As this horse approached, and as I watched for it to appear through the dusk, I remembered certain of Bessie's tales, wherein figured a North-of-England spirit called a "Gytrash," which, in the form of horse, mule, or large dog, haunted solitary ways, and sometimes came upon belated travellers, as this horse was now coming upon me.
Nothing ever rode the Gytrash: it was always alone; and goblins, to my notions, though they might tenant the dumb carcasses of beasts, could scarce covet shelter in the commonplace human form.
Instead, all alone, sitting upright on the rug, and gazing with gravity at the blaze, I beheld a great black and white long-haired dog, just like the Gytrash of the lane.
She interprets the sound of his approaching horse with the popular Yorkshire myth of the Gytrash
, a predatory mimic that was said to haunt "solitary ways" in the guise of a horse, mule, or large dog in order to prey upon belated travelers.
They're coming this way!" And then we were running for the car as we heard the unsettling baying sounds of the "Moggan Tar" - also known as the Death Dogs, the gytrash
, and a dozen other names in tongues of Gaelic, Saxon and mongrel English.