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Location: Northrepps, NORFOLK
Legend: Shuck's Lane, behind Northrepps Cottage (TG238402), was said to be haunted by Shuck, "a two-headed dog, [which] had eyes like saucers, sometimes turned into a ball of wool and caused any man who saw it to drop down dead within the twelvemonth. Women were excused."
Place Name: Northrepps - 'north' + prob. related to OE 'ripel', a strip of land or wood.
Comments: The Cottage, now a country hotel, was built in 1793 as part of the Northrepps estate. Shuck's Lane, described as little-used, sunken, and tree-arched, seems to have been a local name for the narrow track now called Nut Lane, which runs to the east of the Cottage grounds, then arcs in a hairpin bend down to an area known as Shuck's Hill. It seems to be unconnected to the vanished route called Shuck's Lane running along the coast from Overstrand.

This particular beast may have been invented, or at least used, by smugglers to scare people away at night. In the early 1820s there was actually a battle fought in Shuck's Lane between smugglers and preventive officers, with two fatalities. This is the only two-headed Shuck I've come across, and the shape-changing makes it sound more like a 'bogey-beast', perhaps similar to the Padfoot of the north of England, which was sometimes known to appear as a "rolling wool-pack".


Verily Anderson: 'The Northrepps Grandchildren', (Mallard Reprints 1979, orig. Hodder & Stoughton 1968), p.46, 153-4.

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