In areas of the world steeped in supernatural and witchcraft lore, especially in English folklore there have been sightings of "Black Shuck," a big black shaggy dog. Where he originated no one knows but it is believed he came from stories of Norse mythology, brought to the mainland by the Viking invaders, or he could have began his life, roaming the beaches during the early days of smuggling, in Britain. A tactic to keep people indoors at night so the smugglers could go about their business.
"Shuck" may have come from a local word shucky, which meant shaggy. Or may be derived from the word "schuss" meaning, demon or Satan.
He goes by many other names such as; Old Shuck, the Galleytrot, the Shug Monkey or the Hateful Thing. The Churchyard Beast, Hellbeast, Swooning Shadow, the Black Dog of Torrington but "Black Shuck" is his better known name. He's big, about half the size of a cow, sometimes headless, with eyes that glow with or without the head and it wears a heavy chain collar around its neck.
It roams the coast line and graveyards, bogs and small villages and is seen quite frequently on long straight portions of highway and railway lines, known as leys, invisible energy lines of earth. His howls are bone-chilling. His footsteps are silent and leave no prints.
To meet Black Shuck is a bad omen and a sure sign of bad things to come. In some areas it's bad luck to even speak of him. He's been spotted running along side cars or jotting across lonely stretches of highway. His appearance is often taken to be a death omen.
Black Shuck has been credited with inspiring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in writing his successful novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
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