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Black Shuck-the ghost dog with eyes like saucers.

April 7, 2016

There’s a new hashtag in town which preoccupies me every week. It’s #FolkloreThursday.

Each Thursday, twitter users are sharing facts, images, stories and artwork related to the rich area of folklore.

Also, there is an arts organisation in Liverpool called The Critter Shed. They have had a recent call for submissions- portraits of nightmares for an upcoming exhibition.

I decided to make a drawing which could be used alongside the #Folklore Thursday hashtag, as well as The Critter Shed submission.

The eery beast which has persistently stuck around in my memory, is Black Shuck, the ghost dog. I remember going to visit my grandparents in Sheringham Norfolk, when I was about 5, and my grandpop sitting in the kitchen and telling me and my brothers about the beast which runs along the Sheringham coastline, along Beeston Hill every night, chasing off smugglers. He described it as a headless dog with eyes like saucers. We would be adamant he was wrong- No grandpop- a dog can’t have eyes if it’s headless! He was adamant that’s the way it is with Black Shuck!

(This creature also has possible roots way back into the Viking age.)

a few years later, my dad, myself and my brothers went for a night time walk up Beeston hill, some time after my grandpop died. At the top of the hill, I could vividly picture Black Shuck running along his spectral route, causing me to call out for my dad. Shuck was entirely silent, no sounds of paws on the ground, barking or growling. We eventually walked back into the streets of Sheringham, and as we walked along the road leading to my nana’s house, the streetlights started to blink on.

My version, unlike my granpop’s however, has a head!



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