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Black Shuck Mysteries

Black Shuck Mysteries

Black Shuck Mysteries

Black Shuck, also known as Old Shuck, is the what the ghostly black dog which allegedly wanders the areas of  Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk in England. These legends of Black Shuck go as far back as the age of the Vikings; and many of these legends seem to be based on the huge dog of war, Shukir, which belonged to Odin and Thor.

The name, Black Shuck, may possibly be derive from the Anglo-Saxon word scucca, which means”demon”, and/or from the local dialect word shucky, which means “shaggy” or “hairy”.  The most commonly reported attribute of this mysterious beast are its  fiery, red eyes, or in some cases, eyes that are a bright glowing green. They are described as being ‘as big as saucers’. Some people have reported Black Shuck looking like a large black dog while other reports give it being as big as a horse. Sometimes the Black Shuck has been reported to appear headless, and even standing and floating on a cloud of mist. Even now, the reports of Black Shuck continue. The most recent known report was in the early 1990s by a woman in Norfolk who said she had seen Shuck while she and her son were walking along the beach.

The appearance of Old Shuck is said to bode ill to the person who sees him, although this doesn’t always appear to be the case. More often than not Old Black Shuck scares the person nearly senseless, but the person usually seems to have no other ill effects and goes on with their life. Sometimes considered to be a bad omen, or a harbinger of death, Black Shuck is also called the Doom dog. According to all of the local folklore, Old Shuck often haunts graveyards, side roads, crossroads, and dark forests. legends say that Shuck also tends to haunt old straight roads which may be located on ‘Leylines’.  Leylines are said to be paths, or energy lines, of the earth. Much of the old folklore says that ghost dogs such as Shuck usually haunt places and roads located on leylines to watch and guard over spirits who would travel along them during their journeys  between graveyards.

One of the most reknown reports of Black Shuck is his appearance at the churches of Blythburgh and Bungay in Suffolk. On Sunday, August 4th of 1577, the Reverend Abraham Fleming chronicled the incident and called it  “A Straunge and Terrible Wunder”.  It began with an extremely, and unusually, strong thunderstorm. “…darkness, rain, hail, thunder and lightning as was never seen the like…”  Then came the appearance of Black Shuck, “…This black dog, or the divel in such a linenesse (God hee knoweth al who worketh all,) runing all along down :the body of the church with great swiftnesse, and incredible haste, among the people, in a visible fourm and shape, passed between two persons, as they were kneeling uppon their knees, and occupied in prayer as it seemed, :wrung the necks of them bothe at one instant clene backward, in somuch that even at a mome[n]t where they kneeled, they stra[n]gely dyed…”

Then as suddenly as the doom dog had appeared, it left, heading for Blythburgh Church, which was about twelve miles away, and once there proceeded to kill and maul more people.  Bungay Church was badly damaged. The tower had been struck by lightening and the Church clock had shattered into myriad pieces. As it stands, there is no official record of how many injuries were caused,  but the Churchwardens account book did say that two men who had been in the belfry were killed when the lightening struck. The scorch marks that were made on the north door all those centuries ago can still be seen at the church to this day.