My first proper blog of 2013 (i.e. this one!) is an update I promised to two people (Brogan and Nicole) who have kindly previously posted on my blog and have also demonstrated a long-standing interest in my current work-in-progress novel, BLACK DOG.
In fact, Brogan and Nicole have inspired a whole chapter in my novel – and, though I do say so myself, it is a rather good one! The pair saw Black Shuck running across the sea at Hunstanton (see the comments section of a previous blog post on this site). Following this sighting/posting, I have incorporated a very similar experience in a key chapter of BLACK DOG that I have just written (…effectively my detective, Frank Homes, sees Shuck charging towards him across the surface of the waves!).
Of course, I also believe I saw Shuck (just outside Hunstanton on the A149 road – see another previous blog post on this site) – which was a major inspiration for my writing of my forthcoming novel. Now both sightings are part of the narrative.
Before Xmas 2012 I told Brogan and Nicole I would conduct some further research and subsequently post about other recorded sightings of Shuck (or similar) emerging from the sea or being spotted by the sea/water. I have now had an opportunity to conduct some promised further research into this aspect of Shuck/ghostly black dog sightings and so I am now ready to post.
So, Brogan and Nicole, this is for you!….
The website paranormaldatabase.com (which also records my own sighting of Black Shuck as reported earlier on this blog) states that Shuck was seen emerging from the sea in Sheringham, Norfolk.
The site says: “The black dog known as Shock to residents of the town would emerge from the sea and run up the hills.”
Other websites dealing with Shuck/ghostly black dog phenomena report that Shuck himself is known to be “amphibious”. (A further selection from my research says: On the Norfolk coast “…the creature is said to be amphibious, emerging from the sea at night and travelling lonely roads.”).
Indeed, my research has shown that the notion that Shuck emerges from the sea was both readily accepted (and recorded) as early as 1881. A book of 1881 titled ‘British Goblins’ (which actually focused primarily on Wales – its subtitle is: ‘Welsh Folk Lore, Fairy Mythology, Legends and Traditions’) contains an intriguing reference to Shuck as follows:
“The Gwyllgi (i.e. Welsh version of Shuck) finds its counterpart in the Mauthe Doog of the Isle of Man and the Shock (i.e. Shuck) of the Norfolk coast. It there COMES UP FROM THE SEA and travels about in the lanes at night.”
Incidentally, ‘British Goblins’ is still available as a Kindle download from UK Amazon.
One of the (several) Black Shuck legends also suggests that (a real) ‘Shuck’ was once the subject of a disputed ownership contest between two sailors who each drowned at separate locations along the coast (…another linking of the legend to water!) The explanation for Shuck being seen running along the North Norfolk coastline (including, presumably, over the waves themselves) is therefore said to be that he is ‘running between’ the ‘homes’ of his ‘two masters’ and ‘looking for them’.
So, Brogan and Nicole (…and anyone else reading this!), I hope this research has been both useful and entertaining to you.
I am still working on the novel – when the day job permits! I am about halfway through now – and the aim is for a summer 2013 release. Watch this space amigos!