"The feared gigantic demon dog - bred by the vampire to serve and protect. These foulest of creations cause terror to anyone that has displeased their master. The barguest can move at the speed of the fastest steed, its powerful jaws render limbs from a man with ease and razor sharpened back bones can disembowel a horse at the gallop."
So, the Barguest, a terrifying spectral hound, with fierce, flaming eyes and frightful table manners has cemented its place in English folklore with sightings throughout the country, but with a predominance to the bleak moors of Yorkshire Dales. In fact the legend of a monstrous black dog is believed, by some, to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.
For me these Hell Hounds brought to mind the legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, where an animal of unknown origin described as having, "a big head, reddish flanks, a black stripe on its back and a thick tail", terrorised an area of France in the Margeride Mountains between 1764 and 1767. The legend has subsequently been brought to life in the oh so French, but oh so wonderful 'Brotherhood of the Wolf''. A film by Christophe Gans, this is a strange creation fitting, as it does, into a multitude of genres namely, French, historical, horror, action and even martial arts. Starring Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Emilie Dequenne, Vincent Cassel and the eminently watchable, Monica Bellucci - certainly worth a look if you not come across it before.