Stories of Strangeness Episode 2: Black Shuck
Mike: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to episode two of Stories of Strangeness! I’m Mike and this is Zoe!
Zoe: [00:00:34] Hello!
Mike: [00:00:35] Hello. And, this episode is your episode. Isn’t it.
Zoe: [00:00:39] It is!
Mike: [00:00:40] And what are you going to be doing for us this episode? You’re very excited.
Zoe: [00:00:43] I am! Or a little scared.
Mike: [00:00:47] Oh, don’t be scared. I’m right here. Just across the room from you.
Zoe: [00:00:50] Exactly!
Mike: [00:00:52] Is that what you’re scared of – me? I am quite hairy. Which actually ties in.
Zoe: [00:00:58] Yeah, I was gunna say – I mean, if it was werewolves. Nope. This episode is Black Shuck.
Mike: [00:01:03] Black Shuck.
Zoe: [00:01:04] Yep. Yep
Mike: [00:01:05] Okay. So. Tell us what Black Shuck is.
Zoe: [00:01:09] Okay. If you’re sitting comfortably.
Mike: [00:01:13] Yep.
Zoe: [00:01:14] I shall begin. Okay. Stories of black dogs have been told in Britain since the Vikings bought over tales of Odin and his hounds when they invaded in 793 AD. Unfortunately, most tales have not been written down in a formal manner, but have been passed down through the generations with stories, twisted and embellished.
Tales tell of spectral hounds, both sinister and reassuring, terrifying or protective. He can appear in a flash of lightning or with a blood curdling, howl. Or he creeps up beside you before you realize he’s there – as his paws make no sound. Most agree that the hound is large, the size of a calf with a shaggy coat, and eyes that burn with hell fire – Red or green. There are also those that tell of a one eyed Shuck or even more extreme, a headless Shuck or strangely, the head of a monkey, or the face of a man. The term Black Shuck can now include all and any dog type creatures, sometimes not black. And sometimes not dogs. So, let us take a closer look at Black Shuck the demon dog of East Anglia. Also known by the names. Old Shuck; Old Shock; Old Scarf; Or, just plain Shuck.
The black part is self explanatory. Shuck is either derived from the old English word for demon or fiend, which I’m not sure on the pronunciation, but I’ll give it a go – It’s spelled, S C U C C A. So I’m going to say “Scucca”? Maybe? Or it could be derived from a local word, meaning shaggy, which I’m just assuming is shuck.
Anyway- even without hearing the stories, we have an idea of what to expect, but some of the stories are still surprising.
The first question I want to consider is: What does it mean if you see Black Shuck? Both Norfolk and Cambridgeshire agree that he is a portent of death, either yours or someone you know. In Cambridgeshire, it’s customary to look away as his look itself can bring death and not just a warning. In Suffolk, he is generally thought to be harmless unless provoked.
Although, what the people of Bungay and Blythburgh have to say about that, you will find out shortly. In Essex, he is still associated with graveyards and gallows, thus giving him the title of demon dog. But he is seen as more of a guardian, or protector.
All counties agree that Shuck has strong ties with graveyards, cemeteries, and lonely country roads.
One reason for this, may be the old Christian tradition of burying a live dog under the cornerstone of a new church. So as to act as a spirit guardian for the building and graveyard. Lore says that the first body to be interred in a church will become the spirit guardian, and not wanting to trap a human in purgatory, they chose a dog, for the fierce loyalty they show in life.
One of the earliest accounts to be written down, including demon dogs was recorded in the Peterborough Chronicle. In 1127, it states that for the nine weeks leading up to Easter, the Wild Hunt would pass by Peterborough abbey, through the monastary deer park and continue the 15 miles to Stamford. Both seen and heard by locals and monks alike, the blast of horns would warn of their nighttime approach. 20 to 30 huge terrifying men riding black horses and he-goats, accompanied by hounds – jet black, with eyes like saucers.
The Wild Hunt is a widespread European legend, with the leader of the hunt, changing from country to country.
In England, the hunt can be led by Wodin, King Arthur, Herne the Hunter or Hereward the Wake to name a few. Some would argue that these are all characters who have played great roles in our country’s history, but the new powers that be for want of a better phrasing, would like to see them retired to myth.
