The Pendle Witches and the Black Dog.

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posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 11:36 AM
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The story of the trial and execution of the Pendle Witches is local history for me living in the area, and there are aspects to the story that continue to intrigue, not least is the part played by the Black Dog whose nature and origins i shall investigate here, with conclusions that may perhaps surprise...




This documentary is a very good one with regards to the general background of the story, with an emphasis on the young girl Jennet who was a key witness against her family;





And for those who enjoy being scared this paranormal investigation show video makes for entertaining viewing;





This is a most informative website regarding the events;

www.pendlewitches.co.uk...


But as i mentioned i want to concentrate on the role of the Black Dog spiritual familiar, which first appeared to Mother Demdike and then to other family members of Malkin Tower were they resided;



About twenty years ago, she said, she was returning home from begging, when, near a stone pit in Newchurch-in-Pendle, she met a spirit or devil in the shape of a boy, with one half of his coat brown and the other half black, who said to her, if she would give him her soul, she should have all that she might desire. After a little further talk, during which he told her that his name was Tibb, he vanished away. For five or six years Mother Demdike never asked any kind of help or harm of Tibb, who always came to her at “daylight gate” (twilight); but one Sabbath morning, she having her little child on her knee, and being in a light slumber, Tibb came to her in the likeness of a brown dog, and forced himself on her knee, trying to get blood from under her left arm







On 30th April 1612 Alizon she was called in front of local magistrate Roger Nowell at Read Hall together with her Mother Elizabeth and brother James. Under interrogation, Alizon confessed that it was her who had caused the peddler to collapse, and then went on to claim that her grandmother Demdike had often asked her to allow a demon in the form of a black dog to come to her.







And so not long after these persuasions, she being walking towards the Roughlee, in a close of one John Robinson's, there appeared unto her a thing like unto a black dog: speaking unto her and desiring her to give him her soul, and he would give her power to do any thing she would: whereupon she being therewithal enticed, and setting her down; the said black dog did with his mouth (as she then thought) suck at her breast, a little below her paps, which place did remain blue half a year next after: which said black-dog did not appear to her, until the eighteenth day of march last:






Perhaps then the question is was the Black Dog the familiar of the witches are were they the familiars of the Black Dog, and who was he...?

The ghostly Black Dog or hound of Hell is common in folklore throughout Britain, far more so than anywhere else in the world, often seen as the Devil himself


The conflict between the Christian church and older pagan religions continued in Europe
through the Middle Ages into the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Pagan rituals and alternate
beliefs were considered to be witchcraft and the work of the Devil. The role that dogs, and
particularly black dogs, played in these rituals, combined with the biblical treatment of dogs
as unclean and unworthy, led Christians to relate dogs with evil.

A black dog was believed to be one of the Devil’s favourite animal forms and numerous folk-tales and books made reference to the Devil appearing on earth as a dog. In 1450, a decree issued by Henry VI of England against the rebel Jack Cade used as evidence the accusation that Cade had ‘rered up the Devell in semblance of a blak dogge’.

Milton, in the 1674 Paradise Lost, tells of Sin and Death, the spawn of Satan, being let loose from Hell to ‘waste and havoc’ the world. In the story, God calls Sin and Death ‘dogs of Hell’ and ‘Hell-Hounds’.In the eighteenth century, Goethe’s version of the story of Faust, who trades his soul for favours from the Devil, has Mephistopheles appear as a large black poodle.

Witches were believed to be servants of the Devil, who would give them a familiar, a demon
in animal form who acted as the Devil’s representative. People also thought that a witch, like the Devil, could transform into an animal. A black dog one of the more common forms a transformed witch or her familiar might take and witch hunters used a person’s pet black dog or a sighting of a black dog as evidence of evil

The presence of black dogs is referred to in sixteenth and seventeenth century witch trials in places as widely separated as New England and Denmark. Cornelius Agrippa, a philosopher of the 1500s, was persecuted for nonconventional beliefs; his pet black dog was presented as evidence of his sorcery


Black Dog in Folklore




Black Dogs on the loose

So there was much paranoia regarding Black Dogs, but thmore deep rooted tradition in Britain were the dogs were seen as psychopomps of the Dead along spiritual pathways, which would accord with the meetings in the Pendle area of the Black Dog on the pathway;


some of the locations that these dogs tend to haunt Leylines and features variously known as Corpse Ways or Spirit Paths. These ancient paths folklore tells us used to run to churches and the spirits used to travel along them from graveyard to graveyard.


