of England. It has been seen lurking around graveyards, dark forests and crossroads. According to Catalan myth, their version of the foreboding beast is referred to as “Dip”: The Devil’s emissary who sucks its victim’s blood.
Just a few years ago the London-Based archaeology group, DigVentures discovered the skeleton of a gigantic dog from a shallow grave less than two feet deep in the ruins of Leiston Abbey, Suffolk. According to the archaeologists, they stated that the dog’s height was more than seven feet on its rear legs and weighed around 200 pounds. The DigVentures team believes that the skeletal remains likely date back to medieval times. It is possible that the canine was a rather large hunting dog and perhaps possibly the initial spark that created the legend of “Black Shuck”.
So, makes one wonder doesn’t it? Do nefarious creatures like the demonic hellhound really exist? Or are they the product of superstitious minds who possess wild imaginations?
A little something to think about while sitting alone in a slightly dimmed room on a dark and stormy night. And don’t worry if you hear slight scratching on the window beside you. It’s probably just the wind blowing a tree limb that’s causing the noise, or…. maybe it’s not….. perhaps it’s a hellhound trying to claw its way in……… 😉 ***HOWLS!!!***
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~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html
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