PET lovers and lovers of the macabre were all too eager to bid on a dilapidated 17th century Gwent chapel which legend has it is haunted by a bloodthirsty black hound.

The former chapel and adjacent, fully occupied graveyard, is said to be haunted by the black hound of the underworld, which ‘haunts the souls of men’.

Haunted souls or not, bidders were still interested on the chapel as it sold for £10,000 more than its £43,000 guide price after 14 bids from three bidders.

These days the single-storey detached stone-built chapel sits incongruously among modern homes in Waun Road, in the St Dials area of Cwmbran. Years ago the chapel stood quite alone on a wind-swept, grassy hillside.

Once a centre for Welsh Non-Conformists, the chapel which hasn’t been used for worship for generations, was sold by Newport-based Paul Fosh Auctions for £53,000.

There have been no reports of any additional soul-related costs.

According to local folklore a former minister of the chapel, once surrounded by scrubby woodland and fields, late one night heard the blood curdling baying of a hound.

It was not long after that the man of the cloth was said to have witnessed what he described as a great black hound following his trail. The minister, realising that he was on the menu, struck the hound between the eyes with his Bible.

The mythical creature is then said to have burst into flames and disappeared, leaving the minister’s soul intact but his beard singed.

Debra Bisley, of Paul Fosh Auctions, said: "We look forward to seeing what the new owner of this unique building does with it. I know the building holds a lot of importance for some of the local residents.”