« Lore

Episode 136: The Third Time

2020-02-17

Folklore is our legacy. We humans have carried it with us everywhere we’ve gone in the world, and it anchors us to our roots and our community. But it also does something else: it gives us a place to hide our fear, to put it on a leash and control it. And there’s one story in particular that does that better than most.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Elizabeth Sawyer stood on the gallows waiting for her execution, Henry Good CALL, the local priest read her confession out loud to her and the rest of the gathered crowd, and then she nodded in agreements. Yes, Elizabeth told him, it's all true. It's true that she formed a pact with the devil who had given her the power to afflict her neighbours with all manner of pain and suffering. After all, they had refused to purchase brooms from her So she use the power of the devil to kill their livestock and even one or two of their young children, but that power came at a price.
In return for the devil had asked that Elizabeth taken one of his servants, a creature known throughout folklore as a familiar, her familiar, was called tongue and in exchange for the power that she would draw from it, Tom was to be allowed feed from her suckling at an odd patch of skin, known as a which is mark. Henry Good CALL, hadn't believe the stories. After all, it was a bit too difficult to accept much of the details, even for a priest who believed in the supernatural nature of God. It all sounded too convenient to contrive and, of course it was all used to throw Elizabeth in jail where she was awaiting her execution so He had visited her hoping to discover the truth, but the confessions gave him the same one. He would read from the gallows, backed up all of the tales she had suckled Tom every day and in return she had wielded
The power of the devil against the neighbors who had crossed her and I April nineteenth of sixteen twenty one? She hang for those crimes. All of this would haunt the community's she left behind here's to come. They would whisper about her evil powers and her crimes about how counter magic was used to identify her and the morbid victory of her execution day. But it was her familiar Tom who would be remembered. Most because it sits on the edge between a modern belief and a much more ancient idea. An idea. not represented by the behaviour or powers she claimed at hand, but by the very shape it had taken, a shape.
That continues to inhabit a terrifying place in folk lore. Today, the black dog, I'm Aaron Binkie, and this is lore. Most useful Ryan's traced, the idea of the black dog very far into the past, so far back in fact that the stories can
found well outside the realm of modern folklore. In fact, the black dog is present in the ancient mythology of many of the world's oldest cultures. Take Egypt, for example, the God Anubis was tasked with his skirting the dead into the halls of judgments where he would measure how worthy they were before granting them access to the afterlife. And, of course, the shape given to a new bus is probably familiar to a lot of you, the body of a man, but the head of a wild black dog known as and jacket, but that occupation, serving as an escort to the dead on their way to the afterlife, wasn't unique to ancient Egypt. In fact, there is a similar deity in mythology of the native american tribe, known as the money many there, just as in Egypt, a great dog guards, the bridge into the city of the dead and in aztec mythology, show load is a God and dog form who wonders the underworld gathering the bones of the
dead in order to use them to give humanity life. He also I urge the sun as a retreat into the land of the dead each night, mirroring the same Duties we see in countless other dog gods throughout the ancient world there is even an ancient bronze age sites in South Eastern England. That shows just how all these ideas truly are flag. Then is a village that was lost time, but has. Uncovered and studied over the last few decades and along with, structures, weapons and artifacts, as well as England's oldest known, we'll worker. There have also discovered remains. Some of the remains are clearly those of livestock used for food. As the markings on their bones clearly illustrate. But there is also a large number of objects were buried as in offering and decided on They discover the remains of two large dogs dogs that had been richly killed, most likely to serve as GO betweens for the farmers and hunters living there.
No ancient dogs are as recognizable, though as service the guardian of the greek and roman world. In his earliest appearances, service was once described as the hound of Haiti's, but the many centuries since then have added new elements to his story service. Sir, as the guardian of the boundary between the underworld and our own. Even today, we could find, Serbia's, maintaining his old responsibilities as a guard dog in places like Hogwarts Castle in the world of Harry Potter, the black dog has been as a guardian for thousands of years always sitting between this world and the land death the underworld, but along the way,
the folklore around it has evolved and taken on variations, and one of the most important changes has been its transformation into a creature. The crosses that boundary into our own literally walking among us, which of course, is the power behind the confession of Elizabeth Sawyer. Isn't it because, when a black dog could be a supernatural visitor from the land of the spirits sent to earth by the devil to harm the servants of God, the stories take on a new life. Distant mythology suddenly rip faced with immediate danger and constant risk. One story from the middle ages illustrates that idea perfectly. It said that a man
in England became frustrated that something was trying to dig up the recent grave of a local child, the discover who the guilty party might be. He hid himself near the grave in order to watch it during the night after the sun went down. He discovered that the culprit was a large black dog who trotted into the graveyard to begin dig all over again, this man could have written the experience off as mundane. After all, wild dogs have always been common, but rather than call for a dog catcher, he allowed his fear and superstition to drive him in another direction. He called for a pre stories like these can be found all over great Britain, in fact, and just about every one of them attaches a local name to the black dogs that everyone feared names like black shock, black shag pad foots an old Tom Wilson, no you're too many of us, especially after hearing about Elizabeth Sawyers own black dog tongue, but there are others.
