SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Hadleigh, ESSEX
Encounter: "An old work colleague and I were in the Bread & Cheese pub when she pointed out a fellow she knew sitting at the bar. He was only our age (which at the time was 19/20) and he was all alone staring into his pint at the bar. She started to tell me this story:

In the early 1980's a group of friends knocked at her door to ask her to come out and play. Her mother told her she couldn't go out until she had tidied her room/done her homework. Her friends told her they would be down at the castle [TQ810860: Hadleigh Castle, 13th century] and to meet them there. She set off later on, on her bike and was cycling down Castle Lane and she could see her friends all heading back up towards her. As they drew near she realised they were all distressed and crying and they all flew past her, all except one who was the fellow now sitting in the pub. He told her that they were playing near the south east tower when a HUGE black dog with 'orange eyes' and 'foaming at the mouth' appeared out of the cornfield. It was snarling, growling and snapping at the kids and after a few minutes the kids managed to break free and run. The kids families called the police and it was documented that a 'rabid dog' was loose up at the castle. No dog was found.

In the years after, all the kids began to die of either cancer, meningitis, road accidents, leukaemia and heart problems. The only survivor was the fellow at the bar."
Place Name: Hadleigh - OE 'heather-covered clearing'.
Comments: Although guide-books and websites are fond of saying that phantom black dogs (often referred to as 'Black Shucks') have been 'regularly' seen at or near Hadleigh Castle, I can find no trace of an actual legend in the written literature. However, a former resident has said of the above tale that "As a child of the seventies who played regularly at Hadleigh Castle I can report that this ‘incident’ was already a well-known local ghost story and part of the area’s black dog lore." To me, this and the tale below sound like modern 'urban legends'. (From former weblink:

Location: Hadleigh, ESSEX
Encounter: Two people were walking their own dog on the castle hill when it started behaving oddly, then noticed a huge black dog in the field below. It was only when the creature disturbed some nearby cattle that they realised the dog was itself the size of a cow.

former webpage:

Comments: From the context in which it's given, I would guess that this incident took place in the late 20th century, after the encounter above.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            NEXT >>