Ghostly Black Dogs


The point is then that it wasn't just the Pendle witches that were encountering the spirits of Black Dogs, this was a phenomena extensive in Britain.

In amy of the sightings the description of the dog actually owes more to a Black Wolf, which i would beleive is what lies behind the tradition;





Wolves of course hunted to extinction in Britain, but i would suggest this archetype dates back thousands of years, and was an aspect of the cult of Hyperborean Apollo, in his primeval Lycian form, which related to Celestial North as place of ultimate darkness and first origins, and thus the region of the Underworld and associations with death.

This Black wolf form would be his first aspect of emergence in Shamanic tradition, and would explain why the Black Dog tradition is so prevalent in Britain, as this was long the hsacred ground of Hyperborean Apollo, as i outlined here;

Stonehenge Temple of Apollo


The Black Dog was not always seen as evil;



In the folklore of Lincolnshire, the black dog was not feared, as it only appeared to good people, whom it escorted and protected. In one tale, a black dog leads home a man lost on a freezing night and, in another, the black dog leads a person to a hidden cache of gold and silver.

If the dog’s existence was tolerated quietly, then the witness was usually safe



Thus befriending the Black Dog was not entirely unreasonable behaviour on the part of the witches...




posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 05:14 PM
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Some of the trial transcripts indicate that there were elements of incubii and sucubii phenomena associated with the case, as well as astral travel, facilitated by the spiritual familiars;



"The Confession of Margaret Johnson.

"That betwixt seaven and eight yeares since, shee beeinge in her owne house in Marsden, in a greate passion of anger and discontent, and withall pressed with some want, there appeared unto her a spirit or devill in ye proportion or similitude of a man, apparrelled in a suite of blacke, tyed about with silk points, who offered yt if shee would give him her soule hee would supply all her wants, and bringe to her whatsoever shee did neede. And at her appointment would in revenge either kill or hurt whom or what shee desyred, weare it man or beast. And saith, yt after a solicitation or two shee contracted and covenanted with ye said devill for her soule. And yt ye said devill or spirit badde her call him by the name of Mamilian. And when shee would have him to doe any thinge for her, call in Mamilian, and hee would bee ready to doe her will. And saith, yt in all her talke or conference shee calleth her said devill, Mamil my God. Shee further saith, yt ye said Mamilian, her devill, (by her consent) did abuse and defile her body by comittinge wicked uncleannesse together

And if they would torment a man, they bid theire spirit goe and tormt. him in any particular place. And yt Good-Friday is one constant day for a yearely generall meetinge of witches. And yt on Good-Friday last, they had a meetinge neare Pendle water syde. Shee alsoe saith, that men witches usually have women spirits, and women witches men spirits. And theire devill or spirit gives them notice of theire meetinge, and tells them the place where it must bee. And saith, if they desyre to be in any place upon a sodaine, theire devill or spirit will upon a rodde, dogge, or any thinge els, presently convey them[lxxv] thither: yea, into any roome of a man's house. But shee saith it is not the substance of theire bodies, but theire spirit assumeth such form and shape as goe into such roomes.


The Examination of Iames Deuice of the Forrest of Pendle


Iames Deuice sayth, that about a month agoe, as this Examinate was comming towards his Mothers house, and at day-gate of the same night, Euening. this Examinate mette a browne Dogge comming from his Graund-mothers house, about tenne Roodes distant from the same house: and about two or three nights after, that this Examinate heard a voyce of a great number of Children screiking and crying pittifully, about day-light gate; and likewise, about ten Roodes distant of this Examinates sayd Graund-mothers house. And about fiue nights then next following, presently after daylight, within 20. Roodes of the sayd Elizabeth Sowtherns house, he heard a foule yelling like vnto a great number of Cattes: but what they were, this Examinate cannot tell. And he further sayth, that about three nights after that, about midnight of the same, there came a thing, and lay vpon him very heauily about an houre, and went then from him out of his Chamber window, coloured blacke, and about the bignesse of a Hare or Catte.



Discovery of Witches


It's aspects like these that indicate there was actual magical practise involved in the Pendle case



posted on Jul, 8 2013 @ 08:49 PM
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For more shaggy black dog stories - in particular about Black Shuck, the name the hound goes by in the eastern counties of England - this is an excellent source: www.hiddenea.com...



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:04 AM
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It's all complete nonsense of course. Just like witches today, these people were frauds who tricked people for financial gain. And like people today some of them really believed in it. But hey, you can find hundreds of ATS members with beliefs every bit as fanciful.