One historian named John Brand riding in one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven documented stories of a black dog that roam the streets of Newcastle upon Tyne, like a ghostly spectre, to brand this other worldly dog was known as a bar guest, a shape shifting demon, whose presence hinted at some impending tragedy likes grim omen. It was all enough to fill people with complete and utter dread Back to common saying has grown up in the rich soil of the black dog folklore. If a man and shall meet the black dog once the legend says it shall be for joy. If twice it shall be for sorrow and the third time he shall die. Of course, as our world has advanced and matured, it might be easy to assume that belief in the black dog has faded away, but that's definitely not the case. the mysterious hound of the Baskervilles featured in the Sherlock
Holmes, novel of the same name to pad foots end the grim in Harry Potter and the prisoner of ask ban stories of the dog show no sign of fading into the shadows of the past. In fact, if you know where to look you'll find documented, evidence of actual sightings of black dogs reports from individuals who have set eyes on them and witness their power first hand or chronicles of those who have spoken to those witnesses. and it all down taken as nothing more than folklore. These are dark entertaining tales that leave us feeling, a little less safe. But if they are true, they raise some troubling questions. questions that are more difficult for us to answer in the implications, are terrifying
in nineteen thirty, eight Ethel Kin saw a black dog she lived Lincolnshire County in Eastern England, not too far, in fact, from the jail where Elizabeth Sawyer waited for her execution in one thousand six hundred and twenty one, but Ethel's troubling experience with a black dog didn't drive her away in fear effect. It propelled her to study. That's because she was a full and knowing that stories of the black dog had haunted her region for centuries. She said about collecting similar tales from her neighbours. It seemed that up Everyone in town had encountered the mysterious creature, at least once in the past, and she wanted to hear about those events.
There are a number of people living, she later wrote, who have seen him heard him and even felt him, and these people were shaken by their sightings. In fact, it was her own experience with the black dog that made her a trustworthy person for them to tell their tails. Do she had become one of them in a sense she The first to record collections of stories about the black dog, though I mentioned John Brand earlier, who published his own accounts in one thousand, seven hundred and seventy seven, but one of the most troubling and visceral tales of the black dog Can be found in the writings of a man named Abraham Fleming and if the tale is true, it's absolutely stunning. According to Fleming, the events took place in one thousand five hundred and seventy seven in the parish church of a small town called Bungay most of the village had gas.
For the Sunday Mass inside the parish church and while they were inside a powerful storm blew in unexpectedly and to those who later spoke about it, it wasn't a normal storm They said to the sky, grew tremendously dark lit up every few seconds by a brilliant flash of lightning seem to make a stained glass windows glow in Every light rain slammed against the building and thunder shook the very earth, but the church sat upon. No one had expected it And no one could remember another storm in their lifetime that equal that's power. The things were about to get worse. Suddenly, another flash of lightning filled the church with a momentary light in every one too, and to see the figure of a dog standing in the center I'll. They described it.
