Howl-o-ween is nearly here and with it comes the Woofing Hour. So you think only men and women can be ghosts? Oh no – there are plenty of ghost dogs out there and here are some of our favourites. Somebody call Scooby Doo!!
Ghost Dog of the Dambusters Hero
The loyal companion of Gibson the Dambusters hero is believed to still guard his master’s old quarters.
This picture, taken in the 1980s, shows a Labrador among a school group at a memorial to the Dambusters, close to where the dog was buried. The dog appeared from nowhere just as the photo was being taken, refusing to be shooed away. As soon as the photo was taken, the dog disappeared, never to be seen again.
Ghostly Happenings at the George and Dragon Pub in Much Wenlock
This pub is said to be home to a ghost dog who haunts the bar and cellar. Years ago a cruel landlord kept a big black dog in the cellar to guard his beer, beating it if it tried to escape. The poor dog only received food, water and the love it craved from a young maiden who worked in the pub. It is said that from time to time customers see or hear a big black dog in the bar looking for the maiden and when they go to stroke him he disappears into thin air.
Hounds and Handcuffs
A black dog is said to haunt Newgate Prison in London for over 400 years only making an appearance before a condemned prisoner was sent to the gallows. According to legend, in 1596, a scholar was sent to the prison for witchcraft, but was killed and eaten by starving prisoners before he was given a trial. The dog was said to appear soon after, and although the terrified men killed their guards and escaped, the beast is said to have haunted them wherever they fled. Hence the phrase “Black Dogs of Newgate”.
The Black Dog Inn Lyme Regis
In the 18th century at a farm house near Lyme Regis, the apparition of a black dog started to appear every night in front of the farmer who lived there looking up into the fire.
One night the farmer came home drunk and chased the phantom dog into the attic. The dog disappeared through the attic ceiling and he lunged at it with a poker. The poker went straight through the roof, and an old fashioned box fell down. Inside the box were a great number of golden coins dating from the reign of Charles I – the dog had shown the farmer where the hidden treasure was.
The farmer is said to have used the coins to purchase a house nearby, which he converted into a pub, naming it the Black Dog after the phantom hound.
From that time the dog never appeared in the house but haunted the lane by the farm at midnight, which became known as Dog Lane. There is a warning not to allow dogs to stray around the area as many are said to have disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
It is said that on Dartmoor a ghost dog haunts the Moors. Stories vary but one thing that is consistent is that the dog originates from an evil squire called Richard Cabell. Some say he sold his soul to the devil and when he died in 1677 black hounds appeared around his burial chamber. Others say that his wife fled the evil squire with her loyal dog only to be murdered by him on the moors. This ghostly huntsman is said to ride with big black dogs on Dartmoor and this is what inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Boomerang the dog, also know as J K Growling, and his owner Karen write a series of dog-friendly books of walks, pubs and places. Latest book is for London. Visit www.bestdogwalksuk.com for full details or follow his antics on Twitter @walkwithboomer