To see the hunt was to risk being dragged away to the underworld, to have your soul stolen, to join the hunt. Or more important to our story, a portent of death, much like Shuck.
East Anglia is made up of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, and Essex. And I’m going to start with one of the most famous Black Shuck stories.
South of Norwich across the county border in Suffolk, are the picturesque towns of Bungay and Blytheburgh, and it is here in 1577, that our story takes place.
On Sunday, the 4th of August, a terrible electric storm gripped, the area. Hail storms and ball lightning fell upon the townsfolk as terrified by this ungodly storm, they made their way to their parish church to seek shelter and reassurance. In St. Mary’s church Bungay, with a crash of thunder and lightning, a demonic hound burst through the door.
He ran the length of the church through its congregation, with unnatural speed and strength, viciously he snapped and mauled – and in another flash, he was gone. Here the hound left parishioners dead and dying. Two bodies are said to have been found kneeling at prayer, their necks broken at odd angles. The condition of another body is said to have been shriveled, like an old leather purse.
In Blytheburgh, it is written by Abraham Fleming that with an almighty crash and a flash of lightning, the doors of the church of the Holy Trinity were thrown open as the storm hit with full force. In the same instant struck by lightning, the church steeple collapsed in on itself.
As the dust settled, standing in the doorway, was the demonic hound bigger than it had rights to be, with eyes ablaze. The hound ran through the terrified congregation, wreaking havoc, killing a man and a boy and burning the hand of another before it made its exit and disappeared into the storm. The towns were left in a state of terror with their lives ever changed. Whatever happened that day – be it a demonic visitation or a rabid dog, terrified by a storm – it was a story that the town would never forget. Bungay now includes the black dog in their coat of arms and the local football team are called the black dogs.
Not far from Bungay on the Norfolk coast, is Gorleston and here we have a far more recent sighting. On the 19th of April, 1972 Graham Grant was coming to the end of his night shift when he saw something that drew his attention. About a quarter of a mile north of the lookout, he saw a large hound type dog.
But what made him keep watching was the fact that the dog would run and then stop as if looking for something and then run again. And then as he watched, it vanished. What makes the story noteworthy is the beach had recently been raked flat, so there was nowhere for the dog to go. And that Mr. Grant wasn’t local; he had just moved to the area and he wasn’t aware of the legend of Black Shuck until his work colleague told him about it after the sighting. His story was also featured in the local newspaper.
This report bears striking resemblance to two Black Shuck origin stories told on the North Norfolk coast. The first is a tale of two fishermen. One Danish and one Saxon who, while out fishing with their dog got into trouble and drowned. The Danish man was washed up in Beeston and the Saxon at Overstrand. Each was buried at the local church, but the dog who survived was unable to tell, which was the grave of his master. So it is said the loyal hound now roams between the two, searching for the master he was unable to save. He has been seen so many times in Overstrand, they’ve named a lane after him. It is also local lore that he leaves charring behind him, and the smell of brimstone.
The second story is from Salthouse. In the 1970’s, Walter H. Barrett wrote, that in 1910, he was passing through Salthouse and decided to have a drink at the Dun Cow pub. It was here, he saw a man sitting by the window. And wanting to sit for a while himself, he bought the man a drink.
The man was Sam Rudd, a local fishermen, and he told Barrett a story. He’d been digging bait as usual, but it was getting dark and the tide was coming in, so he started his four mile walk home. Having reached the beach road, he climbed over the shingle bank, and began to walk back towards the village. It was at this point that a heavy sea mist rolled in and soon all was darkness. “I then heard a dog howl, some distance behind me,” said, Sam. “It was so loud. It drowned out the roar of the sea pounding on the shingle bank!”
Sam then explained that he kicked off his heavy thigh boots and ran for it. But the faster he went, the closer the howl sounded. When he reached his home and had bolted the door, his father questioned him about his boots. But they were soon more concerned by the dog that was now howling outside their home.
His father carried his gun upstairs and loading it with a double charge of gunpowder, he took aim at the dog and fired. His father was adamant that he had hit the dog. But it had no effect and the dog continued howling.