Has enormous and evil. Looking and most importantly, deep black and this mysterious dog began to run quickly up the aisle toward the front of the church, where a number of parishioners were kneeling in prayer in a heartbeat. The dog was upon them with its powerful jaws, gripped the neck of one man and Wasted so hard at his spine snapped killing him instantly. The same fate awaited the man beside him, but then the massive dog turned round and face the congregation snappy, not with its power, we'll jaws caught another man on the back and he crumpled to the floor like a wet rag, and then it was gone The strange black dog that had appeared so suddenly only to bring death into their midst seem to vanish justice. quickly, but although it had disappeared, it would live on. Wherever in the minds of the people who sat in the church that morning and they weren't alone, either
It turns out that another nearby church reported a similar experience. They too reported the great storm one so power all that a damage their bell tower and in the middle of that the same. black dog had appeared among them were killed. Two more men for burning a number of others. Even the doors of the second church or hard by long black scorches, like other worldly clockworks, within Here, the image of the black dog had become a sort of town mascots and the stories have been repeatedly told over the centuries, even too Visitors who know the story of the enormous black dog of Bungay visit the small village to see the scorch marks on the church doors, a reminder of the horror that had been experienced inside because to so many people the story is just as real today as it was back then, True or not, the story of a demonic beast that attacks at church fits the popular idea of the black dog in full
some scholars believe that one of the most common names for the creature, black shuck, comes from the old english word for demon. All of the details that folklore ascribe to it, the black fur fiery eyes and monstrous shape. All of it aligned neatly with what happened inside that church in one thousand five hundred and seventy seven, even if it turns out to be fake. At least the stories are consist And the stories haven't ended either as late as nineteen. Ninety six locals have continued to report sightings of an enormous black dog, which is why it's no surprise when, in a Raising discovery was made in the ruins of least and Abbe in two thousand thirteen, just twenty miles south of Bungay. there in a shallow grave among the broken walls of the Abbe researchers, found the complete skeleton of an enormous beast, where it still alive today
They believe that it would have been nearly seven feet, long and weight in had over two hundred pounds. or shocking than its size and weight was the type of animal the bonds belong to. It was a dog Folklore is a lot like plant life given enough time. It spreads like we'd, filling new landscapes with fresh iterations of itself and the primary agent in that migration is humanity wherever we go. So too does our folklore, so it should come as no surprise that as people spread from the world to the new they brought along that ancient belief in the black dog, and while there are
whole volumes of tales about sightings of the black dog in North Amerika, there's one story in particular that I want to share with you. Harry was born in Connecticut in. eighteen, sixty seven, just a little more than a year after his birth, his father, William, passed away, leaving Harry's there and to care for the boy and raise him as best she could and she did a fantastic job of it to buy time he was ready to head off to study at Trinity College, she had already taught him ancient Greek and Latin, giving him an advantage over many of his peers trinity. He moved on to Harvard where he studied geology. It was a pedigree that helped him launch a strong career, most of which was filled with teaching and writing about geology. In fact, he wrote to articles in eighteen, ninety eight better about the Connecticut Landscape, but it's the first of those that I find most fascinating because its less about rocks and me or about folklore. It was about an experience he had lost, studying at Harvard
time around eighteen. Ninety two most likely it was during Spring that he traveled south into his home state of Connecticut Visitant area, known as the hanging hills someone told him that the area there around West Peak was rich in geological formations that someone like him would enjoy, and so he set out with high hopes Harry described as hike that day as a bit slow. Due to how often he felt compelled to stop and examine the various outcroppings in later he noticed soon enough, he found a formation. He wished to take a sample from so he began the hard labor. Chipping away at it during a short break from that hard work that he straightened up, turned to look down the path and noticed something strange. It was a dog, it wasn't large, but it was ass. Black ass call, it kept the distance from him, but after his task was finished and he can t
you'd his hike. The dog joined him becoming something like a shadow as Harry wound, his way through the hills around west peak. He never feared for his safety, but he did notice one odd characteristic in the dog. It never made a sound. At the end of a long day of hygiene and work, Harry retreated back to his horse before heading into the nearby town, when he did the dog quietly slipped off the path machine into the shadows from where it had come later that night He enjoyed a hearty meal beside the fire of an old in and he couldn't help it smile. It was. He noted for joy. that day on the Connecticut Hills stayed with him as he continued his studies at Harvard. Then, three years later he decided to return. This second trip would take place during the winter, so he invited a colleague to join him, a man
name. Herbert Marshall Marshal had hike the hanging hills many times before and in all seasons, and so he seemed like a good companion for the challenging journey. Once they met up at the foot of West Peak, they began their climb Harry told Marshall, about the dog. He. but friend it on his previous trip and the other man nodded knowingly. He had seen. In the very same dog twice before, while hiking through the hills. There. In fact locals, had told stories about that black dog for years long enough to make it a sort of legend in those parts. uninvited Marshall brought up the old saying I mentioned earlier. If and shall meet the black dog once it shall be. For joy, if twice it shall be for sorrow in the third time he shall die when he was finished. Both men laughed and then continued their high.
