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Church of St John the Baptist, Northorpe

According to tradition, the churchyard of the Grade I listed St John the Baptist’s Church in Northorpe was reputedly haunted by a black dog. In County Folk-Lore, By Mrs Gutch and Mabel Peacock, 1908 they state that the dog ‘went by the well-known name of the Bargest’.

They go to say ‘I have conversed with several trustworthy persons, who said that they had seen this creature. At another village somewhat further off, there was an old lame man, who was reputed to be a wizard, and who, it was affirmed, was in the habit of turning himself into a dog and biting cattle. I know a man still alive who is quite sure that he has seen old in a canine form, but never witnessed the transformation. A neighbour of his is reported to have been more fortunate. He saw, on one occasion, a black dog biting his cattle, and, running to the rescue, beheld it turned into the old wizard. I have heard this story from more than one person to whom he has narrated it.’

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