Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Phantom Hounds, Demon Dogs and Sherlock Holmes

If you're into some of the more Fortean aspects of Cryptozoology, you won't want to miss this!

Tim Beckley has just published a new book titled Hounds of the Baskervilles.

It's basically a combination of (A) the original Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles; (B) witness reports of real-life encounters with blazing, red-eyed hounds of the pararnormal kind; and (C) various articles from researchers of the Phantom Black Dog variety.

Not only that, the book is massively and richly illustrated with excellent old and atmospheric artwork.

I have a lengthy article in the book, which is an extensive look from me at the history of the Black Dog in the UK, with numerous, little-known case files examined, many of which extend right up to well into the 20th Century.

Here's where you can purchase Hounds of the Baskervilles and here's what Tim has to say about the book:
PICKS UP WHERE SHERLOCK HOLMES’ LEFT OFF. . . DEVIL HOUNDS. DEMON DOGS. PHANTOM CANINES FROM HELL. THEY DO EXIST! One nearly scared to death eyewitness proclaimed after the beast loomed in front of him: “It was the biggest bloody ‘dog’ I have ever seen in my life!” Legends of black dogs and phantom hounds are widespread throughout the United Kingdom as well as in the United States. Though presented in novelized form, Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle based his most popular detective thriller on true accounts of a mysterious black beast with blazing red eyes who is said to have attacked those crossing the moors. Some were lucky to have gotten away with their lives. Perhaps there are others who disappeared and their bodies were not accounted for. Who can say for certain? In addition to presenting the number one classic detective thriller of all time in its unabridged, fully illustrated, form, this work goes way beyond the boundaries of fiction into the realm of the supernatural. Today’s top paranormal researcher’s delve into stories of the bloody beast who comes in various sizes and apparently even has the ability to shape shift into a more hideous creature when cornered. As England’s leading cryptozoologist, Nick Redfern, points out, “There is one important factor to remember: Conan Doyle did not invent Britain’s phantom, fiery-eyed hounds. He merely brought them to the attention of the public in spectacularly entertaining style. In reality, the creature had been prowling around the British countryside for centuries; and particularly so Dartmoor – the fictional home of the world’s most famous hound of horror in all its awful glory.” According to Redfern the same area the imaginary Sherlock Holmes conducted his investigation around, is also, in reality, rife with ancient tales and legends of a group of diabolical and unholy creatures known as the Wisht Hounds – fearsome devil-dogs with glowing eyes and large fangs. “They are said to have a taste for both human flesh and human souls, and ride with the Devil himself, as he crosses the windswept wilds of Dartmoor late at night - and atop a headless, black horse, no less.” According to legend, the Wisht Hounds inhabit the nearby Wistman’s Woods – a sacred grove where, in centuries past, ancient druids held pagan rituals in honor of a veritable multitude of old Earth gods and goddesses. Here are dozens of accounts of devilish, gruesome, repugnant “monsters” – some of whom stand eight feet tall – who are said to be Satan’s watch dogs protecting the portals to another dimension or realm where no mortal should be made to tread!


  1. Great stuff, Nick! It's already in my wishlist on Amazon, and it's about to go into my cart!

  2. Signe Pike has an entertaining book called Faery Tale, her story of how she roamed the British Isles in search of evidence of faeries. In it she gives two anecdotes that offer a different take on large black dogs. While hiking on the Isle of Man she came across a man walking "a tremendous beast of a black dog." Both approached and they had a friendly encounter. But she had the impression that the man was not quite... human.

    Later, while interviewing Eddie Lenihan, Irish Folklorist, she asked if he had ever had an encounter with one of the "other crowd" himself. He recounted an incident where he was driving to work in Limerick and passed a field where he saw a "huge monster of a black dog." And in the next moment it was gone. Inquiring around he found that this dog had been seen in that spot for over 70 years, apparently guarding the ruins of a fort.

    According to the locals - he was no simple dog, he was 'one of the boys' guarding their property. A different view certainly, and in her encounter she was able to run her fingers through his shaggy hair when he approached. So it wasn't just a siting but a physical event.