The weather, wasn't very friendly, though soon enough their hands were. None in the wind had begun to lash at them like the winds of a storm, but both men were determined to reach the summit, so they continued following the path clung to the side of the small mountain Marshall, always in the lead, then closer to the top Marshall stopped in them of the path he didn't speak, but Harry watched as his friend slowly raised an arm to point up toward the looming peak against the pale I and the falling snow Harry could see a dark shape. The figure of a black dog looking down on them from above marshalled, turned to look back at Harry S, face as the sky above them, with his finger still aimed at the shape atop the pig he groaned in a barely audible voice. It is the third time he said in an instant the edge of the path crumbled beneath
feet and Harry watched in horror, ass, his friend, vanished into the swirling snow and rocks below Harry, turned and retreated down the path. He said it took him hours to make it back down to the bottom, but when he did, he quickly located Herbert marshals body, he had died upon the cold snow covered rocks at the foot of the mountain Harry, managed to return to town and get. A group of men to go retrieve marshals body. It took them hours, ours that Harry used to warm himself beside the fire. This time there was no joy for him only sorrow, but then again that would make sense if we truly believe the legend that he and Marshal had recited before their height then, when the men returned, they carried the body, but they also brought news. Yes, they had found him exactly were Harry, had told them to look but marshals body wasn't alone.
standing over his corpse was a small dark shape, easy to spot against the ice and snow, the shape of a black dog. The stories we tell have a way of following us everywhere we go. We here Funds are mobile creatures and when we move and extend our boundaries into new places, we bring our folklore with us and I sometimes wonder, perhaps that's an essential part of our survival. I think it's clear that this world is still a place of mystery and the unknown. We are still discovering brand new creatures and locations which has a way of living guessing what else is waiting.
For us around the next corner. What other dangers have we yet to encounter? Where should we place? Our fear and the black dog answers a lot of those questions, if only in a non specific sort of way, just as As for thousands of years when our ancestors brains couldn't seem to find an answer to those noises and creatures they experienced, they filled in the blanks with story, right up there among the most commonly used was the black dog. I guess what amazes me the most is the black dogs, longevity. There are a lot of ancient beliefs that had faded way as we ve grown ass, a species with a black dog is still here, still trotting along silently beside us still lurking in the shadows, and I can't help but wonder why, perhaps Mean something else to blame, for our troubles helps us put a leash on our fears.
Harry William pensions experience and hanging hills of Connecticut followed him for the rest of his life. He went on to grant Wait and earn a reputation in this field and, as I mentioned earlier, he published an article in eighteen. Ninety, eight about that tragic hike, but all the while West Peak was like a beacon to him tempting him to return. They say that Harry finally gave in and returned to the hanging hills later in his life, where he walked off into the shadows and never returned in saying that he His third and final encounter with the black dog, it's a powerful ending to the story with more than its fair share of drama, but sadly, despite being repeated frequently over the past century, his unnatural death is nothing
more than a work of Fiction Harry William Pension, actually passed away from pneumonia in nineteen ten at his home in Oyster Bay, New York. Yes, he was tragically young at just forty two years of age, but no his death did not take place in the hanging hills in the shadow of a black dog he had seen for the third time. It was most likely a misunderstanding due to that article he'd written back in eighteen. Ninety eight. In that article. He closed with a fictional newspaper clipping about another man from the. U S geological survey, who met the same fate as his old friend Herbert Marshall. It's an element of every story, the blurs the lines of truth and cast doubts.