But the next morning. There was no sign of the dog. Sam simply finished his drink, finished his story. Thanked Barrett and left.
Barrett was intrigued by Sam’s story – so much so, that he spoke to the local rector who told him it was nothing but nonsense, a cover story for local smugglers. This only spurred Barrett on to find out more. He spoke to another local fishermen, named Pinchin. Pinchin insisted that he should ignore the reverend that he wasn’t local and he didn’t understand local ways.
Pinchin then offered the true story of Black Shuck.
The night of the 28th of January, 1709, was stormy, and the waters of the North Norfolk coast were unforgiving. 20 foot high waves tore at the beaches, and the wind howled. The sea threatened to overrun the raised shingle bank, that protected Salthouse from the ravages of the sea. That night, there was a much anticipated shipwreck – A brig heading back to Yorkshire from London, laden, with fruit, spices, and other foodstuffs. The captain and crew tried in vain to control the ship. But it finally ran aground at Salthouse and was torn apart by the battering storm. The crew and captain abandoned ship and were taken by the sea – No survivors.
The next morning the storm had moved on and the villages came out to salvage what they could. They found the crew washed up on the beach and it was noted that the captain still gripped firmly the collar of his faithful Wolfhound pet and the dog’s jaws were clamped tightly to the captain’s reefer jacket.
The captain’s body was taken to Salthouse church and buried in an unmarked grave. The dog, however, they decided to just throw in a pit and bury on the beach. The locals would soon regret this decision.
It didn’t take long before people started seeing a very large black dog sniffing about and howling, as if lost and searching. As time passed the spectral hound became more and more terrifying. Some say through grief and frustration. Now as big as a calf, his eyes glowing red, his coat matted and shaggy. Still searching for his master.
Now we travel inland. Our next story comes from the wonderfully named Cambridgeshire village of Great Snoring. And sightings – not of Black Shuck, but of White Shuck. In the late 1930s before the outbreak of World War II. The village witnessed several sightings of this phantom hound. The first was told by a farmer, returning home one evening. Driving along, he came face to face with a large white dog standing in the middle of the road. He was traveling too fast to stop, or swerve, so as not to hit the creature. And he would have, if it hadn’t simply passed through his car.
It seemed to have scared him senseless as his reaction to this was to stop the car, get out and run home.
It was seen by several other people, often jumping out into oncoming traffic. Another story tells of a cyclist who, like the farmer, abandoned his vehicle in favour of running home.
It does seem that this Phantom was an isolated occurrence. There are no stories of it from other time periods. Some seem to think that it could have been a local dog, but others believe it was a portent for the huge loss of life the world was about to experience with the start of World War II.
So you may have noticed that I haven’t included a sighting from Essex. I could tell you the story of a midwife who in the 1930’s was followed home by a giant black dog. It easily kept pace with her as she cycled home before vanishing as quickly and silently as it had appeared. But that is all I would be able to tell you. Sightings of Black Shuck have been so common throughout history in East Anglia. There are literally hundreds. But unfortunately many consist of, “I was traveling home and I saw a huge black dog. He turned and ran through a wall!” Or, “He disappeared before my eyes,” Or, “He followed me home and then vanished.”
And I think that that is one of the things I find most intriguing. There are so many sightings, many of them so simple. Which makes me think that people genuinely believed that these had happened, because surely if you were going to make something up, you’d make it a bit more graphic, and detailed, and interesting. Something else that struck me during my research is this: We call these dogs demons, but if the stories are true, these are spirits of dogs so loyal, that they search beyond death for their masters and that they try and warn us of impending death. So, I guess it depends how much you liked dogs and how much you like ghosts.
In 2014, at the ruins of Leiston Abby, near Bungay – the skeletal remains of a seven foot dog were found. Buried in a shallow grave, they were able to date the remains by the pottery that was found around the body. And it was speculated by the locals that this could well have been the hound that terrorized the church on that Sunday morning in 1577. But even reports of this were twisted for dramatic effect. Some wording insisted that the dog was seven feet tall – implying a shoulder height of around five foot. And that would be truly terrifying. But others listed the info, as seven foot long, which for a large dog, including its tail would be within the realms of possibility. So if a story can be twisted like this in a few weeks. How much can a story be twisted in 500 years? The story of Bungay and Blytheburgh are some of the most documented, but we really have only one relevant reference for it: the words of Abraham Fleming. But even with people using this one resource, details have been added and tweaked. And one thing I found when I was researching is that no one could agree which church was visited first, or how many people actually died? We only know it happened.
