England’s “Devil Dog” Black Shuck
By James Donahue
is a legend that a “devil dog” dubbed Black Shuck once terrorized the people of Suffolk and East Anglia England
during the Sixteenth Century. As the story was told, this dog was a monster, standing about seven feet tall. They said it
had red glowing eyes, shaggy black fur and savage claws.
Superstitions ran wild in those days. People said that anyone who even caught a glimpse of Black Shuck was struck
by a fatal course. Some said they thought the animal was as big as a horse.
There was a story that this evil creature appeared during a
terrible thunderstorm on a Sunday in August, 1577, and killed worshippers in a church in Blythburgh. It is said that just
as a clap of thunder was heard, the church doors smashed open and Black Shuck rushed through the congregation, killing a man
and a boy as the people watched in horror. They said the church steeple then fell crashing through the roof and the creature
fled. Scorch marks were found on the church door.
long after the Blythburgh attack, Black Shuck was said to have appeared at another church in Bungay. The pastor, the Rev.
Abraham Fleming, wrote about the event in early English test: “This black dog, or the divel in such a linenesse running
all along down the body of the church with great swiftnesse, and incredible haste, among the people, in a visible fourm and
shape, passed between two persons, as they were kneeling upon their knees, and occupied in prayer as it seemed, wrung the
necks of them bothe at one instant cene backward.”
Such stories have been passed down for centuries, but only recently has there been evidence that such a creature
may have once existed.
It appears that
the bones of a massive dog that once stood seven feet tall were recently found in the ruins of an ancient abbey. The bones
were found within a few miles of the two churches where Black Shuck was said to have made his attacks.
Seven foot high dogs do exist in the world. In fact, an 18-month-old
Great Dane named Freddy, is believed to be England’s tallest dog standing at seven feet four inches. And Freddy is still
growing. This dog already is as tall as Zeus, a Great Dane from Otsego, Michigan, which was recognized by the Guinness Book
of World Records as the world’s tallest dog in 2012.
Fortunately, Great Danes are known for their friendly disposition. The worst attack you might get from these dogs
is a wet sloppy tongue-like kiss in the face.