1898 (ca.): Cyclist often sees a Black Dog in Holland Riding
Around the year 1898 in the Holland Riding of Lincolnshire, England, a young man who cycled home from Leverton to Wrangle regularly (this is in the Boston area) often saw a Black Dog rush out of a drove-end behind him and lope to another lane which it turned down. The Dog usually appeared near a long, deep pond surrounded by trees; but he did not always see it when he went that way.
This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire, England, Black Dog accounts gathered by Folklorist Ethel Rudkin in 1938, who estimated it occurred about forty years earlier; hence the year given of 1898. 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.