So Mike, how do you feel about Black Shuck now you know a little more about him?
Mike: [00:17:21] Well, there was actually a lot there that I didn’t know. So, for one thing I picked up on the fact about the Wild Hunt. Because I didn’t even know that that was a UK legend. I only know it from the game, the Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, which is Polish in origin.
Zoe: [00:17:37] It literally is all over Europe, but it seems essentially European. So one thing I found about the Wild Hunt was that, well, it’s two fold really. You’ve got the use by Christians to demonize pagan religion. They would put the pagan leaders like Herne the Hunter at the lead of the hunt and have them with demonic hounds, to demonize them; to make them the bad guys.
Mike: [00:18:03] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:18:03] Something else that was noted is that the Wild Hunt would often show up, when things were happening that were more Christian based: The building of a new church, or if something was happening historically, that was essentially against… the locals, for want of a better word. If there’s something that wasn’t going right. the incident in Peterborough, a new reverend or bishop had arrived.
Mike: [00:18:30] Right.
Zoe: [00:18:30] At Peterborough Abbey, and he wasn’t well liked.
Mike: [00:18:34] Right.
Zoe: [00:18:34] And it was him arriving for those nine weeks before Easter. That seems to have kicked all this off. And again, some people said, Oh, well, maybe it was just some locals having a bit of fun, or trying to drive him away.
Mike: [00:18:45] Right. Okay, yeah.
Zoe: [00:18:46] But other people said, “but hang on a minute: The locals were scared, too!”
Mike: [00:18:50] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:18:51] There’s links with Grimm fairy tales. There’s a lot of Germanic lore on it. But just the different people that were supposedly leading it, were – if you looked at each country, they were very prominent people from each country being demonized.
Mike: [00:19:06] Yeah. It’s interesting because in my youth, I read a comic called 2000AD, which some people may be familiar with, and in that was a character called – I’m going to call him “Slaine”
Zoe: [00:19:17] “Slaine”
Mike: [00:19:17] Cause that’s how it is. Yeah, “Slaine” I think is the correct pronunciation, but I don’t want to murder it. But one of the big stories they did was Slaine the Horned God, Slaine the Horned God, and a lot of that went into hings like, the threefold aspect of the goddess. The maiden, the hag and the, matron. And that looked really deeply into Celtic traditions and things like that. And one of the traditions was when a leader died, they strapped antlers to him, in reference to Herne the Hunter and Carnun – from which we get the word carnal.
carnal, relations. and that again was the church demonizing, the pagan gods of fertility and things like that. And going well, you shouldn’t be doing this kind of thing. was very naughty, don’t be carnal,
Zoe: [00:20:03] but it’s a bit like. Two fingers behind the head.
Mike: [00:20:06] Yeah. Is a symbol of fertility. Cause it’s making you look like a horned God or a rabbit, which – yeah.
Zoe: [00:20:11] But then if you talk to people who are Christian, they say, well actually it’s making you to like a devil cause she’s giving you horns.
Mike: [00:20:16] Yeah, but the whole idea that the devil has horns is because he comes from the pagan religions where it was Herne the Hunter,
Zoe: [00:20:22] And Pan.
Mike: [00:20:23] Or Carnun. And Pan and things like that. And these were all fertility gods and the church wanted to take control over people’s libido, basically.
Zoe: [00:20:31] Yep.
Mike: [00:20:32] Other things – there were quite a few that I didn’t know there, I mean, I’ve always known Black Shuck as a demon dog and a portent of death. And, the kind of, the lonely road, and a traveler, and if you see a black dog, it means that,
Zoe: [00:20:44] You’re time’s up.
Mike: [00:20:44] Somebody is going to die. It could be you. Yeah, absolutely.
