dogs


dogs
   It is commonly believed that dogs can sense anything uncanny, and show terror if forced to pass a haunted spot; if they howl for no reason, especially at night, it 'portends death, either in the house nearest to which they howl or to some of their kith and kindred' (Denham Tracts, 1892: ii. 55), or is a general sign of evil being about. A spayed bitch, however, may drive off uncanny forces:
   I believe all over England, a spaied bitch is accounted wholesome in a House; that is to say, they have a strong beliefe that it keeps away evill spirits from haunting of a House; e.g. amongst many other instances, at Cranborn in Dorset about 1686, a house was haunted, and two Tenants successively went away for that reason: a third came and brought his spaid bitch, and was never troubled. (Aubrey, 1686/ 1880: 53)
   There are many supernatural dogs in English folklore - *black dogs, the dogs of the *Wild Hunt, the Devil as a dog, *Grim, and various shape-changing bogey-beasts, for example *guytrash, *padfoot, and *Shuck.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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