Of the Week

Black Shuck

Written by Zavier Colon

Cryptid of The Week: Week 5

Welcome back dear reader to the fifth installment of Cryptid of The Week. To all of you faithful readers who have been reading since the very first week I would like to say thank you and to all of you recent or new readers, I would like to thank you all as well. Well, enough with the pleasantries before I take up too much time let’s get into this week’s Cryptid. For week 5 I choose to write about an old English legend Black Shuck.

Black Shuck also known as the East Anglian Demon Dog is a dog-like creature notorious in the East Anglian region of England which is comprised of the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge, and Essex. Descriptions of Black Shuck are hardly conclusive as to its exact shape or size with accounts ranging from a large black hound to a monstrous hound the size of a horse. Despite the size discrepancies there are commonalities that remain through almost all the accounts and descriptions of Black Shuck and those are red eyes (In some accounts he only has one), black fur, vicious sharp teeth, and unbelievable speed. The first written account of Black Shuck by name was from the writings of Reverend E.S. Taylor in the 1850 May edition of the journal Notes and Queries describing a creature he had heard the locals talk about known as “Shuck the Dog-fiend” who had already been an old legend in the region. While not referred to as Black Shuck by name there have been accounts of black devil dogs similar in description to Black Shuck that date all the way back to 1127 recorded in the Peterborough Chronicle. Devil dogs otherwise known as hounds of Hell have been seen all throughout Christian mythology and Black Shuck has become its own entity separate from them seen as a sort of harbinger of death. Despite not being referred to by name one of Black Shuck’s most infamous appearances was at the church of Blythburgh in Suffolk on August 4th 1577AD. It is stated that a giant black dog had burst through the Holy Trinity Church doors as loud as a clap of thunder. He ran past the congregation up the middle aisle killed a man and a young boy and his entrance had caused the steeple of the church to fall through the roof. When the dog ran away through the north door he was said to have left scorch marks which are claimed to still be visible to this day. The presence of Black Shuck has become infamous not only in East Anglia but throughout the entirety of Europe even going as far as being the main influence behind the famous Sherlock Holmes story The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle. The origin of Black Shuck is said to be from the devil dogs or hell hounds which are believed to have been inspired by the old Scandinavian myth of the black hound of Odin believed to have been brought to the East Anglian region by the Vikings who came and settled down on the Norfolk coast centuries ago.

Black Shuck is still a large part of the culture of East Anglia with new reports of sightings continuing to emerge even in the present day implying that the East Anglian Demon Dog is still roaming the countryside to this day. Well, that’s the end of this week’s Cryptid of The Week, and don’t forget if you have any ideas as to what I should write about for next week don’t forget to comment down below and I will choose it as my next topic. See you all next week.

About the author

Zavier Colon