SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Swanton Morley, NORFOLK
Legend: "...a vintage book on Norfolk Folklore. The last chapter was on Black Shuck, much as I had heard the legend at school...It said that the dog does not confine his appearance to the coast road only, but is also reputed to haunt Coltishall Bridge...'and a lane in Swanton Morley'." (1)

"'Owd Shuck, a ferkin' huge black hound dog with fiery red eyes was also rumoured to run up and down the lanes at the back of the airfield." (2)

Sources:

(1) Letter from Mr. Warner A. Steward to me, 3/2/1984.

(2) http://www.e-goat.co.uk/forums/archive/index.php/t-1153.html

Place Name: Swanton - OE 'homestead/village of the (swine) herds'
Morley - held by Robert de Morle in 1346.
Other: See encounters below.

Location: Swanton Morley
Encounter: "The war came, and I was mobilised as a very young Territorial, my unit was sent to guard an airfield in mid-Norfolk...in the winter of 1939/40 it became possible to grant us 24 hour passes, from reveille to reveille...I borrowed a bicycle and cycled to my parents' home for the day, returning in the late evening to report back to my unit in the early hours of the following morning..

It was a very dark night with fitful moonlight. I passed Swanton Morley church to make my way towards Dereham, and was soon confronted with a road fork which rather baffled me, so I took what I thought to be the major fork. I soon realised that it was bearing south-east, while I needed to proceed south-west..

I soon discovered...an opening on my right which proved to be one of the access roads or green lanes giving access to the fields, and I turned my cycle into this narrow lane. [This lane runs east-west between the B1147 and a minor road, Woodgate Lane, forking south.] After some minutes the moon shone through and to my surprise I was no longer alone [at c.TG015164.] 

A large black dog was running beside me. I distinctly noticed his tongue lolling out and he seemed to be panting, although making no sound. He was looking fixedly ahead, and seemed to emanate a feeling of great friendliness...The clouds blacked out the moonlight, and I soon found myself on the tarmac road to Dereham. My companion had disappeared. (1)

"I must admit that at the time I did not particularly sense anything out of the ordinary, and with hindsight perhaps my recollection of an 'aura of friendliness' probably emanated from myself rather than the dog...The dog's tongue was lolling out and its flanks heaving, but it made no sound whatsoever. My experience would, I imagine, have been in late November 1939..." (2)

Sources: (1) Letter from Mr. Warner A. Steward (witness) to me, 3/2/1984.
(2) Further letter, 31/3/1984.

Location: Near Swanton Morley
Encounter: The witness, John Harries, set out on his bicycle from Dereham just before midnight, heading for the RAF station at Swanton Morley. Some time later, something made him look back, just after passing a sharp curve. There he saw, loping along the centre of the road behind him, a black dog, like a labrador or Alsatian, with its jaws open and its tongue lolling out.

He stopped and told the dog to go home, but it just stood motionless, panting but without sound. He carried on, often looking back to see the dog still "loping easily" behind him. Although he tried speeding up, slowing down, then stopping to face it, the dog did the same every time.

When he finally arrived outside the RAF station, he looked back to see the dog still coming - then it disappeared in shadow where a clump of trees bordered the road. Mr. Harries went back and looked around, but could find nothing on or beside the road, among the trees, or in the empty fields beyond the fence. Later on, he asked around at nearby farms and houses for such a dog, but found nothing.

Source: John Harries: 'The Ghost Hunter's Road Book' (Muller, revised edition 1974), p. 70-1.

                                                                                                                                                                          NEXT >>