Gwyllgi

Black Dogof Wales.

Etymology: Welsh, "dog of darkness."

gwyllgi 221

Variant names: Black dog of Hergest, Own annwfn ("dog of the otherworld"), Cwn annwn, Cwn bendith y mamau ("fairy dog"), Cwn cyrff ("corpse dog"), Cwn toili, Cwn wybr ("sky dog").

Physical description: As large as a calf. Color said to be black, red-gray, or snow-white. Glowing red eyes.

Behavior: Often runs in a pack. Screams and howls. Walks behind people, snarling. Dogs are terrified of it.

Tracks: Doglike.

Distribution: Powys, South Wales.

Significant sightings: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle heard of the Black dog of Hergest while staying near Clyro, Powys, and was inspired to write his Sherlock Holmes story "The Hound of the Baskervilles." He agreed with the Welsh Baskerville family to set the scene in Dartmoor rather than Wales.

Dozens of sheep near Clyro were found with their throats ripped out in August 1989. At least two people saw the predator, which they thought was a large, dark-colored dog.

Sources: Edmund Jones, A Relation of Apparitions ofSpirits, in the County of Monmouth and the Principality of Wales (Newport, Wales: E. Lewis, 1813); Marie Trevelyan, Folklore and Folk-Stories of Wales (London: Elliot Stock, 1909), p. 52; The Independent, September 2, 1989; James MacKillop, Oxford Dictionary ofCeltic Mythology (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 122, 263.

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