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Black Dogs are a whole class of monstrous, canine apparitions prevalent in European folklore, showing up frequently in English and Scottish lore. These mythical creatures are also often known as Hellhounds, and are described as being huge dogs, roughly the size of a calf (though there have been sightings which have placed them as large as horses); covered in thick, shaggy black hair and with glowing red eyes.

Despite their name, these creatures are not necessarily black, as there have been reports of them being white, spotted, yellow and even brown. Sometimes, though very rarely, there are reports of Cerberean Black Dogs – meaning they have two or three heads. The Hellhound’s canine teeth are often described as being longer than average, and, to many people, seem to be grinning at some hidden knowledge, rather like a canine Cheshire Cat. Black Dogs may be benevolent; they may be malicious; or they may be neither.

These apparitions appear at places that serve as transition archetypes – places such as lonely county rounds, ancient highways, bridges, crossroads, and shallowed entrances. Hellhounds are said to guard treasure or sacred places. More often than not, if you leave a Black Dog alone, it will not bother you but if you attempt to harm one, the consequences are dire. Black Dogs can inflict frightful wounds that may prove fatal. Indeed, in much folklore that describes these creatures, to see one is portent of death, though there have been purported instances of Black Dogs guiding lost travelers to safety.

Black Dogs are also associated with fire – specifically, the flames surrounding the hound and the presence of scorched earth and/or claw marks burned into wood or metal left in the beast’s wake.

Black Dog Description:

Coat is blacker than black, this doesn't gleam in the moonlight like a coat of a living dog. It's properly black. Sometimes white, spotted, yellow or brown.

Eyes glowing of sauce; others tell of terrible, empty black gaps. Though mostly they are blood-red gaps.

Claws spring precariously from huge paws that make no sound as the monster lopes along in the night which is good. The paws also leave no prints, even in the softest soil. It's so spooky.

Its teeth are hideously long and sharp and foul saliva reeking of sulfur may drool from the beast's jaws if on heat.

Its strength and agility is probably the best that I know of.

Black Dogs - Mythical Creatures Guide

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