1938 (pre): Black Dog of Holland Riding
At Algarkirk in Holland Riding, Lincolnshire, England, a Black Dog was seen many times near three trees that grew close to the local church by a woman who lived there in 1938, identified only as Mrs. B.. She described the creature as tall and thin, with a long neck and pointed nose, and said it would leap into the road and run before the spectator, leaping back over another gate farther on. It always came and went on viewer's left side. "I once heard the leaves rustle as it jumped through," said Mrs. B..
This account was taken from a collection of Lincolnshire, England, 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.