Zoe: [00:20:48] I think that’s the basic story that actually , I was finding black dog stories ,
Mike: [00:20:53] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:20:53] Being called Black Shuck all over Britain.
Mike: [00:20:56] Yeah. So it is quite widespread throughout the whole country. But it did surprise me little bit to see that there were some really quite contemporary accounts and things
Zoe: [00:21:05] Honestly, people are still seeing him now. It’s a little bit more watered down now for want of a better word, because people move around so much,
Mike: [00:21:13] Right.
Zoe: [00:21:14] But if you talk to local people, They will know who Black Shuck is.
Mike: [00:21:19] Especially around this area.
Zoe: [00:21:20] Oh my goodness. Yes we are because we are Black Shuck country right here.
Mike: [00:21:24] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:21:24] I mean, we, we actually have a friend from Bungay, and she said she did not realize that this was all over East Anglia. She just grew up with it. It was her dog.
Mike: [00:21:35] It was a Bungay thing.
Zoe: [00:21:37] That makes it even more local. And when I spoke about it, she was really surprised that I’d even heard of it.
Mike: [00:21:42] Yeah. And I’d heard of it. And I’m from quite far north, from here.
Zoe: [00:21:47] You’ve probably got your own black dog up there anyway love.
Mike: [00:21:50] Quite possibly. I don’t. I dunno about kind of
Zoe: [00:21:52] I’ll have a look!
Mike: [00:21:52] North Lincolnshire, Yorkshire area, probably. But we, as we mentioned on the first episode, we both grew up with the “Folklore, Myths, and Legends of Great Britain,” book. And I’m pretty sure that’s where I got most of my Black Shuck knowledge from.
Zoe: [00:22:08] I mean, there’s only a very small part in that, but…
Mike: [00:22:10] Which is why I didn’t know all this other stuff.
Zoe: [00:22:12] But it does give you little bits from, from all over East Anglia. One thing I didn’t include in my piece was the story of the monk headed dog in Stowmarket, because I couldn’t find…
Mike: [00:22:23] monk, or monkey?
Zoe: [00:22:25] Monk.
Mike: [00:22:25] Oh, wow.
Zoe: [00:22:26] This is a dog. Well,
Mike: [00:22:27] Dog with a Friar’s head.
Zoe: [00:22:29] Yeah, well, this is the thing you see,
Mike: [00:22:30] Friar Shuck.
Zoe: [00:22:31] There was, there was, there was very, very confl… Friar Shuck. Oh my god…
Mike: [00:22:35] Come on that’s gold!
Zoe: [00:22:36] It was really conflicting stories. You see some stories said it was a dog with the face of a monk. Others said a monk with a face of a dog. And I thought, Hey, maybe the guy is just ugly. Others said that actually, no, it was a local farmer who went all the way around the countryside looking for a monk with the head of a dog or a dog with a head of a monk.
Mike: [00:23:00] It was strange times by the sound of things.
Zoe: [00:23:01] I couldn’t strap it down, you know, I couldn’t hold it down. But apparently the basic story was a Saint had buried a treasure horde
Mike: [00:23:08] Right.
Zoe: [00:23:08] And left a dog and a monk to guard it. But when they died their spirits,
Both: [00:23:14] merged…
Zoe: [00:23:15] which, I’m concerned, quite frankly.
Mike: [00:23:18] I’m not sure what I’d find more disconcerting: dog with a head of a monk who maybe wanted to proselytize to me – or a monk with the head of the dog that was also trying to proselytize to me, but about dog food. I don’t know.
Zoe: [00:23:33] Food! Throw this ball!
Mike: [00:23:34] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:23:34] Feed me! Scratch my belly.
Mike: [00:23:37] Yeah! All the communion wafers have gone, and you know, why!
Zoe: [00:23:41] Oh, God, that’s terrible. I mean, I mean, there are other instances where, there was a Shuck with the face of a man, that spoke to a guy and said, Oh, you’re going to die soon.
Mike: [00:23:51] That’s terrifying.
Zoe: [00:23:52] I know, but the poor guy, I think he was so frightened. He,
Mike: [00:23:55] Had heart attack.
Zoe: [00:23:56] Died the next day!
