The Legend of Black Shuck
For centuries, inhabitants of East Anglia have told tales of a large black hellhound with malevolent flaming eyes (or in some variants of the legend a single eye) that are red or alternatively green. They are described as being 'like saucers'. According to reports, the beast varies in size and stature from that of simply a large dog to being the size of a horse.
The legends of the Black Shuck roaming the Anglian countryside date back to the time of the Vikings. His name may derive from the Anglo-Saxon word scucca meaning "demon", or possibly from the local dialect word shucky meaning "shaggy" or "hairy". The legend may have been part of the inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Sometimes the Black Shuck is referred to as the Doom Dog. It is said that his appearance bodes ill to the beholder, although not always. More often than not, the Black Shuck terrifies his victims out of their wits, but then leaves them alone to continue living normal lives. Many other black dogs exhibit a similar trait. Sometimes the Black Shuck has appeared headless, and at other times he appears to float on a carpet of mist rather than run. According to folklore, the spectre often haunts graveyards, sideroads, crossroads, dark forests and it is told by locals, from the depthe of Beeston Bump, a hill close to Beeston Regis and Sheringham.
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