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1938 (pub.): Mrs. Dog

A story is told of a roadside cottage, now gone, located in the village of Knaith, in Lincolnshire, England, which had once been occupied by an old woman (possibly a widow) known as Mrs. Dog who was murdered by a thief looking for a rumored wealth that just didn't exist. The house was pulled down after her death, but disturbances continued to occur in the old location it had occupied. According to Ethel Rudkin's informant, who she only identified as 'Mr. G. of Walshaw, Old Brumby Hall,' the area was haunted in his youth by a Black Dog with a woman's face! Mr. G. further stated that everyone in Knaith was afraid to pass the place at night, and that the strange animal would come from between two small hills that were behind the area the cottage occupied. The murder itself was not a recent historic event, but a very old account passed verbally for an unknown length of time.

My Source

        This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire, England, Black Dog accounts gathered by Folklorist Ethel Rudkin in 1938. The purpose of Rudkin's 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; given that its a story that even the teller doesn't claim to be or know a witness to, I've chosen to include this in the Legends index. It's definitely not a typical Black Dog story!