BARGHEST, BARGUEST or BARGEST, the name given in the north of England, especially in Yorkshire, to a monstrous goblin dog with huge teeth and claws. The Demon of Tedworth, the Black Dog of Winchester and the Padfoot of Wakefield all shared the characteristics of the Barghest of York. In Wales its counterpart was Gwyllgi, "the Dog of Darkness." In Lancashire the spectre-hound is called Trash or Striker; in Cambridgeshire and on the Norfolk coast, Shuck or Shock; in the Isle of Man Mauthe Doog. A Welsh variant is the Cwn Annwn, or "dogs of hell." The barghest was essentially a nocturnal spectre regarded as a portent of death. The derivation of the word barghest is disputed. "Ghost" in the north of England is pronounced "guest" and the name is thought to be burh-gliest, "town-ghost." Others explain it as Ger. Berg-geist, "mountain demon," or Bar-geist, "bear-demon," in allusion to its alleged appearance at times as a bear.
See Wirt Sikes, British Goblins (188o) ; Notes and Queries, first series, ii. 5 1 ; Joseph Ritson, Fairy Tales (1831), p. 58 ; Lancashire Folklore (1867) ; Joseph Lucas, Studies in Nidderdale (Pateley Bridge, 1882).