Mike: [00:23:57] Well, yeah, I can understand why, he was probably just like bugger this, I’m off!
Zoe: [00:24:01] Honestly – dog comes and talks to you.
Mike: [00:24:04] Yeah. No, I have to say, seeing a large, kind of red or green eyed slathering demon dog would be terrifying. Seeing it with the face of a person going, uh, excuse me, by the way, your time is almost up.
Zoe: [00:24:18] Okay. Yeah, I’m not arguing with you. Quite frankly, I’m terrified.
Mike: [00:24:22] I’m wearing brown shorts today and I’d hope that I was wearing the same pair if I saw that!
But yeah, there was lots of things. I didn’t know, like the dogs that kind of pine for their masters and things like that, because you, you still hear about that happening today. Like dogs, like, lying near graves and things like that. And it’s, it’s amazing to me what they know, you know, what they can kind of discern, they understand a lot more than we give them credit for. I think.
Zoe: [00:24:45] Well, this is it. And that’s why I said, you know, at one point, I was explaining one of the stories to our daughter, and I got a little bit emotional because all I could think of was the loyalty that those dogs have shown.
Mike: [00:24:57] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:24:58] Going like beyond life. And I was just like, Oh my goodness. And it’s so sad, and we’re being so mean to them calling them demons. And all they’re doing is trying to be a good boy.
Mike: [00:25:08] Oh, no!
Zoe: [00:25:09] No, they’re trying to be the best boy and
Mike: [00:25:11] All dogs are good boys.
Zoe: [00:25:12] Exactly!
Mike: [00:25:13] And girls.
Zoe: [00:25:13] And I’m just like, Oh, are you might look terrible, but I’m sure you’ve got the, the mindset of a puppy, and you’re just wanting someone to play with you and not run away screaming.
Another one was the, the guy. Who was, on the night shift as a look out on the beach and he just saw the dog running about, but you just put the dog just disappeared on a completely flat beach.
Mike: [00:25:34] When was that I can’t remember when that was?
Zoe: [00:25:36] 1972.
Mike: [00:25:37] I mean, that’s almost within my lifetime.
Zoe: [00:25:40] Yeah. but there were sightings that were far more recent. But they just don’t have the details to make an interesting story. And that’s what I was like. There’s literally hundreds.
Mike: [00:25:49] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:25:49] The guy that, that was so scared that he jumped out of his car and ran home, leaving the car on the side of the road.
Mike: [00:25:54] Yeah, those guys I was interested in, because it’s like, I get that you’d be terrified. But why on earth you leave your car and run home?
Zoe: [00:26:04] But he’s scared senseless!
Mike: [00:26:04] You’d get home quicker and safer in the car, surely?
Zoe: [00:26:07] But this is the thing. When you are truly terrified. I don’t think things
Both: [00:26:12] Make sense.
Mike: [00:26:13] Yeah. I suppose.
Zoe: [00:26:14] So he was driving home and he saw the dog in the middle of the road and he tried to stop, but he couldn’t and the dog went through
Mike: [00:26:20] The dog passed through. Yeah. The dog passed through the car, but then even that, that would just make me put my foot down, not, not get out and run.
Zoe: [00:26:27] But he was already trying to stop. So I guess the car just came to a halt, and he was like, “Huh!”
Mike: [00:26:31] But even… I just don’t…
Zoe: [00:26:33] It doesn’t make sense!
Mike: [00:26:34] You’re inside a car. If, if, if I’m inside a car and a dog attacks the car, I’m like, “Hmm –
Zoe: [00:26:39] Yeah but the dog…
Mike: [00:26:40] to be you, I’m driving away.
Zoe: [00:26:41] The dog didn’t attack it though, did it?
Mike: [00:26:43] I know, but even so if, even if it was a demon dog, or a ghost dog – what makes you think you’re going to be safer on foot than in a car? That makes no sense to me. Again, it must just be that it’s…
Zoe: [00:26:55] I mean, the, the guy on the bike
Mike: [00:26:56] … terror.
Zoe: [00:26:56] I’m just wondering if maybe he like, wobbled a bit and fell off the bike and was like, Oh, I can’t be bothered to try and get on and scoot that along.
