The Moddey Dhoo of Peel Castle goes back at least to the reign of Charles the Second of England. In those days there were soldiers stationed at Peel Castle as guards. From the guard room a passage led to an ancient church and through this to quarters of the Captain of the Guard. In the evening as night fell it was the duty of one the guards to lock the great castle gate and take the key down the passage to the Captain of the Guard. This duty was taken in turns and who ever locked the gate would be responsible to ensure the key was taken down through the darkness of the passage and placed into the Captain’s own hands, before returning back up the passage to the guard room.
When the first sightings of a large black dog with a long, shaggy, unkempt coat were reported, some accounts said it was like a huge spaniel. No one knew who it belonged to, where it had come from, or how it got into the castle. Its presence was a complete mystery, always appearing after the gates were shut. Sometimes it would appear in one room, and at other times would be seen in different parts of the castle and grounds. Every evening after the fire was kindled in the guard room fireplace and as the cold began to dissipate the dog would be heard padding down the passage to enter the guard room. The huge creature ignored the frightened guards and making no sound lay by the fireside until dawn. The dog is said to have had a supernatural appearance and although the guards were frightened of the beast they would ignore it. Instead of drinking and rebelling they would tend to keep sober and quiet so as not to disturb, keeping on their best behavior. However, instead of one soldier taking the key to the Captain’s quarters, two would go.
The legend tells that one night after the appearance of the dog one of the soldiers got drunk and boasted loudly that he would take the key down the passage to the Captain alone that night as he feared no dog, mortal or supernatural. Although the other soldiers tried to hold him back the drunk would not be restrained and plunged into the passage with the keys, again challenging the dog to follow. Silence fell upon the castle like a black cloak and those who remained in the guard room huddled together in fear and would not follow the drunken soldier into the blackness of the passage. Shortly, from the passage they heard the staggered footsteps of someone struggling back towards them. The drunken soldier fell through the door into the room, his face white and twisted with fear, his eyes blazing in terror, his mind destroyed.
Three days later he was dead, taking the secret of his ordeal to the grave. After that night the black dog was never again seen in the guardroom, passage, or anywhere else in Peel Castle.