Alphabeastiary is

an advanced art challenge. While we encourage people to do the challenge on their own, we will only post pictures of those we feel are of an excellent quality in terms of skill and/or creativity. If you feel you are qualified, please read the rules to find out how this blog will work and how to apply and e-mail us your applications and submissions! We will put them up as we receive them.

Feb 15, 2011

H - Hellhound

The famous Sherlock Holmes story "Hound of the Baskervilles" was based
on the legends of the Hellhounds of Britain.

This picture seriously creeps me out. Can you see the dog yet? Look harder.

This weeks creature is so dastardly its hard to even pin one name to it. Just a few of its many names include :Black Shuck, Gally-trot, Moddey Dhoo, Guytrash, Skriker, Hairy Jack, Padfoot, Choin Dubh, Muckle Black Tyke, Grim, Dip and of course Gwyllgi (dog of darkness or the black hound of destiny). Collectively this type of beast is known as a black dog or Hellhound.

Hellhound is a term that can be applied to a wide variety of sinister, ghostly or hellish supernatural dogs that appear in mythologies from around the world, particularly Europe and the British Isles. These supernatural canines all share a list of common attributes. Hellhound's are coal black and have eyes that glow bright red or on the rare occasion yellow. Some Hellhounds are no more then ghostly appraitions, while others are creatures of flesh and blood that attack travelers or lead them off the path at night to be devoured. In some stories the Hellhound will smell of sulfur and brimstone, travel great distances at amazing speed or even mimic human speech.

Hellhounds are always massive in size (ranging from the size of a horse to the size of a small rhinocerous). The dogs have been said to appear in large balls of fire or even glow with a blue light. Looking into their eyes or even hearing their howl can mean death. Some of the more responsible hounds are said to shepard the souls of the dead to the afterlife like a good dog herding sheep. In breed they can look like a Mastiff, Labrador, boar hound or even wolf like. Sighted in graveyards, near churches, and even on city streets the Hellhound is a phantom, a monster and a mystery.

Believe it or not to this very day there is a phenomenon known as black dog syndrome in which animal shelters have more trouble finding homes for darker colored dogs because of the stigma attached to them by years of superstition and negative portrayal in books and film. The idea of the black dog being evil is very ancient, and still lurks somewhere deep in our collective unconsciousness.

There is so much information on the different kinds of Hellhounds I just couldn't fit it all. I strongly suggest doing your own research on this one I promise it will be interesting. Here are a few helpful links.

Hellhound Wiki
Apparitions of Black Dogs
Phantom Black Dogs
Greatest Unsolved Mysteries- Hellhounds


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