Much of the story boils down to two competing families throwing accusations at each other. Throw in frustrated Catholic rulers mad that locals wouldn't take to catholicism and abandon their old religions and superstitions and you have a couple of nutters being killed for witch craft.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:39 AM
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It is threads like these I love to read. The pagan religions are a favorite topic of mine.
A star and flag for you kantzveldt!



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:46 AM
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Great thread really well done OP.
I know about the Pendle witches due to Moorhouses beer Pendle witches brew
, the Moorhouses rep told the the tale and I saw the documentary in your OP, I don't think they were guilty, maybe a little odd but I don't believe in it really.
Those days were brutal for anyone who was different and many of the witch hunters got payed by the amount they found so they made stuff up to get more money.
I would like to say the world has changed but beleive me there are people who post on ATS who would love to burn others for who they are it would just be Gay folk burnt not witches.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 04:47 AM
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reply to post by SummerLightning
 



Thanks, the same connections can be seen happening in Anglia as did in Lancashire, were the dog is known as Skriker, because of his howling.



The earliest record I've found from England dates from the arrest proclamation for the rebel Jack Cade in 1450, when he was accused of having "rered upp the Divell in the semblaunce of a black dogge" at Dartford in Kent. Conjuring up such beasts, or having them as familiars, is common in the annals of witchcraft, but does not form part of the mythos of Shuck and his ghostly brethren. Nevertheless, I've included in this collection a couple of instances from Suffolk in 1645 where an accused witch has confessed to meeting with an unnatural dog (or the Devil in that form) - but only because they sound very much like standard phantom encounters, one with even a pre-existing local tradition.



It's interesting that when they were making the 'Most Haunted' show at Pendle they were initially spooked by all the dogs in the area giving off a terrible howling, but they weren't aware of the connection between the witches and the howling dog.



reply to post by GrandStrategy
 




It isn't all complete nonsense, just like, as you mention, the experiences of those at ATS who claim out of body experiences, strange nocturnal visitations and such like isn't all complete nonsense, there is an underlying real phenomena to the tales of the Black Dog and its association with witches.
edit on 9-7-2013 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 05:18 AM
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reply to post by boymonkey74
 



The documentary is quite well balanced, it does make the case that there were those among the accused who probably did see themselves as witches, that the Law stated this was illegal and punishable by death, and so they couldn't have much to complain about, its thus a question of what the Law should concern itself with and not realities of witch craft.


The reality of what i would consider to be a tradition dating back to Shamanic practise and wolves is to me a quite beautiful one, the wolf can still be sensed as an unseen presence along the ancient pathways, if you are intuitive, and was put into a context of sorts in the movie 'The Company of Wolves'






reply to post by ditchweed
 



Well thank you kindly.
edit on 9-7-2013 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 08:17 AM
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reply to post by Kantzveldt
 


These woman much as those at salem in the US were innocent and the fact that there bones were missing only suggests that there relatives sneaked in and took them to bury them on consecrated ground.
The vilest man in the history of the UK was undoubtedly one Matthew Hopkins witch finder general,
en.wikipedia.org...
Now think about this, a woman or young pretty girl arouses the jealousy of some one or turns down a proposal and the allegation's fly, the so called witch finder then takes that young woman for an INTIMITE inspection looking for the mark of the devil and if she protests or claims anything well she is a witch and he would not let his victims live anyway, many old wise woman were Christians but knew old remedy's and under there twisted logic that made them magic potion's, of course there may have been some whom still held old pagan beliefs but they were few in number and there paganism did not make them witches either.

We have commemorated the victims of other atrocity's but why after so much time have we still never acknowledged the injustice that these women suffered,.

Pendle should be totally ashamed making money of this injustice and celebrating what to all intent's and purposes was murder, If any of these woman were witches then even so whom has done worse there.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 08:57 AM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
It's all complete nonsense of course. Just like witches today, these people were frauds who tricked people for financial gain. And like people today some of them really believed in it. But hey, you can find hundreds of ATS members with beliefs every bit as fanciful.
There are plenty of witches around today and they go quietly about their beliefs with no scamming or fraud entering the equation at all. You are basing your comments on the storybook variety...a slur perpetrated by Christianity to extinguish the old faith.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 10:23 AM
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reply to post by LABTECH767
 



I think it's generally acknowledged nowadays that there was injustice and hysteria involved in the witch hunts, but in the case of Pendle some involved did readily consider themselves witches, and were judged according to the Laws of the day.


