Black Shuck: Hell hound of the under-realm

demon dog

Nightmares, shadows and loneliness. We of the shifting sands of post modern madness, call upon Black Shuck, hell hound of the under-realm, red burning, saucer-shaped eyes, shaggy, long coat, wide, uncanny, surreal face... the sickening stench of sulfur...

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We call upon you, Black Shuck, to rise again from the depths of below ground, the chthonic realm of long eons past.

Rise, Black Shuck, rise...

15th century pamphlet Black Shuck

Back in time. 1577AD. Holy Trinity Church, Blythburgh, in coastal Suffolk, Eastern England... a huge thunderclap ripped across the menacing skies. The great doors of the church were flung open by an enormous, terrifying hound, with red burning eyes. It charged down the nave, past the fear-struck congregation, killing two parishioners on the spot, and causing the steeple to collapse.

Holy Trinity Church Blythburgh Suffolk


The very same day, at St Mary's Church in Bungay, also in Suffolk, but inland, a thunderstorm raged, lightning flashed across the furious sky... the same terrifying hell beast burst into the church, killing two of the congregation, wringing their necks as they prayed.

St Mary's Church Bungay


At both Blythburgh and Bungay, this spectral hound left scorch marks on the doors of the churches, which can still be seen today.

Blythburgh Church Scorched Door

As one poetic verse stated:

"All down the church in the midst of fire, the hellish monster flew, and passing onward to the quire, he many people slew."

Across the flatlands of East Anglia, this phantom devil hound stalks, his infernal gaze bringing death to most who encounter him... but not to all. For this beast, with an uncanny gait, gambols across the landscape, full of verve and vibrancy... joy even in the creation of life and death... undulating above ground and below ground as if he's swimming across the fields and meadows.

An enemy of God, for sure, for he foresaw the evil that the One God would perpetrate upon Mother Earth, how that God would defile her and ravage the very land we walk upon - and eventually send the human species into a death cult of insanity, which is where we are today. For Shuck is of the under-realm, a chthonic being, at once utterly terrifying, shaking you to the very core... a creature of growth and decay, and the sheer unknowable magnitude of nature itself.

In the flatlands of East Anglia he roams, a huge hound, the size of a small calf with blazing red eyes. He often prowls the coastal path between Sheringham and Overstrand... and around the Norfolk Broads, an area of lakes, rivers and marshes, sinkholes and fissures, and hidden meres... the hinterland of the Middle March.

He's been seen in villages such as Cantley, Blofield, Surlingham, Rockland, and in many locations along the River Yare.

Norfolk Broads
  • In 1890, a young boy was rescued from the North Sea, telling the tale of being forced to swim further and further from the shore by a huge black dog that had chased him into the sea.
  • In the 1920s, there were reports from fishermen in the coastal Norfolk town of Sheringham who claimed to have heard a hound howling on the clifftops during stormy nights.
  • Then in 1970, a large hound was seen pounding over the beach at the seaside resort of Great Yarmouth, and the report made the headlines.
Great Yarmouth beach
  • A decade later in 1980, a woman claimed to have met the hellhound while out walking her young son near Wisbech in inland Cambridgeshire. In this case the spectral hound had yellow eyes, rather than red, otherwise it matched the usual descriptions of Black Shuck.
  • The terrifying creature has also been sighted in the grounds of Cromer Hall on the North Norfolk coast. it's said that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle heard about the Black Shuck legends there and based his Hound of the Baskervilles story on them.
  • In the sprawling landscapes of Norfolk and Suffolk, mysteriously mutilated deer have been found, torn apart, by some say, this fearsome, phantom hound.

But Black Shuck is a creature of deep time, he appears in the ruptures between the comfortable (but destructive) world of modern society and the realm of the underworld.

In the insane, ravaged world we live in today, we call upon Black Shuck to roam our lands again... terrifying and monstrous perhaps, but he also has the ability to heal the corrupted and defiled landscape, both on the physical and mental plane.

It's often said, "Let sleeping dogs lie..."

I don't think so. As I stand on the long sprawling Suffolk beach with Lord Satan himself - Mr Natas - we welcome Black Shuck, and the denizens of the under-realm back into our world... to heal the terrible ravages perpetrated by the One God that led to the destruction of beast, plant, tree and flower... of the very Earth itself.

Recognize that chthonic ones are not safe... no health and safety rules, nor mRNA vaccines with them... only life and death, and the realm of the imaginal where landscape and mind become one... where the infernal hound stalks the flatlands under threatening skies and ominous clouds, past crumbling churches and old wind pumps... where the black, horse drawn carriage deposits the spectral traveler upon the marshes where he meets with the ghostly wanderers of the waste.... in the place of drowned villages, devastating floods, inland trackless fens, alder swamps... where all lonely travelers should beware for nature herself will engulf you in her sheer unending expanse, where your spirt and soul melds into the great vastness.

We call upon you, Black Shuck, to rise again from the depths of below ground, the chthonic realm of long eons past.

Rise, Black Shuck, rise...

Rise, Black Shuck, rise...

Rise, Black Shuck, rise...

Postscript

In early March 2021 I was parked at the side of a lane near Blofield in Norfolk, Eastern England. I sat in my car relaxing and enjoying the early spring sunshine. Movement in the cornfield beside me caught my attention. My first thought was that it was a dog running across the field. But it was like no dog I'd ever seen. It was the size of a calf, had a long shaggy coat. But its face was the strangest thing of all. It was wide and surreal looking, almost like a character out of Alice In Wonderland. It seemed to be grinning, presumably relishing its gambol across the field. What's more, this creature appeared to be going in and out of the ground, almost like it was swimming. It was an odd sight. Who knows? Was it Black Shuck? Or had my eyes deceived me? To this day, I've got no idea.

Rite of the Werewolf