An Old Norfolk Saying... "And a dreadful thing
from the cliff did spring, And its wild bark thrill'd around, His eyes
had the glow of the fires below, Twas the form of the Spectre
There are so many myths, tales, legends and sighting's of this fearsome
apparition that it is hard to know where to begin. Black Shuck is said
to be one of the oldest phantoms of Great Britain, with the name
deriving from the Anglo-Saxon word 'scucca' meaning demon or
Other historians say that the hound has its origins
in Norse mythology based on the huge dog of war of Odin and Thor
'Shukir' who came over to Britain thousands of years ago along with the
Local legend tells of a huge hound, the size of a small calf with
blazing eyes, who regularly prowls the coastal path between
Sheringham and Overstrand.
Unsuspecting night walkers will first become aware of the pad pad sound
of the hounds heavy paws.
Out of the corner of their eye they may see a
gathering darkness, which slowly forms into the outline of a huge
Lurking in the night shadows the beast is said to track the steps of its
victim, drawing ever closer.
Anyone unfortunate enough to turn around and
meet its fiery gaze is said to die within a twelve month period.
The hell hound of Norfolk has had many documented
sighting. In 1890 a young boy was rescued from the North Sea who
told a tale of being forced to swim further and further from the shore
by a huge black dog who had chased him into the sea.
Even during the 1920's and 1930's there were reports from the fishermen
of Sheringham of hearing a hound howling on the cliff tops during stormy
nights. As recently as 1970 a sighting of Black Shuck made the
headlines. When a huge hound was seen pounding over the beach at Great
Yarmouth. 1980, a young woman claimed to have met the hell hound, whilst
out walking with her young son. This sighting took place near Wisbeach,
though the woman said that this hound had yellow eyes, rather than red,
but all of the other details were the same as that of Black Shuck.
In the village of Overstrand the old Village Sign used to show a picture
of the legendary Black Shuck and to this day there is still a lane in
the village which is called locally after the Norfolk hell hound.
Another of the hounds tracks runs through what today is Mill Lane into
the grounds of Cromer Hall. It is said that it was this particular
locality which Arthur Conan Doyle based his Hound
of the Baskervilles on.
Mythology says that 'ghost dogs' tend to haunt old
straight roads which may be located on 'Leylines'.
Leylines are ancient straight paths of invisible earth energy.
Folklore says that churches would be sited on these straight lines and
would be used by spirits who would travel along them from graveyard to
graveyard and they were sometimes known as 'Corpse Ways'.
We are unable to confirm if this Norfolk hound does or does not
exist. We have been told many a tale, over a pint, on a cold and
windy moonless night in a Norfolk pub, when an extra log is thrown on
the fire. Unfortunately we have yet to find a Norfolkcoast
team member who is prepared to go out and look for
it!.................. ...We will keep you advised.