A shaggy dog story
September 10, 2015 4:37 AM   Subscribe

Black dog tales - Stories of the shuck, the skeff, the barghest, the hairy jack, the cu sith, the gwyllgi and more, the black dog across the British isles and beyond. Here's a map of sightings.
posted by Helga-woo (12 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Thank you! I love folklore of the UK and this fits right into my wheelhouse of interests.
posted by Kitteh at 6:25 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

They forgot the loup garou.
posted by elizilla at 6:42 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh man, the black dog has been my #1 sleep deprivation hallucination ever since I was a child. This is going to be a rough read for me.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 6:47 AM on September 10, 2015

They most certainly did not. Loup garou are a tradition owing more to witches and shapeshifting. Black dog folklore is more of a folklore explanation for sleep paralysis.
posted by sciatrix at 6:56 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

I grew up in Norfolk, and me and my friends were convinced that the black dog (we called it the Dunne Shuck - pronounced like the name Donnie) lived in a bit of heath just beyond the town. We'd construct elaborate hides during the daytime, then at twilight, when the Dunne Shuck is most likely to be seen, we'd tie my long-suffering dog Freckles to a tree for bait, and watch and wait. We never did see the Dunne Shuck, and my mum disapproved of using family pets as live bait, so eventually we moved onto other things.
posted by Ned G at 7:02 AM on September 10, 2015 [6 favorites]

Black dogs are sighted in country lanes, graveyards, moors, etc - not normal places for sleep paralysis.

(Cider-related paralysis, maybe)
posted by BinaryApe at 7:03 AM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

Probably the finest signature song of any UK folkloric beast.
posted by cromagnon at 7:29 AM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

cormagnon, that is totally the song I heard in my head when this popped up on the Blue.
posted by Kitteh at 8:10 AM on September 10, 2015

My maternal grandfather encountered one when returning home from the fields. He struck it with his metal shovel blade and the dog evaporated. An madra dubh.
posted by fallingbadgers at 11:37 AM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Awesome Patrick Swayze movie.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 3:09 PM on September 10, 2015

That whole site is a bit of a find. Good post!
posted by comealongpole at 6:58 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Geek alert: I have been reading (and re-re-re-re reading) Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm series. Several of the secondary characters (sort of special operatives for one of the governments, called "Hounds") share names with these dogs.

Excellent post! Thanks!
posted by JohnFromGR at 5:28 PM on September 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

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