It's this fact that there were seemingly real witches involved that explains why the events are so widely celebrated in the area, i've been up pendle Hill myself several times on Halloween, it's fun and local tradition and there are commercial and popularization aspects that derive from this, but also we like to sense the underlying sense of dark forboding powers that are outside of the everyday experiance, to re-aquaint ourselves with this greater reality, in that sense it is a pilgrimage, of sorts...perhaps we are still a backwards and superstitious people lol





posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by JohnnyCanuck

Originally posted by GrandStrategy
It's all complete nonsense of course. Just like witches today, these people were frauds who tricked people for financial gain. And like people today some of them really believed in it. But hey, you can find hundreds of ATS members with beliefs every bit as fanciful.
There are plenty of witches around today and they go quietly about their beliefs with no scamming or fraud entering the equation at all. You are basing your comments on the storybook variety...a slur perpetrated by Christianity to extinguish the old faith.


Okay, just like SOME witches today. The Pendle Witches weren't actually walking around with demon dogs is the point, they were exploiting the gullible and trying to make money with tall tales and bogus magic.

People like to turn to and fetishize history because it's easy. The however many thousands/millions of witches in the world today are apparently unable to offer any evidence of their credibility, instead we're told historical fairytales



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 11:25 AM
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Originally posted by Kantzveldt
reply to post by LABTECH767
 



I think it's generally acknowledged nowadays that there was injustice and hysteria involved in the witch hunts, but in the case of Pendle some involved did readily consider themselves witches, and were judged according to the Laws of the day.


It's this fact that there were seemingly real witches involved that explains why the events are so widely celebrated in the area, i've been up pendle Hill myself several times on Halloween, it's fun and local tradition and there are commercial and popularization aspects that derive from this, but also we like to sense the underlying sense of dark forboding powers that are outside of the everyday experiance, to re-aquaint ourselves with this greater reality, in that sense it is a pilgrimage, of sorts...perhaps we are still a backwards and superstitious people lol






You make it sound like locals actually believe the Pendle Witches had magic powers and that witchcraft religions are valid.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by GrandStrategy
People like to turn to and fetishize history because it's easy. The however many thousands/millions of witches in the world today are apparently unable to offer any evidence of their credibility, instead we're told historical fairytales
Wicca is a recognised religion. It seems that you are belittling adherents for not living up to the hooey you've been fed about witches. You might want to take a look at the old religions in their own right, and not as painted by the faith that demonised them in order to supplant them.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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Really interested in the black dog theory. The North is ladened with this black dog or sometimes known as the Barghest having being seen in York, Whitby and most famously at Trollers Gill near Grassington (around 25 miles away). Barghest was meant to be the northern equivalent of the hound of the baskervilles a large black dog with eyes like saucers.

Superstition and witchcraft was very much practised in the rural areas of the north (North Yorkshire moors and Dales) much longer than when it had died out in the cities. Some of this is still visible today (I have seen trees elaborately decorated in Clapham about 15 miles from Pendle)



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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Led Zeppelin - Black Dog
The song's title is a reference to a nameless, black Labrador retriever that wandered around the Headley Grange studios during recording. The dog is unrelated to the song's lyrics (although the line "Eyes that shine burning red" is reminiscent of the Black Dog legend), which are about desperate desire for a woman's love and the happiness it provides.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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reply to post by Kantzveldt
 


Interesting thread....S&F!

Once upon a time, while riding my bike past a lovely old house, I had a bit of an odd encounter with a rather large, very black dog.....A few years later I met the owner of the house, a rather sweet old lady who was also a practicing medium....I mentioned that I had previously made the aquaintence of her black dog, but she sweetly denied ownership.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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dbl post!
edit on 9-7-2013 by frayed1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by Kantzveldt
 


It's one thing being up on Pendle Hill on Halloween when there are lots of people around, but you need to go up there on a cold winter night when there's nobody about to get a real feel of the eeriness of the location. Being up there alone with nothing but an over-active imagination for comapany, black dogs and witches would probably be among the least frightening things your mind could conjure up. A sheep running out of a hedge would likely send you off screaming in the direction of the nearest cottage, back in the witch trial days.

edit on 9-7-2013 by IvanAstikov because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by GrandStrategy
 



A lot of people do think they were real witches with real powers, but not neccesarily a valid religion.



reply to post by templar knight
 



The best explanation for that name is perhaps Berg-Geiste or Mountain Ghost from the Germanic


reply to post by blaqueice
 



According to the Manics the black dog comes with domestic tedium once you get wed lol







reply to post by IvanAstikov
 



Thats probably why i don't do such things...
edit on 9-7-2013 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)





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