SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Cambridge, CAMBRIDGESHIRE
Encounter: The witnesses, a wife and husband, were driving along the unlit Arbury Road in the late evening in the early summer of 1970, when "a large black dog, about the size of a wolf" suddenly leapt across the bonnet of their car and vanished into an allotment beside the road. Although they stopped immediately and searched both sides of the road, they found nothing. Both felt a sensation of extreme cold as the dog leapt over the car, and were convinced that they had seen Black Shuck.

Soon afterwards they suffered a severe financial loss, then the husband became seriously ill and died within two years at a comparatively young age. The widow later said that "to have a sighting of this phantom is believed to be a presage of death." (1)

The writer Joan Forman also had this story from the widow, with a few extra details and slight differences. In her version the time of year was midsummer, and the time of day "an hour or two before dark." The car was a vintage type with a long broad bonnet, needing considerable power to leap across it. The allotment was on the far side of the road from the car, and their own dog, which was in the back of the car, displayed "abject terror" at the "wolf-like animal." (2)

Sources: (1) Letter from Mrs. Celia B. Dale (witness) to Ivan Bunn, 21/2/1976.
(2) Joan Forman: 'Haunted East Anglia' (Fontana, 1976), p. 126 (originally published 1974.)
Comments: This must have happened on that portion of Arbury Road which is now part of King's Hedges Road, where the allotments are on the south side. The site of an Iron Age earthwork, Arbury Camp, is adjacent.
Place Name: Cambridge - OE' Roman fort on the River Granta' (Granta: Brit. 'muddy river')
Other: See also below.

Location: Cambridge?
Encounter: Referring to the appearances of a ghostly dog, the folklorist Theo Brown remarked that "In Cambridge a large spot was found 'as if gunpowder had been exploded'." (1)

This appears to refer to the following: "Shuck the Dog-fiend: This phantom I have heard many persons in East Norfolk, and even in Cambridgeshire, describe as having seen as a black shaggy dog, with fiery eyes, and of immense size, and who visits churchyards at midnight. One witness nearly fainted away at seeing it, and on bringing his neighbours to see the place where he saw it, he found a large spot as if gunpowder had been exploded there." (2)
Sources: (1) Theo Brown: 'The Black Dog', in 'Folklore' Vol. 69 (1958), p. 187.
(2) Rev. E. S. Taylor in 'Notes & Queries' Vol. 1, No. 29 (18/5/1850), p. 468 [originally published in the 'Norfolk Chronicle; or Norwich Gazette', 1/6/1805.]
Comments: Unless Theo Brown had further information, it's hard to see why she should specify that this actually took place in Cambridge itself.

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