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Althalus

The Wild Hunt

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The Wild Hunt is a common feature of northern mythologies. Other names by which it is known are:

The Hounds of Hell

The Yeth Hounds

The Gabriel Hounds

The Seven Whistlers and

The Irish Hounds

In the Norse pantheon the leader of the Hunt is Woden (Odin), who careered across the sky followed by his pack of hounds in full cry. Yet long before the Norsemen invaded the British Isles the Celts too had their Dogs of Hell (Annwn) who behaved in exactly the same manner. Later, as Christianity superseded the old religions, the Wild Hunt came to be known as a host of Demons led by the Devil.

What were they hunting?

In Norse mythology anyone who crossed their path was fair game. He was liable to be snatched up and transported to a distant land, and he must never speak of his experiences, for even to mention the Huntsman meant death. When the Huntsman became identified with the Devil his prey consisted mainly of Jews, Infidels and Un-baptised Children, though other mortals who put themselves under his power by their own misdeeds could also be the quarry. In some places the old myths became attached to a local person. In the Deverill valley in Wiltshire, for instance, Sir Henry Coker, who was notorious smuggler and thief, can be heard galloping around a tumulus on the downs on stormy nights, his horn and his hounds sounding. On Dartmoor the Huntsman is none other than Sir Francis Drake, who rides over the moors with a pack of black hounds at his heels. Whoever hears it may regard it as a sign of his approaching death.

The name Gabriel Hounds is said to be associated with ‘gabbara’ or ‘gabares’, a corpse.

The Seven Whistlers is a descriptive term associated with the sounds that the Hounds made as they travelled. While Yeth Hounds is a corruption of Heath Hounds.

A study of the numerous manifestations of the Hounds of Hell, soon reveals that they are often heard but very seldom seen, and attempts to describe their calls seems to indicate a probable identification. They are migrating birds of species that call when in flight, those that best match the description are the:

Wild Goose

Curlew

Whimbrel

Golden Plover and the

Wigeon

Dartmoor on the other hand is rich in tales of the Wild Hunt. They try to chase terrified travellers to the edge of Dewerstone Rock and make them fall off. People who have made a pact with the Devil not knowing who he was have been carried off by him, as the Huntsman.

In Norse mythology Odin has associations with the Valkyries, Battle-maidens who by reading the omens in entrails, decide on the person to be slain in the forthcoming battle., they are sometimes depicted as riding on the backs of wolves and this could have been the Huntsman and the Hell Hounds origins.

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Dartmoor on the other hand is rich in tales of the Wild Hunt

Oh yes it is. And people that work on the moor do enjoy telling tales of what they have "seen" and "heard" esp when you have a group of sixteen/seventeen year olds that are going to spend a night up on the Moor. dry.gif

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When the Huntsman became identified with the Devil his prey consisted mainly of Jews, Infidels and Un-baptised Children, though other mortals who put themselves under his power by their own misdeeds could also be the quarry.

This seems to me to be either another psychological trick used by Christianity on their flocks to keep them in line with the teachings :- baptise your children, do not adopt other religions and do not forsake Christianity, or it is a way of keeping people away from the lonely places for fear of their own safety...

dry.gif

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Or Loonboy , and you know I think your great but.......maybe it is just the feeble mind expressing itself in a way that shows insecurity and and a need for excitement.

Not to mention a really good story with all my favorite aspects including revenge ( pleaaaese excuse me I been drinkin) (((lots))) biggrin.gif

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I have been baptised but I am pretty sure I still wouldn't want to get stuck in a dark alley with one of those.

>

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