The thunder clapped in the church, all the members of the congregation thought they could hear a low growl, the night of August 4, 1577 the townspeople of Bungay were praying when an emissary of the devil began to charge the area of the church with pounding howls drowning out their kneeling calls to God. The Bungay Church was struck by lightening breaking the clock into pieces killing two of their fellow parishioners. The following day with a sense of relief mixed with guilt they were greeted with the terrible news that the unfortunate worshipers in Blythburgh only 10 miles away were ravaged by the legend of Old Schuck killing a man a young boy.
Word spread and it was found that the church goers were attacked by a beast from hell: 7 feet high, bleeding liquid flames from the eyes, freshly broken out of hell and now to their dread staking claim of the coastal area of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Black Shuck or Old Shuck is a vicious paranormal dog terrorizing the countryside of East Anglia for centuries, the word “Shuck” derives from the Old English Word ‘scucca’ meaning demon. Old Shuck is seen as an omen of death and until recently was seen as an unproven cryptid creating a profitable urban legend to local businesses in the area.
In 2014 an archaeological team uncovered a grave in the ruins of Leiston Abbey, in the 20 inch deep burial were the bones of what would have been a canine type creature that measured 7 feet on it’s hind legs and a little under 200 lbs.
The Abby is located within a few miles of Bungay Church and Blythburgh, carbon dating was inconclusive but scientists on the archaeological team feel that the burial sight showed too much care and detail for a beast with the reputation of Black Shuck. Layers of soot and layering above the grave place the animal in 18th century period during a time when dogs were still utilized more for farming and game hunting than pets.
It is a possibility that the legend of Black Shuck was a prejudice based on fear from locals pressed upon a monastic employee’s farm animal, maybe the sight of a 200 lb black dog created the same baseless terror in the people of East Anglia as Rottweilers and Pitbulls create in modern society today.
In 300 or 400 years will future societies tell legends of monstrous Saint Bernards or will the hateful fear for specific species of man’s best friend be gradually educated out of the frightened and unread?
As an Urban Legend it is interesting and enticing to consider a giant beast dog roaming the countryside with a ferocious temper, but when breaking beyond the surface it is even more interesting to discover the truth behind that demon was an anomaly proportioned domesticated farmhand.
I guess when it comes down to it discovering that the Loch Ness Monster is a vegetarian takes the wind out of the sails of legend and myth.