1938 (pre): West Stockwith’s Black Dog
Sometime previous to 1938, when an account was published, Ethel Rudkin was told the following story by an informant she only identifies as 'Miss P.' One evening in the village of West Stockwith, in Lincolnshire, England, Miss P.'s mother was outside at the north end of town when she saw a very large Black Dog. Impressed, Miss P.'s mother went into a nearby cottage and told the old woman living there what she had just seen, only to have the old woman respond "so you have seen the Black Dog" as if she herself had seen it often.
This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire Black Dog accounts gathered by Folklorist Ethel Rudkin in 1938, hence the year given of pre-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.