Online Encyclopedia

GABRIEL HOUNDS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 381 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GABRIEL HOUNDS, a spectral pack supposed in the North of England to foretell death by their yelping at night. The legend is that they are the souls of unbaptized children wandering through the air till the day of judgment. They are also some-times called Gabriel or Gabble Ratchet. A very prosaic ex-planation of this nocturnal noise is given by J. C. Atkinson in his Cleveland Glossary (1868). "This," he writes, " is the name for a yelping sound heard at night, more or less resembling the cry of hounds or yelping of dogs, probably due to large flocks of wild geese which chance to be flying by night." See further Joseph Lucas, Studies in Nidderdale (1882), pp. 156-157.
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