In the 19th century a blacksmith by the name of John Carter decided to leave his London home and move to Carlisle. When the Carter family arrived at Carlisle, a day before Christmas, they rented a coach to take them to a nearby village where they would live in what sounded [to them] like a peaceful and pleasant lodging. They were hoping to be settled in to their new home well in time for Yuletide. As the coach, driven by a rather well-dressed gentleman in a bowler hat, took off through the countryside, John Carter noticed how incredibly foggy it was becoming.
The fog came in very thick and very fast indeed, but this didn't seem to bother the driver who, if anything, seemed to have a preference for riding at breakneck speed. At one point the carriage almost careered off the road as it manoeuvred round a sharp corner, but still the coachman used his whip to drive the horse on ever faster. Carter, very much alarmed at this point, shouted for the driver to slow down.
'Nay sire! I daren't! replied the coachman.
Carter, not one to be messed with by all accounts, kept shouting at the driver to go slower. Eventually the man agreed, but told the blacksmith that the result would be upon his own head. Not long after the coach had slowed down, Carter was horror-struck to see a terrible-looking dog-like creature racing alongside the carriage. It had 'evil, glowing eyes and a lolling tongue'.
'Go faster! Go faster!' cried the terrified blacksmith, as his wife shrieked with fear.
Eventually the coach approached a narrow bridge but it was just too wide for it and became stuck. The howling, slobbering hound began to paw at the carriage door with such strength that it would clearly be only a matter of time before it shattered. In desperation, the coach driver cracked his whip at the beast, causing it to fall from the bridge into the frozen river below. They watched in relief as the howling dog was washed away in the ice-cold current.
Eventually the coach was freed from the narrow bridge and continued on its journey. Neither Carter nor his wife ever went near that bridge again in case they should encounter again the 'hound from hell'. The driver told the blacksmith and his wife that the phantom dog had roamed the area for generations, and that locals were so frightened of it they were forbidden to mention the beast in public.