You Ain't Nothing But a Ghost Dog

Aberystwyth Wales - This town on the west coast of England has been the home of the "Ghost Dog of Wales" since 1905. It was during the summer of that year that 13 year old Sandra Ketchum first claim to have seen a "glowing dog running along the crest of the hill" She described his eyes as "red as coal" with a coat that "shimmered under the moonlight with a green glow" Nonbelievers often point to the fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published "The Hound of the Baskervilles" just 3 years prior to this first sighting of the ghost dog in 1902. The local paper of the time "The Objective Reporter" published a column which said that "Although the dog may have been a vision inspired by Doyle's story, it's been noted for years that the area around our town has been the haunting ground of many a spirit and home to the fairy folk in time gone by. Perhaps little Ketchum's vision was shaped by the written word but the power behind may have been fashioned from the supernatural."

Hubert Maxwell claimed to have seen the ghost dog of Wales in 1934

Other vague visions of the ghost dog and his echoing howled continued over the years. They culminated in 1934 when a respected banker, Hubert Maxwell, claimed to have been attacked by the animal..

Maxwell lived on the outskirts of the town proper in a small manor house bequeathed to him by his father. He was fond of taking walks around the estate after his evening meal and it was on such a walk in the fall of 1934 when the attack occurred. His story was reported in the local paper.

"I had just turned the North corner of the back field when I heard a noise fit to wake the dead. It was a dog's baying howl but like none I had heard before. Long and drawn out it echoed around me in such a way that I could not place where it was coming from."

With night fast approaching, Maxwell decided to end his walk early and head back to the house.

"I hadn't got more than 10 paces toward the main hall when I heard the noise again. This time I could tell it was coming from straight ahead of me where our tool shed was. I attempted to verve away from the area but as soon as I turned the corner I could see the animal."

Maxwell's description of the animal was near identical to the girl's 29 years earlier.

"It was a dog but larger than most with hell's flint in it's eyes and the glow of the damned in it's fur. It looked at me and barred a mouth full of sharpened teeth. I knew I had to get away from the animal and started running toward the main house, screaming bloody murder. I felt it grab my pant's leg and pull back. I shook my leg forward and heard the tweed ripping. It growled at me then, a deep sound full of hate, but I batted behind me with my walking stick. I must have hit him because he let go."

It was then that Maxwell's housekeeper came out the backdoor and switched on the light to see what the commotion was about. She reported seeing Maxwell and "a glowing shape" behind him As soon as the light came on the shape turned away and disappeared back toward the field.

The next day Maxwell and his neighbor searched the field for evidence but found no prints or tracks. Maxwell's walking stick was discovered and the end had evidence of charring as if it had been stuck in a fire. Many residents of the town have seen the charred pole since Maxwell kept it on his fireplace mantel for many years after the fact.


- "Ghost Dog of Wales" Strange Facts of the Unknown World published in 1978 by Register Press

photo of Hubert Maxwell, originally published in "The Reporter" Aberystwyth Wales newspaper, 1934

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