black dogs

black dogs
   Spectral animals associated with demonic powers, death, and disaster. Phantom black dogs are widespread in folklore. They are said to be DEMONs or the DEVIL in shape-shifted form or a demonic animal companion of demons.
   Spectral black dogs are often unusually large and have glowing red or yellow eyes. They give out an unearthly, bone-chilling howl. They like to roam remote areas of the countryside. The sight of one is a harbinger of death or disaster.
   Sometimes spectral black dogs appear in the middle of lonely roads. If they are struck by a car, they disappear and the vehicle is not damaged.
   One famous black dog in English folklore is Black Shuck. Shuck derives from an old Anglo-Saxon term, scucca or sceocca, meaning “demon” or “Satan.” During the European witch hunts, witches were often said to have FAMILIARs in the form of black dogs, or to be visited by their master, the Devil, in the shape of a black dog.
   In Arabian lore, black dogs are a favorite form taken by the DJINN. If a djinn becomes attached to a human, it may assume the shape of a black dog in order to get close to that person.

Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology. . 2009.

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