Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sherlock Holmes For Thursday...!

As most of my readers know, I'm a really big fan of Sherlock Holmes, and all things relating to his creation by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I believe that I've read most all of his books and stories pertaining to Sherlock.

However, this post isn't about Doyle but rather about one of his most famous stories involving Holmes. That would be the story of the "Hound of the Baskervilles" and it's inspiration!

The Creepy Inspiration For ‘Hound Of The Baskervilles’
By Debra Kelly on Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One of the most popular of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles tells the tale of a family haunted by a curse that’s exacted by a vicious hellhound. The legend behind the story is that of a despised, feared, and hated man named Richard Cabell. Cabell supposedly sold his soul to the Devil, and after being entombed in a sepulchre by villagers fearful he would rise from the dead, Satan’s hellhounds returned to the grave every night, howling in frustration at being denied access to their soul.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes stories. For those not familiar with the story, Holmes sends Watson off to investigate a mysterious murder surrounded by stories of a mysterious, spectral hound seen roaming the hills of Devonshire, supposedly part of a curse on the Baskerville family that has been haunting them for generations.

A great story, no doubt, but the real legend that it’s based on is no less creepy.

According to legend, a man named Richard Cabell lived in West Buckfastleigh in the late 17th century. A squire by trade, he was, by all accounts, an absolutely hated man known for his violent tendencies. Supposedly his family had supported the wrong side during the English Civil War, and Richard ended up marrying the daughter of the man who had imposed fines on the family and sent them into financial ruin. The marriage meant that he got his estate back, but the ending was anything but happy.

The locals were convinced that he had sold his soul to the Devil, apparently finding this a much more likely explanation for the return of his fortunes than the idea that he was just a stand-up sort of guy.

In an absolutely unproven version of Cabell’s story, it was said that his wife eventually found herself the target of his rage. (Death records show, however, that the historic wife actually outlived him by more than a decade.) Cabell was said to have chased her out onto the moors in a jealous rage one night, killing her. In retaliation, her faithful hound ripped out his throat.

Cabell was laid to rest in the local church, but the villagers were afraid that he would rise from the grave and return to torment them. Instead of a simple grave, he was buried in a sepulchre lined with iron bars and a tomb sealed with a massive slab, all designed to keep him inside.

Almost immediately, villagers claimed to hear hounds howling in the night, pacing outside of his grave. Naturally, they were the hounds of hell, sent by the Devil to collect the soul that he’d been promised. Other stories claim that the sepulchre is regularly visited by demons, hoping to succeed where the hounds have failed.

That’s not the end of the weirdness, either.

Beneath the graveyard is a series of limestone caves, stretching for miles and once home to—oddly—prehistoric hippos. Deep in the caves beneath the grave of Richard Cabell is a strange formation, occurring where a stalagmite and a stalactite have come together. Known as the Little Man, it’s said to look a little too much like a man in 17th-century clothing.

Even today, it’s said that if you run around the grave seven times and then reach through the iron bars of the tomb, Cabell will start chewing on your fingers.

There’s definitely some non-supernatural weirdness going on around his grave as well. Not long after he was buried there, the cemetery became a popular haunt for body snatchers. The church attached to it has been struck by lightning, partially destroyed by fire more than once, and decimated by German bombs during World War II. Rumor has it that it’s also a favorite haunt for Satanists, but the church now stands empty and gutted after the latest fire.

Now don't you just love the fact that I dig up these strange and weird facts to share with you? I love to share this kind of stuff!

Coffee out on the patio this morning. I'm thinking some lemon pie would go good with the coffee.


Mamahen said...

Definitely a post I should havd waited for dawn before reading lol....I'll meet you n the patio...later ....much later lol

Gorges Smythe said...

Old Sherlock was one of my favorites in my youth.

Chickenmom said...

Good one, Mr. Hermit! I wonder if kids read Sherlock anymore. Save me a slice of that lemon pie!

linda m said...

I love the stories that you dig up to share with us. Thank you so much; they make for a great start to my day. Patio sounds good. Save me a slice of pie.

JO said...

Now I will have to look into getting this book. Hope they have it in Kindle.

Good to join in for coffee this morning. Missed joining in. Pass the pot please.

edifice rex said...

Well, that's pretty weird and creepy. lol! I always loved the story and the old movie wasn't bad either.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
Not exactly a story that lends itself to pleasant dreams, I reckon.

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Gorges...
Mine also! I still enjoy them.

Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Phyllis...
They probably don't read as much as we used to. That's a shame really.

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Linda M...
I'm glad that you like them. It's fun looking them up!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Jo...
Sherlock is always a good read. I'll bet they have him on Kindle.

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Anne...
I think I've seen most all the movies as well!

Nothing like a little weirdness to start the day, right?

Thanks for coming over today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Creepy is my bag. I love creepy stories, especially the ones that are suppose to be true. Keep up the good work, HJ.

HermitJim said...

Hey Dizzy... Maybe I should start a creepy day, kinda like western Wednesday!

Thanks for the idea and for coming by this morning!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Yes, Jim, please do start a creepy day.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Yes, Jim, please do start a creepy day.