Mike: [00:27:02] No, the guy that fell off the bike, I mean that, I can see like, buckling the wheel or, you know, breaking a chain or something like that. And then you’re just like, I’m going to hoof it. Unless the car won’t start, which you know…
Zoe: [00:27:15] It was the 1930’s. So cars, maybe weren’t as like, you know.
Mike: [00:27:19] Ok. Ok, 1930s Yeah. I’m trying to think of what kind of cars were around in the 1930’s, and I’m wondering if it is stuff that had like open sides or, open roof or, I’m trying to think of like Downton Abbey that was set in the 30s. Wasn’t it? And a lot of their cars were like the old style, no roof.
Zoe: [00:27:34] Crank engine and things like that.
Mike: [00:27:35] They weren’t fast. They weren’t fast.
Zoe: [00:27:37] They weren’t that fast.
Mike: [00:27:37] I mean, we’re talking about that used to have people walk in front of them with a red flag, so that nobody got run over!
Zoe: [00:27:42] I know, but if you’re going back to Downton Abbey, then ole, what’s his chops did actually drive too fast and have a bit of an accident. So…
Mike: [00:27:48] I haven’t watched enough of Downton Abbey tell you about that, but okay.
Zoe: [00:27:52] But no cars could go a fair speed. I was more thinking if it’s a kind of very old car, even in the 19th that he prayed to get out and do a crank thing to start it up again.
Mike: [00:28:02] And if it stopped. And you were already out, you might as well, just poo yourself.
Zoe: [00:28:04] Might as well peg it, and erm…
Mike: [00:28:05] Yeah, but you’re not gonna outrun a dog most of the time. I mean, maybe some of these horribly bred things that we’ve got these days, like a, you know, terrible bulldog,
Zoe: [00:28:14] A little Chihuahua!
Mike: [00:28:16] That limps.
Zoe: [00:28:17] Although they are quite speedy aren’t they, when they want to be.
Mike: [00:28:19] Chihuahua’s are, yeah. Bulldogs, not so much.
Zoe: [00:28:21] No.
Mike: [00:28:22] And, like, sausage dogs. We’ve we’ve gone off on a tangent now, we’re just talking about different types of dogs and how fast they can run.
Zoe: [00:28:28] Yeah. But that’s ok.
Mike: [00:28:30] Hopefully, this is entertaining to somebody. Yeah, no, there was a, there was a lot in there that I didn’t know. So thank you for that. That was awesome.
Zoe: [00:28:37] Okay. Here’s another question.
Mike: [00:28:38] Okay.
Zoe: [00:28:39] Would you spend a night, walking alone, out on the Fenland roads.
Mike: [00:28:46] Absolutely. Yeah.
Zoe: [00:28:47] To be fair, I’ve done it many times, so yeah.
Mike: [00:28:49] Yeah. No problem. Stuff like that doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t get to me at all, the demon. If I saw one, it might be a different matter. But the thought of it doesn’t really make me shiver or go any weird. Cause it’s, it’s either a real dog or it’s not. And if it’s a real dog…
Zoe: [00:29:04] Those are basically the two choices, Yes.
Mike: [00:29:05] I suppose. I, if I, if anything, actually I’d probably be frightened of a, of a real dog than a spectral one. The spectral dog. I’d just be like, well, if it passed through a car, it probably can’t bite me.
Zoe: [00:29:17] True. Yes, but not about the, the portent of death aspect.
Mike: [00:29:22] Yeah, that would be troubling. I mean at the minute, it’s amazing. He’s not every bloody where.
Zoe: [00:29:26] To be fair. Yeah. He’s um,
Mike: [00:29:29] Really. There was one other thing that I did notice, which was when you mentioned that, somebody took a shot at one of them in one of these stories, and, it didn’t seem to deter or flinch, that has kind of parallels into Skinwalker Ranch. Where there was a very large dog. That they took shots are and even saw chunks of flesh fly off. And this thing did not flinch.
Zoe: [00:29:49] Well you see this one, he took the shot, and, because it was a shotgun.
Mike: [00:29:54] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:29:55] The next morning they found all the shot in the door of, I think it was their privy outside.
