Over the years, here at Mysterious Universe, I’ve written a number of articles on one of the U.K.’s strangest, and oldest, supernatural creatures: the Phantom Black Dog. The people behind the Anomalies website say of this strange “animal”: “Tales are told of a large semi-phantom dog with fur that’s blacker than the night and eyes that burn like red coals. These ‘Black Dogs’ appear and disappear in a moment, and can be solid as any true dog or thin as smoke whenever they wish. Black Dogs are one of the more complicated paranormal phenomena reported, both having a clearly legendary base of stories coupled with claims of first and second-hand actual sightings and encounters. Are they a story that has come to be mistaken for real? Or are they a real phenomena that has been cloaked in myth? It’s unlikely a clear answer will ever be found. Most tales and reports of Black Dogs come from Great Britain, but they have generally been reported all across Europe with some newer reports from the United States. Black dogs are often associated with lonely stretches of road, crossroads, churches, and places people have been executed; in older folklore, these creatures were variously explained as the ghosts of murdered or executed people, harbingers of death, or an earthly manifestation of the Devil…”
There is, however, another angle to all of this. It’s the matter of the PBDs having the ability to transform into other forms – and of us becoming Phantom Black Dogs. In other words, we’re talking about multiple shapeshifting. We begin with England’s Newgate Prison, the origins of which date way back to 1188. It was, however, in the 1500s that Newgate Prison earned its reputation as a definitive hellhole. During this period food for the people of London was at its lowest. Malnutrition, starvation, and death were very much the order of the day. Behind the walls of Newgate, however, things were even worse. If such a thing was possible. Yes, unfortunately, it was. Old texts and manuscripts tell of nightmarish scenarios in which the starving, desperate prisoners turned upon one another, literally eating each other alive in cramped, filthy cells and amid a sickening and ever-growing stench of rotting, human flesh.
An number of old manuscripts were compiled after the mayhem was finally over. They tell a strange story. One tells a very strange story. Its title, in quaint, old-English style, was: The Discovery of a London Monster, called The Blacke Dogg of Newgate: Profitable for all Readers to Take Heed by. Rowlands said that at the very height of the terrible, cannibalistic activity – which even the guards were fearful of trying to stop, lest they, too, became food for the prisoners – a huge black dog suddenly manifested in one of the larger cells, a cell that held more than a dozen criminals.
Rowlands continued that panic-filled mayhem erupted as the red-eyed, canine fiend rampaged around the room, tearing into the bodies of the emaciated prisoners, and ripping away skin, and crunching down on weakened bones. With the cell turned into what looked like some ghoulish slaughterhouse, and the prisoners all quickly and violently dead, the monstrous hound suddenly vanished – as if into thin air itself. Word quickly got around that the supernatural, killer dog was the shape-shifted form of one of the prisoners. He was a man who had been devoured by his fellow prisoners several days earlier, and who had returned in the form of a diabolical hound to take out his very own, unique form of lethal justice. Could it be that there is much more to the Phantom Black Dogs than meets the eye? Maybe, they are not just ghostly dogs. Perhaps, in light of the above, they’re actually not dogs at all. We have seen from the data above that they could exist in both human and canine form. Possibly, they could turn into multiple forms. There’s one creature that is said to be able to do exactly that: the Middle Eastern Djinn, the subject of my next article.