SHUCKLAND       Introduction        Alphabetical List of Locations
Location: Halesworth, SUFFOLK
Encounter: "Mrs. Ella Lambert, of Windmill Cottages, Halesworth, reported seeing the mythical Black Shuck the evening before the row of cottages burnt down in 1929."
Source: Christopher Reeve: 'A Straunge & Terrible Wunder' (Morrow, 1988), p. 67.
Place Name: Halesworth - (Prob.) OE 'Haele's homestead'
Other: See also encounter below.

Location: Halesworth
Encounter: During his examination for witchcraft in 1645, Thomas Everard confessed that, when he was an apprentice he was sent on an errand, and had a dog with him as he walked. Whilst on a certain road, "a black dock (dog) like a water dog" crossed the road in front of him, and leapt silently over the hedgerow. He "knew it to be the Devil." When he came to the spot he had to carry his own dog, as it whined and refused to walk past.

When they had passed the spot, the dog whined and twisted against his legs so much that Everard became afraid. When he arrived at the house to which he had been sent, the man who lived there told him that the black dog had been seen in that lane several times, and sent him home by another route.

Source: C. L'Estrange Ewan: 'Witch Hunting & Witch Trials' (facsimile edition Muller 1971, originally published 1929), p. 309. [Account comes from Depositions at Examinations of Suffolk Wizards and Witches in August 1645, in British Museum Add. Ms. 27402, folios 104-121.]
Comments: Although it was not unusual for alleged witches and wizards to 'confess' to meeting the Devil in various forms, including dogs, this particular one sounds very like a standard 'black dog' encounter, complete with pre-existing tradition.
Other: See similar witchcraft-related account under Westhorpe.

Location: Between Halesworth and Blyford
Encounter: In about 2008, a woman and her partner were driving on the B1123 road from Blyford to Halesworth, between 9 and 11pm. At some point, the car's headlights allowed the woman to see, ahead of them, a large creature emerge from the hedgerow on the right hand side. It was described as heavily-built, black, dog-like, "too big for a dog, too small for a cow", with shaggy fur, a long matted tail, and a very large head with large pointed ears. As it walked across the road in front of the car, it turned its head to look at them, its eyes reflecting as yellow in the headlights, then disappeared through the hedge on the other side. The witness felt scared because she couldn't identify the creature. The woman's partner in the passenger seat did not see it. The witness's son connects this encounter with Black Shuck, of which it is said locally that if you see it, someone close to you will die.
Source: Information gratefully received from Carl Jordan, son of the witness, 6/7/13 & 14/7/13.

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