Ghost Dog of Devon

Informant: Valerie is a 61-year-old, born and raised in Dorking, England. She moved to Pennsylvania at 40, and to San Diego at 45. She still regularly visits England, where all her family still live. Her father was from the county of Devon in England.

Main Piece: “When I was younger, my family and I would take trips to around Devon. And sometimes when it was nighttime, my dad would tell us about a big, black dog that would go around Devon. It was a ghost dog, and it would go around howling at night. Seeing it would be dangerous, so we always got very scared when we heard a dog howl around there.”

Background Information about the Performance: The informant was told this as a child by her father. She remembers having been scared by the story, and would go on to recount the story later when she visited Devon again.

Context of Performance: The piece is told as a scary story to children – and presumably others – around the Devon region.

Thoughts: The black dog story is common around Britain, and my father had heard a similar story around Leeds. I am reminded of the Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, which takes place around Devon.