The entire encounter, it might mostly be fact or a complete fabrication and sadly, will never know which, but even at the story turned out to be a work of fiction. The fear and superstition attacked into was more than real, as evidenced by the rumours of his death and that's the power story. Isn't it because true or not, every tail means something to some one and as a result, it takes on a life of its own. It's a lot like the old adage. We ve heard before fool me once
Shame on you fool me twice. Shame on me pull me a third time and that may not be anyone's fault. In particular, it might just be the power of folklore. The black dog has taken many shapes over the millennia and we ve explored many of those today grim omens, friendly companion, and guardians of the other world, but there is an even darker side to these stories and its lot closer to our modern world. Then you might believe stick around after this brief sponsor break and I'll tell you one more tale of this ancient beast. This episode was made possible by stamp stock, come if you're, a small
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for a special offer that includes a for weak trial, free postage and a digital scale. No long term commitments or contracts just go to staff dot. Com click on them, your phone at the top of the homepage and then type in the word lore that stamps dotcom offer code more staff. Stockholm, never go to the post office again Carol was a cliche. She was a tool you're, a girl with a real pony to, in fact, Joe Joe and Peekaboo, bought on April thirtieth of nineteen. Seventy six. All of that changed. That's when her father, Philip step outside a fine both of the ponies had been killed during the night. He knew
because the creature that had killed them was still standing over their corpses eating their bloody flesh with huge ravenous mouthfuls. both of the ponies lay on their side in the grass of the back yard, where Carol had left them tethered the night before the ropes still hung loose. Lee from the trees to their halters. But there are no longer necessary. The first thing the creature had done, it seems, was rip out their throats. Philip described the beast as an enormous dog, roughly the same size as the ponies it had slaughtered. He said it had elements of german Shepard and maybe Rottweiler in its appearance, but it was like no dog he had ever seen before. It was big and black and deeply interested. In its morning meal and Philip, a big, strong firefighter was afraid for his life. He grabbed a baseball bat that lean beside the door and then took a step toward it But he quickly stopped, perhaps because of fear or maybe because common sense finally took over what
were the enormous dog was a bat wasn't going to do the job, so he quietly slip back into the house and returned a moment later with a handgun. He aimed at the large shape and fire. Assuming that it would be nearly impossible to miss, but somehow he did. The sound of the shot did startle the creature, though, and quickly bolted, for the shadows of the trees at the back of the property, and then it was gone, but it wouldn't be the last time it would be spotted and if I'm list, but doesn't surprise me, Philip and his family lived in the Massachusetts town Babington one of the three points that make up the rough shape of the Bridgewater triangle. It's a mysterious. patch of land that has played host to all manner of unusual experiences. So a black dog doesn't seem out of the ordinary. In that context, still Phillip alerted the authorities and the sheriff quickly set out to find and kill the creature.
They focus their attention on the edge of town where civilization blurred into woodland and mystery and as they did, but community spiraled into panic, people were afraid for their safety for their children and pets and anything else that might be at risk outside and as the panic spread, the police began to receive phone calls about sightings and rumours at first. It was a trickle but a quickly turned into a flood. By the end of the third day, the police had received over a thousand calls hinting at just how deep of a nerve this mysterious dog had touched. A few people claim that they saw the dog lurking behind the local ice cream stand. Another man said that he looked out his apartment window to see it in the woods behind the building. Its mouth dripping with a thick dark liquid blood. He suggested maybe even human blood,
News of the sightings even landed on the front page of the Boston Globe, which acted like gasoline on an open flame schools, broaden police. Are there children during recess stores, sold out of firearms and Philip stayed busy to responding to a steady flow? Requests from the police to identify animal remains in hopes that the beast had been killed later, that we the police brought in a special dog of their own, one that had been trained to track other animals and it worked for the first time since Philip had stepped outside his backdoor. In spite of the beast, the police working with that dog finally spotted the creature they were looking for. The officer following the search dog found the mysterious creature walking along a stretch of railroad tracks near the woods. Knowing the animal had been reported as extremely dangerous, he aimed his
Shot gun at it from a safe distance and then fired the shots echoed through the open air and birds launched themselves into the sky, from the trees around the tracks, but the enormous dog, just stood, silently unmoving and on shaking and unafraid and then, after a few nervous moments, it quietly turned and walked off into the woods as if nothing at all had happened. The folks of Habington never saw the black dog again but true to the power of folk lore. They ve never forgotten in either, and how could they because
of us have wondered about the danger that lurks in the shadow about the things we don't understand that leave us feeling out of our death and for the people of Abingdon. The black dog was that nightmare come to life, it's almost as if they expected its arrival and who knows when it might return this episode was written and produced by me. Erin monkey with research by Karl Nellis and music by Chad, Lawson Bore, is much. More than just a podcast there's a book series available in bookstores, an on line and two seasons of the television show on Amazon. Prime video check them. Both out
want more law in your life. I also make two other podcast errand, monkeys, cabinet of curiosity and unobserved, and I think you enjoy Each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite site episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You can learn or about both of those shows and everything else going on for in one central place: Thou world of lore dotcom, slash now and You can follow the show in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram just search for lore podcast. All one word. Then click now follow button. When you do say hi, I like it when people say hi and as always, thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.