Monday, 5 March 2018

The Story Behind the Story: The Boggart of Fairy Falls…

Black Dog by Christopher-Manuel

In the first book of my teen psychic mystery series entitled, Lost and Found: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, I have a character named Boggart. I’ve even devoted an entire chapter to him. I describe him as a big, black dog who is part pit bull, part hound…and part insane. I don’t blame him really. After all, the poor dog was found at the dump, in the place where Boggart says “stinks, where there’s lots of ugly smells, and lots of birds.” Now before you start feeling sorry for this poor mutt, don’t. Boggart is a force to be reckoned with. And trust me, he should be. Although I named him after a type of Bogey hobgoblin in English folklore that has poltergeist habits, he also has the qualities of the terrifying spirit called Black Dog.

Like my fictional canine, a Boggart can be helpful and sociable with some people (like my main character Meagan Walsh), but most often Boggarts are mischievous, annoying, and frightening. Without making a visual appearance, the Boggart makes itself known by playing tricks on people, such as pulling off their bedclothes. Sometimes Boggart acts are accompanied by terrible noises or laughter. Boggarts can also be mean and nasty, and have been known to scratch, punch, and pinch people. Yikes! The friendly household Boggart, however, acts much like a brownie and will work hard washing, cleaning, and doing heavy farm work if treated well. Hmm…where can I get me one of these creatures? On the flipside, if upset, this spirit will destroy or displace everything in the house and farm buildings.

Black Dog (a.k.a. Black Hound or Black Shuck) is a type of fiend described as a shaggy-haired black dog about the size of a calf with enormous glowing, fiery red eyes. Some are reported to be malicious, and some can be quite benevolent at times. Black Dogs are usually encountered on lonely tracks, ancient roads and crossroads, bridges, and entrances—the places of transition in human lives. They are normally benign if left alone, however to meet Black Dog means death within a year. There are well known instances of Black Dogs appearing to lost travelers or frightened girls traveling alone and guiding them safely home. These creatures also have been known to protect those under attack. Now that sounds like a great guard dog to me!

When I found through my research that Boggarts inhibit a house, churchyard, or live in a body, such as that of a cat or dog, I had a lightbulb moment. I decided to create my own Boggart, making him resemble the Black Dog of English folklore, and added him to my cast of furry characters in Lost and Found. I have to say Boggart transformed into more of a guard dog, than a beast, knowing his job was to protect at all costs, and loyal to the end. But to be on the safe side, if you ever find yourself wandering on one of the back roads in Fairy Falls after dark, make sure you check over your shoulder now and then. Oh, and bring a flashlight. Boggarts abhor the light.


  1. Sounds like an interesting character, Sharon and your series sounds amazing! Here's wishing you many sales!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! Yes, Boggart was interesting and fun to research! Cheers and thanks for stopping by!