1935: A Visit from the Belle Hole Black Dog
About a mile west from the town of Kirton (in Lincolnshire, England), is a farm known as 'Belle Hole'. At and near this farm a Black Dog has been frequently seen, usually along the stretch of road leading to Kirton. The Black Dog is believed to occupy a hole that is on the bank of a nearby stream, and the custom in the area was to keep the hole covered with sticks... if the Black Dog was seen, the hole would invariably be found open on the following morning, and quickly covered up again. Normally this Black Dog is only seen by one person at a time, though there was a story about an old man and woman that both saw the Black Dog one night as it ran alongside them as they walked together.
Sometime in the year 1935, the farmer's wife at Belle Hole got a very good look at the Black Dog indeed. The creature walked through the door into her kitchen, and proceeded to walk round the kitchen as the woman stood stock still watching it... she knew perfectly well this was no ordinary dog, and that it wouldn't be a good idea to disturb it if it wanted to explore. Soon enough, the Black Dog wandered out again, and the goodwife was able to relax again.
This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire 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.