Hunt for the Huge Black Dogs Haunting UK’s Countryside
By Stuart Winter
The fiery red eyes and the blood-curdling howls of ghostly Black Dogs have long haunted the pages of British literature.
From Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles to the sinister Padfoot in the tales of Harry Potter, time and again nailbiting stories have been woven around the legend of mythical huge dogs.
Whether such tales are just fiction is now open to doubt.
In recent years reports have continued to emerge of wolf-like Black Dogs seen roaming the country. Now zoologists and experts in the paranormal are calling for a probe to prove their existence.
Richard Freeman, zoological director at the Centre for Fortean Zoology in Bideford, Devon, said Black Dogs have been reported in Britain, across Europe and in South America. He said: “I would welcome support for a thorough investigation into their existence.
“If one could be captured on film or filmed with a thermal camera it might give us a clue to the nature of these creatures.” A report in this month’s Countryfile magazine details the legend of more than a dozen Black Dogs with such wild names as the Yell Hound of Devon, the Lean Dog of Tring, the Padfoot of Wakefield, the Gurt Dog of the Quantocks, Mauthe Dhoog of the Isle of Man and the Gwyligi of Wales.
Dr Simon Sherwood, senior lecturer in psychology, director of the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes at the University of Northampton, said: “Sightings of Black Dogs are certainly not just legendary accounts from hundreds of years ago. I still receive accounts from people who have been looking for information about similar sightings and have come across my website.
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