Christianity has a long tradition of appropriating preexisting pagan elements, nor is such appropriation unique to Christianity. It’s universal throughout human societies. Folklore bleeds together. Maybe that’s the reason talk of “cultural appropriation” by the PC wankers typically pisses me off. The concept has gone from “don’t use elements from any culture not your own in a mocking or irreverent way” to “don’t use elements from any culture not your own, period”, which is unnatural to the way cultural diffusion is supposed to work. Art as it exists in our world *wouldn’t* exist if it weren’t for cultural diffusion.
Anyway. Christianity appropriating pagan elements. Gargoyles on churches, for example. And have you ever heard of a Church Grim? It’s your typical hellhound. Big black unearthly dog, like the infamous Black Shuck of Britain, only these hellhounds have been appropriated by the Christians to protect church grounds from vandals, witches, and evil spirits. In bygone days, the belief used to be that the first person buried in a graveyard had to serve as a sentry. In order that a human soul not be condemned to such service, a black dog would be sacrificed and then buried there first, so that its ghost would become a spectral watchdog. Church Grims are known in both English and Scandinavian folklore, haunting the same basic geographical areas as their sinister cousins, the Black Dogs.