SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Great Massingham, NORFOLK
Encounter: The witness, then aged 18, "went on a 'night hike' [on Sunday 23/10/1977] with other members of the 14th Wootton (King's Lynn) Venture Scout Unit and some Ranger Guides...heading south along Peddar's Way...By about half-five the next morning the party had become rather 'strung out'...At this time I was about 1/4 of a mile beyond a point called 'Shepherd's Bush' [at c.TF797197]...when I saw what looked to be a sheepdog running fast towards me down a slight rise in the road 200/300 yards away.

In the instant whilst I was wondering 'Sheepdog? In this part of the world?'...the distance closed quickly and about 20 yards away it leapt at me. I stumbled to me knees as I put up my arms to fend off the anticipated volley and shift my weight to counteract a thrust that never materialised. Quickly I picked myself up and turned round expecting an attack from it from behind, I assuming that it had passed clean over my head; only to find myself again on the quiet country road with no sign of 'it'.

That basically is my encounter with Shuck. I clearly remember it as a big black 'dog' in the order of a very large 'St. Bernard' with a wide mouth, teeth very evident, and two largish eyes amongst a mass of black fur. At that time I had never heard of this apparition...In Castle Acre I told the rest of the party...providing a good laugh all round!
When I got home later on Sunday my mother informed me of the 'Black Shuck' legend (as an uncle of mine has seen it many years ago) and in later research of my own I became acquainted with the legend that one is supposed to die before the year is out after having seen Shuck. Well, although I assign it to pure non-related coincidence, on October 23rd just after 11pm...I was involved in a road traffic accident as a pedestrian...I was on the 'critical' list for five days and concussed for two weeks, spending 3 1/2 months in the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital subsequently. Well, the old bugger had a darned good try!"

Source: Letter from Mr. Mark C. Barrett (witness) to me, 1/11/1983.
Place Name: Massingham - OE 'homestead of Maessa's people'
Other: See also other accounts on the route of the Roman road at Roudham, Castle Acre, Peddar's Way.

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