He will give his angels charge of you,
To guard you in all your ways.
петък, 2 януари 2015 г.
A large spectral dog in British folklore,
especially in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Devon—in areas
steeped in supernatural and witchcraft lore. Sightings of
Black Shuck continue in contemporary times. His appear-
ance is often taken to be a
The origins of Black Shuck, including his name, are
uncertain. The spectral dog may have entered Britain
from Norse mythology brought by early Viking invad-
ers, who told stories about the black war hound of Odin
(Woden). Or, the dog may have sprung from the early
days of smuggling in Britain. Stories about a fearsome
spectral dog roaming coastal areas at night certainly could
have inspired people to stay indoors while smugglers
went about their business.
The name Black Shuck may have come from a local
word, “shucky,” meaning “shaggy.” Some believe that
Black Shuck’s name derives from an Anglo-Saxon term
meaning “demon” or “Satan.” Other
names are Old Shuck, the Galleytrot, the Shug Monkey,
the Hateful Thing, the Churchyard Beast or Hellbeast,
Swooning Shadow and the Black Dog of Torrington.
Black Shuck is described as an all-black creature about
the size of a calf. He has large eyes that glow yellow, red
or green as if on fi re. Sometimes he is one-eyed like a
cyclops. Often, he is headless, yet his eyes—where eyes
should be—glow in the dark. He may wear a collar of
chains that rattle as he moves.
Black Shuck roams coastlines and also haunts grave-
yards, lonely country roads, misty marshes, or the hills around villages. In certain areas, he frequents old straight
roads or trackways said to be leys, lines of invisible earth
energy known to ancient peoples who used them to site
villages and sacred places.
On stormy nights, Black Shuck’s bone-chilling howls
can be heard rising above the wind. His feet make no
sounds and leave no prints, but travelers feel his icy
breath upon their necks. To meet or see Black Shuck
means death or misfortune within a year. In Suffolk, how-
ever, it is believed that Black Shuck is harmless as long
as he is not bothered. In parts of Devon, it is bad luck to
even speak of the Black Dog.
People who travel in the countryside at night say they
see his dark form leaping across the road in front of them
or racing along lonely country roads. One case reported
in 1972 involved an offi cer with Her Majesty’s Coast-
guard who spotted a black dog on Yarmouth beach in
East Anglia. Graham Grant was on duty at the coastguard
headquarters on Gorleston South Pier on April 19. At
dawn he was scanning the coastline with binoculars when
he saw a “large black hound-type animal” running up and
down the beach as though it were looking for someone.
He did not notice anything unusual about its appearance.
He watched it for about two minutes, and then the dog
just faded away from his vision. Grant thought perhaps it
had fallen into a hole, but the beach had been bulldozed
the day before and was fl at and smooth. The animal did
not reappear over the next hour that Grant continued to
observe the beach.
Grant was not familiar with the legend of Black Shuck.
He told another staffer, Harold Cox, about the dog on the
beach. Cox told him about the legend, warning him about
the misfortune that is supposed to befall as a result of a
sighting. Grant was not concerned.
But about 10 weeks later, during the last week in June
1972, Cox, who was in his mid-50s, collapsed and died of
a heart attack while sitting in the same chair from which
he had recounted the Black Shuck story to Grant. And in
February 1973, Grant’s father died of heart failure in his home in Yorkshire. Interestingly, the area where Grant
saw the dog has been linked to Black Shuck for many
years. The spectral dog especially haunts a road that was
an old trackway from Gorleston to Great Yarmouth.
Both the legends of Black Shuck and the
are said to have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
in his writing of
The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Spectral black dogs in general haunt numerous locales
and play a role in many haunting legends. They also are
associated with the Devil, who is said to often assume the
shape of a black dog, and with witches.