I am an 18 year old male who lives in Belfast, Ireland. I have only just been able to pluck up the courage to share my experience, as quite frankly, the encounter one year ago and the events that occurred after it petrified me. 

It was late May, approximately the 29th or 30th when I was at home studying for my upcoming AS English Literature exam, which was I think on the 14th of June. It was coming up to 9pm (I know this for a fact as I never study past 9pm - it's scientifically proven that what you 'learn' past 9pm is only short term and therefore useless). Anyways it was night time and the skies were dark...but not pitch black, there was enough light to be able to vaguely make out the textures and dimensions of the outside world.

As I sat there at my dining room table reading up notes on The Great Gatsby, I felt tense and overworked from all the revision I had done throughout the day. And so since it was approaching 9 O' Clock, I closed my book, lent back on my chair and rubbed my eyes. After a couple of minutes I reopened them, and my point of vision was on the now closed study book. For some reason my eyes slowly dragged their gaze towards the right; to the dining room's glass patio door that connected to the back garden.

Less than 6 feet away from me I clearly saw the image of a large, black dog. It stood as still as a corpse behind the glass door and had its back turned to me. But this dog wasn't the conventional dog shape. Though its fur was thick, black and shaggy I could clearly make out its body shape, it was the size of a calf, or a Irish wolfhound. The torso however resembled more like that of a lion. It was thicker, more muscular and bulkier. Like a lion it had those distinctive raised shoulders on its back, like a hump of muscle just below the neck that gradually descended into an arch on its back. I even saw its lengthy muscular legs (They weren't overly long like an Irish wolfhound's though, they were more in proportion to those of a lion).

As I sat there, staring at it for a couple of minutes I also noticed that attached to that lion-like body was its large head. The head resembled that of a wolf more than a general dog. Its ears pointed upwards like two spikes stabbing at the sky. It's long nose protruding out from its skull, pointing towards the bushes and fence at the bottom of my garden.

And then it looked at me. The entity slowly turned its big black, wolf-like head to the left in order to face me. Its pitch-black eyes, or lack of, penetrated right into my own. Over the past year I have only ever discussed my experience with one other person, who has also had her own experience with the beast. And throughout this year I have subconsciously attempted to slip the image of the creature into the back of my mind, but no matter how hard I try to bury it, it always resurfaces.

Of its anatomy the only thing that constantly lingers with me are those merciless eyes. The only way to truly describe them would be like severing a wolf's head, carving out the eyes and other contents of the skull, only to fill it with masses of black velvet - to ensnare all light.

After becoming the victim of it's cold, frightening death-stare I had to look away. Out of pure trepidation I shut my eyes and turned my head away to the left. After about 30 seconds of squeezing my eyelids to near hurting point, my curiosity took hold of me and I looked back to the black dog. It was gone. It had completely vanished. From that time on I had researched into the dog countless times trying to find information on it. And as I feared, my experience matched those of others, except for one important detail - the eyes.

Most stories portray this Hellhound as having fiery red eyes ablaze with malice, the black dog I saw had two cold pitch-black eyes full of hopelessness and despair. However the most important similarity in my case with other encounters is the tragic events that follow the creature's presence. In my case it was unfortunately two.

The first was on the night before the English exam that I had worked tremendously hard studying for, I found out that my girlfriend had cheated on me a few days after the encounter. We split up, but my heart was in pieces and I couldn't focus on the exam. I later received a D in the result.

Then less than a fortnight later on the 24th of July 2009, my close and beloved uncle died in hospital. His death was strange, as for a year he had been in and out of hospital, with what the doctors had diagnosed as an amalgamation of natural born diseases, including a naturally bad immune system and bad bones with a lung disease that was thought to be caused by his smoking. However on the lead up to his death, the doctor had told us that he was well on the mend. My uncle had even told us he felt tremendously better and that he should be out of hospital soon enough if things kept going as well as they were.

He went from feeling great to knocking on the Grim Reaper's door. When he passed away the doctor ended up telling us that his lung disease was not in fact caused by his over 20 years of smoking and they couldn't really pinpoint how it got so bad so suddenly, it was put down to his bad immune system. But for me I will always know the truth about what caused his death, and I regret not telling my family or even my best friend about what I had seen. At the time I just didn't want them to think that I'd went insane, nor did I want to push anymore problems onto the plate of my already distressed mother. If there is anyone reading this that has came into contact with the creature, a word of advice: TELL YOUR FAMILY! Let them know exactly what you saw, because for all you know, they could be the ones to suffer.

Story sent in by Matthew C. Gillen