Type of Spiritual Experience
In Welsh mythology and folklore, Cŵn Annwn - "the hounds of Annwn" - were the spectral hounds of Annwn, the otherworld of Welsh myth. The Cŵn Annwn also came to be regarded as the escorts of souls on their journey to the Otherworld. In Welsh belief the otherworld was not as bleak or forbidding as it is pictured in Greek myth, although it is the place where souls go on death, thus the parallel is a valid one to draw. Annwn was said to lie “so far to the west that not even Manawydan ap Llyr had found it, for you could only reach Annwn by dying”. It was also said, though, that Annwn “could be entered by those still living if they could find the door”.
A description of the experience
In Welsh mythology and folklore, Cŵn Annwn (Welsh pronunciation: [kuːn ˈanʊn], "hounds of Annwn") were the spectral hounds of Annwn, the otherworld of Welsh myth. They were associated with a form of the Wild Hunt, presided over by either Arawn, king of Annwn in the First Branch of the Mabinogi and alluded to in the Fourth, or by Gwyn ap Nudd as the underworld king and king of the fair(y) folk is named in later medieval lore.
In Wales, they were associated with migrating geese, supposedly because their honking in the night is reminiscent of barking dogs. According to Welsh folklore, their growling is loudest when they are at a distance, and as they draw nearer, it grows softer and softer. Their coming is generally seen as a death portent.