Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Wiki

The Little Black Dog is a story from More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It is about a ghostly dog who follows a man everywhere he goes.

Little Black Dog.jpg

The Story

Billy Mansfield said that a little black dog followed him wherever he went. But he was the only one who saw it. So people thought he was kind of crazy. To drive the dog away, Billy was always hollering at it, throwing rocks at it. But the dog always came back.

The first time Billy saw that dog was the day he fought Silas Burton. Billy was just a young man then, but the Burtons and Billy's family had been feuding for years. When Billy saw Silas riding toward him, he went for his gun and Burton went for his. But Billy fired first. He hit Burton in the back, knocking him from his horse. Burton's horse ran off, and his gun fell where he couldn't reach it. He lay there on the ground pleading with Billy not to kill him, but Billy killed him anyway. Burton's little black dog was with him when he was shot. The dog kept licking Burton's face, and barking and snarling at Billy. In his anger, Billy killed the dog too.

There wasn't much law enforcement in those days, so Billy wasn't arrested. But all that night he heard Burton's dog outside his cabin, scratching on his door and barking to be let in. "I'm imagining this," Billy said to himself. "I shot that dog. It's dead." But the next morning Billy saw the dog. It was waiting for him outside. From then on there was not a day when he didn't see it. And there wasn't a night when he didn't hear it scratching on his door, barking to be let in.

From then on, Billy was always finding black dog hairs on the sofa, on the floor, in his bed, even in his food. And the house and the yard stank of dog. That's what Billy said. Whenever somebody told him there wasn't any dog to see, he'd say, "Maybe you don't see it, but I do. And I'm not any crazier than you are."

Things went on like that for many years. Then one morning in the middle of the winter, the neighbors didn't see any smoke coming out of Billy's chimney. When they went over to check, Billy wasn't there. A day or so later they found his body lying in the snow in a field back of his cabin. Billy had plenty of enemies, and at first it seemed like somebody might have killed him. But there wasn't a mark on his body. And there weren't any footprints out there, except for Billy's.

The doctor said Billy probably died of old age. But there was something odd about his death. When the neighbors found Billy, there were black dog hairs on his clothes. There were even a few on his face. It smelled like a dog had been out there. Yet no one had seen a dog anywhere.