SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Bungay, SUFFOLK
Legend: "The animal's [Black Shuck's] favourite haunt in Bungay is...the ruins of Bigod's castle [TM33558976]...Hugh Bigod...was excommunicated for his sins, and the legend is that his damned soul haunts the earth in the form of a dog." (1)

"The huge monster dog, 'Black Shuck', is said to have been seen on Bygott's Way near Bungay..." (2)
Sources: (1) John Harries: 'A Ghost Hunter's Road Book' (Muller, revised edition, 1974), p. 71.
(2) Bob Roberts: 'A Slice of Suffolk' (Dalton, 1978), p. 32.
Place Name: Bungay - (Prob.) OE Buninga-eg: 'the island of Buna's people'
Other: Bungay Castle was built by Roger Bigod, in the early 12th century. Hugh Bigod was 1st Earl of Norfolk, and died in 1176/77. He was one of many rebellious barons excommunicated by Thomas a Becket.

Bungay.jpg (25385 bytes)

See encounters below.


Location: Bungay
Encounter: [During "an exceeding great and terrible tempest" on August 4th, 1577]: "There were assembled at the same season, to hear divine service and common prayer...in the parish church...of Bongay, the people therabouts inhabiting...Immediately hereupon, there appeared in a most horrible similitude and likenesse to the congregation then and there present, a dog as they might discerne it, of a black colour...This black dog, or the divel in such a likenesse...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 upon their knees...wrung the necks of them bothe at one instant clene backward, in so much that even at a moment where they kneeled, they strangely dyed...

...the same black dog, stil continuing and remaining in one and the self same shape, passing by another man of the congregation in the church, gave him such a gripe on the back, that therwith all he was presently drawen togither and shrunk up, as it were a peece of lether scorched in a hot fire; or as the mouth of a purse or bag, drawen togither with a string. The man, albeit hee was in so straunge a taking, dyed not, but as it is thought is yet alive...

...The Clark of the said Church being occupied in cleansing of the gutter of the church, with a violent clap of thunder was smitten downe, and beside his fall had no further harme...there are remaining in the stones of the Church, and likewise in the Church dore which are mervelously renten and torne, ye marks as it were of his clawes or talans. Beside, that all the wires, the wheels, and other things belonging to the Church, were wrung in sunder, and broken in peces...These things are reported to be true..." The storm (and dog) then fled off to Blythburgh. (1)

"At this point the chronicles differ. Many of them state that this was the Black Dog's only appearance in the town. Others claim that he was seen on the same day in another part of Bungay and that here again he claimed two victims." (2)

"Tradition says that the Black Dog still meanders about the churchyard on dark nights." (3)

"Curious scratches on the door of the parish church were reputedly made by Black Shuck when he tried to pursue a victim who had taken sanctuary in the church." (4)

Sources: (1) Abraham Fleming: 'A Straunge and terrible Wunder..." (London, 1577.)
(2) A. V. Nichol: 'The Black Dog of Bungay', in the 'East Anglian Magazine', Vol. 8, No. 5 (Jan. 1949), p. 262.
(3) 'Phantoms of the Night', in the 'Norwich Mercury', 28/1/1944.
(4) John Harries: 'The Ghost Hunter's Road Book' (Muller, revised edition 1974), p. 71.
Comments: The Bungay Churchwarden's Book and parish register both mention the violent storm of the day, and the latter records the death of two men in the belfry of St. Mary'sduring the tempest, but neither saw the event in terms of a visitation by the Devil or a dog in his likeness.

Holinshed's 'Chronicles' of 1585-7 and Stow's Annals of 1580 also record the terrible storm without mention of a supernatural presence. But the tale of the 'black dog' certainly spread quickly, as it's mentioned in John Louthes' 'Reminiscences' of 1579, only two years after the event.

"...the door in the north porch, which was said to retain the marks of his [the dog's] fiery talons was almost entirely destroyed in the Great Fire of 1688." (Christopher Reeve, 1988, p. 1-2.)


Location: Bungay
Encounter: "Mrs. M. F. Hall, of Broad Street in Bungay, remembers seeing the Black Dog on two occasions. In 1917, when she was a young girl, she was walking along Trinity Street when she saw a black dog run from the Vicarage gate, across the road, and pass straight through the vestry door of Trinity church [TM33808969]...

...Mrs. Hall recollects that on each occasion the beast had moved so fast that it was impossible to make out its features; and that she had turned cold, and felt transfixed to the ground until it had vanished."

Source: Christopher Reeve: 'A Straunge & Terrible Wunder' (Morrow, 1988), p. 70-1.

Location: Bungay
Encounter: "Mrs. M. F. Hall, of Broad Street in Bungay, remembers seeing the Black Dog on two occasions...On the second occasion, in the early 1950s, she was walking a friend's dog in Nethergate Street, when she saw the black dog run from Brandy Lane, across the street and disappear near the allotments. The friend's dog, which had been barking, suddenly stopped when the phantom dog appeared, and refused to be taken past the spot. Mrs. Hall recollects that on each occasion the beast had moved so fast that it was impossible to make out its features; and that she had turned cold, and felt transfixed to the ground until it had vanished."
Source: Christopher Reeve: 'A Straunge & Terrible Wunder' (Morrow, 1988), p. 70-1.

Location: Bungay
Encounter: "Mrs. M. Whitehead, of Beccles, writes: 'My mother lived in Earsham Street, Bungay, with my elder sister, and I was at her bedside when she died in the early hours of the morning, on January 11th, 1970. As she was not on the telephone, and to inform the doctor what had happened, I went to telephone from the kiosk outside the Post Office. As I went to cross Earsham Street [c.TM335898], which was well lit, I looked right and saw this black dog in the middle of the road, running so fast towards Earsham, that its feet seemed barely to touch the ground. After passing me it seemed to vanish quite suddenly. On relating this incident to my sister on returning, she suggested that what I had seen must surely have been the Black Dog of Bungay'."
Source: Christopher Reeve: 'A Straunge & Terrible Wunder' (Morrow, 1988), p. 70.

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