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Richard Senate: The Black Dog of the Ojai Valley

The Black Dog of the Ojai Valley


By Richard Senate

Artwork Ricardo Pustanio

 

There is a story told and retold of a great supernatural hound that haunts the area around Creek Road near Ojai. The story as told to me was that the huge beast was brought to the valley by a European Vampire who settled in the valley long ago. But, that was not the only account of the origins of the monster dog. One account said it was a war dog brought by the Spanish to hunt down or intimidate the Chumash people to keep them from leaving the Mission. One story even said that a Chumash medicine man had spoke out against the Spanish and told his people not to be tricked into leaving their ways and joining the Mission. The Spanish heard of this and a arty of soldiers went with the dog. When he refused to join the mission the great black dog was set upon him and killed him! The spirit of the medicine man then entered the hound and it turned on the Spanish soldiers. It leaped up and ripped out the throat of the Spanish officer and killed him. Now the supernatural beast haunts Creek Road. In a communication with a Chumash elder I was told yet another story. The accounts of their shamen becoming dogs as a shapeshifter are false and do not reflect Chumash traditions.

Ghost Dogs

“The discrepancies I found were, first with our Shaman returning as black animals to haunt the living...not true..our medicine is such that a return from Similaksa (the afterlife) is unnecessary..what you refer to are called Nunashish,or evil spirits who existed long before the Chumash. They are called upon to guard the sacred sites ,not Chumash as "dogs".

The massive spirit dog may not be the spirit of medicine men at all but, rather evil elemental spirit that was somehow conjured and set to guard a sacred site. This might account for the frightening nature of these beasts and for their attacks on people, something out of keeping with the Chumash people, living or dead.

The stories are logical only because the things are seen repeatedly and mostly by non-Native Americans. When they encounter such a creature it is natural that an answer needs to be found for the origins of the thing. So European Vampire stories and tales that may have their roots in Mexico are used to rationalize the supernatural being. Is there a sacred site along Creek Road? It is very possible. The historic record tells of a shrine located at Casitas Springs that held a sacred image. Other such shrines may have existed on the trail to the Ojai Valley that follows Creek Road.

One legend told in the valley, and one that has not one iota of proof, speaks of a massacre of Chumash people by Yankees in the Creek Road area. In the early 19th Century, the Chumash who didn’t join the Mission were attempting to continue their way of life. Ranchers blamed them for the deaths of cattle and theft of livestock. They were cornered and told they had to be moved to the missions. They refused, and in the confusion a gun battle erupted and the small band was murdered, men, women and children. This does sound a bit like the account attributed to the Mission Soldiers with the dog and might be the root of the tale. The one thing that is consistent is that the animal continues to be seen on Creek Road, Foster Park, and even as far down as the north Ventura Avenue. Those who have seen the creature agree on its massive size, some say its as large as a small horse or pony! If it is an evil spirit it is something that shouldn’t be challenged.

Also See: Richard Senate's Top Thirteen Haunted Places in Southern California and where you can spot a ghost! Richard Senate's Top Thirteen Haunted Places in Southern California and where you can spot a ghost.

Richard Senate- Official Web Site

About Richard Senate

Richard Senate is one of the top ghost investigators of our generation. He is an "Historian And Ghost Stalker" author of several prominent books on ghosts and paranormal phenomenon, and has appeared on just about every paranormal television and radio show there is.

Richard Senate


California-based author and lecturer. 59 years of age--old enough to know better.
His official web site at www.ghost-stalker.com . Author of Ghost Stalker's Guide To Haunted California (Mass Market Paperback) by Richard Senate (Author), Jane E. Gilbert (Editor, Photographer), John Whyman (Author)

Also see: 20 QUESTIONS WITH Richard Senate

 

 

Have The Dead Spoken To You Lately?

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You glimpse something weird, odd, just not right, out of the corner of your eye. A almost solid shadow. Is it an animal, a person, a demon from the very depths of hell? You say that you hear strange phantom sounds in the dead of night, voices , disjointed

Over the years since the battle, stories of scores of sightings, stranger than reality, have emerged from the quaint houses and gentle fields in and around the town of Gettysburg: Stories of sightings of these soldiers, moving again in battlelines, across
Find out how to "Be Seen" in the above spot

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