You may be familiar with the local legends of werewolves, and there are so many hallowed-hound legends around the world. For Halloween, let’s celebrate their spookiness and their impact on popular culture.
Records date this infamous hellhound back to 1127. His sudden ambiguous appearance is often interpreted as a protective spirit, or a cause of death. Many believe Black Shuck to be a portent of doom. However this was apparently just an effective means of warning people to stay out of fatally strong winds – in the Peterborough gloom.
Immortalised by Fluffy in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the three-headed figure of Cerberus is quite well known. He is a prominent beast within Greek mythology. Pluto employed Cerberus to guard Hades – the underworld – against any wayward travellers from the land of the living. Orpheus made it past Cerberus by playing music, and he was once brought to the land of the living by Herakles.
Another spectral black dog of English folklore also has a place in Scandinavian myth. Like Black Shuck, the Grim was believed to be a portent of death. However, some said he protected the inhabitants of churchyards from witches and devils. This story was most likely encouraged to ward off thieves, thus causing the Grim to be perhaps a noble addition to this list.
If there was ever a harbinger of chaos and doom, the fearsome wolf Fenrir would certainly fit that bill! Hailing from Norse mythology as the son of the God of Mischief, Loki, it is said that this hellhound will be one of the first on the front lines during Ragnorak – Doomsday.
The nine-tailed fox spirit, the Kitsuné, is a fascinating (and potentially malevolent) figure within Japanese folklore. They are renowned shapeshifters in legend, often taking the form of women or using their beguiling red foxfire to lure humans astray. Kitsunés are highly intelligent spirits, with their wits increasing with age, and their power with the number of their tails!
As with the legends ʻthe night hag’ or ʻold hag,’ the Pesanta tells a similar story of a creature creeping into people’s homes and sitting on their chests. It is a figure of Catalan folklore that signifies a cause of breathing problems, proving a particularly chilling choice of creature potentially lurking at the foot of our beds.
Looking for something great to treat your dog with? Try our monthly-themed boxes!