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The legend of the Essex Black Dog
or “Shuck”

The Colchester Beast “Shuck” can be seen during our summer months of dancing. He is a mild representation of the legendary “Black Shuck” or ghostly black dog. The legend derives from the mighty dog of war, the hound of Odin that came to East Anglia with the Vikings a thousand years ago. Sightings in this area have been made since then and some were documented in the late 1930’s, particularly' on the marshes around Tolleshunt d’Arcy and Tollesbury. A full moon and sea mists would occasion such sightings in the lanes and on the country estates. Accounts by a local gamekeeper/marshman
(Will Fell) and a young girl (Miss Osborne) while riding her bicycle on a dark night can be found in the book
“Essex Ghosts' by James Wentworth-Day published by Spur books in 1973. Both said that the dog was as big as a pony with a slavering red tongue and blazing red eyes the size of lamps. The Colchester Morris Beast has these attributes along with a squashy nose that honks,
so no need to worry about him quite as much!