1934: Irishman’s Black Dog Encounter
In 1934, an Irishman working during a potato harvest time in the town of Willoughton in Lincolnshire, England, was followed by "an unnaturally large dog" as he walked along the road next to Blyborough Fishpond; the experience left him very frightened, as he somehow felt it was not a natural animal. What he didn't know was that the area had a history of being haunted by a large Black Dog.
This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire, England, Black Dog accounts gathered by Folklorist Ethel Rudkin in 1938. The purpose of her study was to record the beliefs in the county regarding the phantom-like Black Dogs. While an argument could be put forward that the people Rudkin talked to simply encountered a real dog that was black, the point to the collection was that none of these people believed that to be the case... every single person she included in her collection was sure they had encountered the supernatural creature labeled a 'Black Dog.' As to the question of the intelligence or veracity of the people interviewed, Rudkin herself stated:
"I would like to emphasise this point: I have never yet had a Black Dog story from anyone who was weak either in body or mind."
As with all accounts from Rudkin, it is entirely up to you to decide if it is true or not; but, in either case, it still evidences the beliefs regarding the Black Dog spirits in the area.