SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Lowestoft, SUFFOLK
Legend: Once, a dark Italian stranger appeared in Lowestoft, becoming friends with a 14 year old fisher boy, whom he tried to persuade to travel with him to 'foreign parts.' Although the boy refused, the man said that he himself still had to go, and asked that the boy should look after his dog, a fine, curly black retriever. This dog, large, long and lean, had often been seen around since the man's arrival, but always alone.

After the stranger had left the boy and the dog became inseparable, often swimming together in the sea. But one day they swam far out, and when the boy turned to go back to shore, the dog snarled and snapped at his neck and legs, forcing him ever further out. He swam on in fear, with what he knew was 'Black Shuck' after him, but finally he heard the dog come alongside, and turned - to look into the face of the stranger. It gave him a devilish grin, and flew at his neck with a snarl. But just as he thought he was done for, a passing ship came to his rescue and hauled him aboard, his neck torn badly by the animal's teeth.

The dog dived, reappearing a little way off, then swam away and vanished. It was said that, even before these events, young boys occasionally disappeared in the sea off Ness Point, only to be washed ashore days later, with their throats torn open. (1)

Morley Adams (2) tells this tale of "a small seaside hamlet" further down the coast than Orford, which Theo Brown identifies with Felixstowe (3). But only four years after James told it of Lowestoft, the story had been appropriated for the Cromer area, with Runton Point taking the place of Ness Point. (4)


(1) M. H. James: 'Bogie Tales of East Anglia' (Pawsey & Hayes, 1891), p. 25-7.
(2) Morley Adams: 'In the Footsteps of Borrow & Fitzgerald' (Jarrolds, 1914), p. 126-8.
(3) Theo Brown: 'The Black Dog', in Folklore' Vol.69 (1958), p. 186.

(4) The 'Norfolk News', 1895, quoted in Peter Haining: 'The Supernatural Coast' (Robert Hale, 1992), p. 43-4.

Place Name: Lowestoft - ON+Oscand. 'Hlodver's homestead')
Other: See further legend and encounters below.

Location: Lowestoft
Legend: According to local tradition, a phantom white dog was once said to haunt the steep road known as Rant's Score (or possibly the stepped path called Wilde's Score.)
Source: From local knowledge.

Location: Lowestoft
Encounter: A woman and her husband were walking on a path in Belle Vue Park [centre c.TM550945] in north Lowestoft in early 1975 when she exclaimed on seeing a big black dog standing in some nearby bushes. But to her amazement, her husband could not see the dog at all.
Source: Verbal from the witness to Ivan Bunn, then verbal from Ivan Bunn to me.

Location: Between Lowestoft and Kessingland
Encounter: My informant had spoken with a man in about 1938/39, shortly after he had seen 'Black Shuck', which he described as a big black Retriever with a brass collar, on the A12 road between Lowestoft and Kessingland. He had been to Kessingland to visit a sick person, and was cycling back very late at night when the dog was suddenly "on top of him." He couldn't stop in time, and seemed to go right through the animal, which he said was very like the dogs often taken on board boats by skippers. He connected its appearance with the loss soon afterwards of the fishing boat 'Shore Breeze'. Although he didn't know the exact losses, he knew it had been a big disaster for the town.
Source: Phone call from Mrs. Evelyn Davey-Collins (then aged 85) to me, 23/2/1989.

Location: Lowestoft, Gunton Cliffs
Encounter: In the early 2000's, two witnesses were walking on Gunton Cliffs, having left a park (presumably the nearby Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park), when they saw a black dog running on its hind legs towards the park. Although it was a misty night, they could see it was about 7 feet (2.1m) tall, with a small head compared to its body, and glowing yellow eyes the size of coffee mugs. The dog apparently paused, looked at them, then continued running away towards the park.

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