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Cryptid creatures from dark domains

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Author Topic: Cryptid creatures from dark domains  (Read 117 times)
Pax Unum
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« on: November 14, 2016, 12:31:17 am »

BLACK DOGS FROM COLONIAL TIMES TO THE PRESENT

Fortean blogger Andrew Gable ably adds a history of black dog hauntings in the United States.

"Legends of black dogs and phantom hounds," Gable writes, "are widespread throughout the Chesapeake Bay region, which was one of the earliest areas settled by the English. The tales of British black dogs were combined with werewolf traditions and typical ghost stories, as well as possibly with crypto-zoological sightings of weird creatures, to create traditions that are like the British ones, and yet unlike them at the same time."

One of the interesting stories Gable relates concerns a phantom hound named "Snarly Yow" who haunted a section of the National Pike near Turner's Gap in Frederick County, Maryland. Gable references an 1882 book by Madeleine V. Dahlgren called "South Mountain Magic" in which no less than a dozen sightings of the beast are recorded.

A man named Daniel Mesick testified that his father kicked at a huge dog near Dame's Quarter and his foot passed directly through it. Sticks, rocks and even bullets were said to pass right through the "animal." Other accounts have it that the dog left physical traces and frightened horses so much they threw their riders.

"A staple of Frederick County legendry for years," Gable writes, "the Yow was seen in 1962 near Zittlestown. In this instance, it was headless, white and dragged a chain along behind it."

There is a phantom dog called the Fence Rail Dog, an enormous hound nearly ten feet long, which haunts a stretch of Route 12 near Frederica in Delaware. The dog appears in the wake of automobile accidents on the road. Gable points out that folklore from around the globe speaks of dogs as a kind of psycho-pomp – or spirits which guide the dead to the afterlife – and that the Fence Rail Dog's appearance in the wake of death may be an example of this.

Gable also recounts the folklore concerning an outlaw named Silas Werninger, who was cornered in his home but committed suicide rather than be taken by his pursuers. He was buried in the forest near his home, and after his death a large black wolf emerged from the grove and menaced townspeople. A witch advised the people to dig up the outlaw's remains and bury them in consecrated ground to dispel the phantasmal wolf.

Gable says the source of the folklore is the real life story of a Pennsylvania outlaw named William Etlinger, who did indeed kill himself after taking his wife and children hostage. His cabin was burnt to the ground by authorities trying to flush him out. It is said that the cabin sometimes reappears on its burnt foundations and that the outlaw's body was moved after it was felt a black wolf familiar in the area may have been feeding on the corpse. Even suicidal outlaws deserve better. There is more to the story Gable tells than is recorded here, but let's leave that to readers of the actual book, eh?

DEMON DOGS AND THE MIB?

Claudia Cunningham, nicknamed "The MIB Lady," relates the story of how she and Timothy Green Beckley visit the grave of Charles Fort in Albany Rural Cemetery, near the state capitol of New York. Cunningham says that perhaps the site where Fort and his entire family are entombed is a fitting place for dastardly black hounds and phantom dogs from hell to be seen since Fort collected such beastly stories throughout his writing career and placed them in the volumes that make up "The Complete Works of Charles Fort."

While Cunningham and Beckley failed to sight any phantom dogs of their own, their story still makes for a lively break in the action, to include some local Men-In-Black stories that center around the cemetery just outside Albany. In addition to being the place where Charles Fort is buried, the graveyard is the resting spot of a president of the United States, Chester Arthur. Is it any wonder haunting hounds, the MIB and other strange incidents raise their heads up from the etheric there from time to time?

Cunningham then goes on to record several late 19th and early 20th century stories from Fort's research concerning the mysterious slayers of sheep in the UK. In one case in England, the police were unable to explain how the sheep had died since it was not possible for the killer to have been a mere dog.

"Dogs are not vampires," said Sergeant Carter of the Gloucestershire Police, "and do not suck the blood of a sheep and leave the flesh almost untouched."

A few weeks later, a newspaper report declared that the "marauder" had been shot and was said to be a large black dog, which Cunningham claims was an early example of convenient "debunking," a pattern repeated throughout the history of the subject of demon dogs by the newspapers of the time. It appears that even in Fort's time, a media cover-up of the paranormal was firmly in place.
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