Posted by: Nick Redfern on September 1st, 2012
Over at Mania.com, I have a new Lair of the Beasts column, the subject of which is Britain’s legendary “Phantom Black Dogs” that, in part, inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write his classic Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
I begin like this:
“Imagine the scene: it’s late one cold, dark, winter’s eve in a little old hamlet in central England. You’re walking home, along a winding, tree-shrouded old road with only the light of an eerie full moon to illuminate your path. But, as you continue on your trek to your centuries-old cottage, you begin to feel uneasy.
“For reasons that you are unable to fathom, as the icy wind sends a deep chill through your body, you develop the distinct feeling that you are not alone. Rather, you sense that you are being watched and followed by something terrible, something malignant, something nightmarish, and something as ancient as it is mysterious.
“Then something truly ominous occurs: you begin to hear the vague sound of panting – animalistic panting, no less – and the unmistakable sound of heavy, beastly paws hitting the road behind you. A terrible realization suddenly hits you hard: you are being followed, or stalked, by some sort of large, predatory animal. It’s an animal that – even though you have yet to see it up close and personal – you know deep in your heart has you firmly in its sights.”