Mike: [00:30:01] Right.
Zoe: [00:30:01] So it’d all passed straight through him.
Mike: [00:30:04] Straight through. Wow, ok.
Zoe: [00:30:04] Rather than actually hitting anything. There wasn’t any kind of, you know, there was no like, cartoon shape of a dog with gun shot round it.
Mike: [00:30:12] But even then, I mean it’s – there is a good chance that at night somebody took a shot at something that was moving outside and missed, quite frankly.
Zoe: [00:30:19] I mean, unless it was a trained gundog.
Mike: [00:30:23] Yeah,
Zoe: [00:30:23] A gunshot like that would terrify a dog and it would be gone.
Mike: [00:30:28] Yeah, for the most part.
Zoe: [00:30:29] Because a gunpowder gun. They are loud and they flash, and, I mean, it’s basically a firework,
Mike: [00:30:37] Dogs are pretty nippy, generally. Large dogs, anyway. So there’s a very good chance that he raised the thing and it moved and he took a shot and missed and it ran off into the night frightened.
Zoe: [00:30:48] But it didn’t, it carried on howling outside their house.
Mike: [00:30:51] Oh, wow. Okay.
Zoe: [00:30:52] That’s what he said. You know, it didn’t make any difference. It just carried on howling.
Mike: [00:30:59] Wow.
Zoe: [00:30:59] But at no point in the story, did they say, and at this point we slept or at this point it went away. I think they were just…
Mike: [00:31:07] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:31:07] It was just, the next morning.
Mike: [00:31:08] There’s almost like a banshee aspect to it, of, of the, kind of the howling of the portent of death, is very similar to the…
Zoe: [00:31:13] It is almost like the East Anglian banshee. Yeah. I’m not sure which I’d find more terrifying; a haggard old woman screaming at me,
Mike: [00:31:20] That one.
Zoe: [00:31:20] Or, well to be fair actually, yeah.
Mike: [00:31:22] That one. Definitely. A dog howling, I can cope with. An old woman, sat on her haunches on a low wall. Combing her hair and screaming,
Zoe: [00:31:30] Knocking on your window.
Mike: [00:31:31] That one would have me going. I think she needs some help, but not the kind I can provide.
Zoe: [00:31:37] I’d maybe take her a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Mike: [00:31:39] Oh, blimey really? Can you imagine that? Taking a biscuit out to a banshee?
Zoe: [00:31:43] You’d be like, “Here love! Custard cream?”
Mike: [00:31:48] “Bourbon? Hob Nob?” I have no idea what kind of biscuits Banshees, like.
Zoe: [00:31:53] I was just gonna say!
Mike: [00:31:54] Maybe we can open that one up for listener comments. What kind of biscuits do you think Banshees like?
Zoe: [00:31:58] Shortbread.
Mike: [00:31:59] Shortbread. Yeah, it could be.
Zoe: [00:32:01] Keeping it classic.
Mike: [00:32:01] Could be, yeah. Digestive. Rich tea!
Zoe: [00:32:05] No, they go too floppy. When you put them in your drink.
Mike: [00:32:08] In your drink. Yeah.
Zoe: [00:32:10] Needs to be more substantial.
Mike: [00:32:10] For people outside the UK, this might not be a thing at all, but we, we tend to dunk biscuits in our strange brew of leaves and Milk.
Zoe: [00:32:18] But in Australia, they do it with chocolate bars. You get your Tim Tams and you bite either end of it, stick it in and suck the drink up through the straw. Like it’s a straw.
Mike: [00:32:27] Wow, ok.
Zoe: [00:32:27] Yeah. Cause it’s like wafer. So, yeah, it’s madness.
Mike: [00:32:29] That’s entirely new to me and seems very odd, but there we go. Cool. So that was Black Shuck.
Zoe: [00:32:36] It was. So, er…
Mike: [00:32:38] We hope you enjoyed it.
Zoe: [00:32:39] Yeah. What do you think? Do you have any stories of black dogs?
Mike: [00:32:43] Yeah.
Zoe: [00:32:44] Either from like where you’re from or, do you know anybody who’s seen him trotting about?
Mike: [00:32:51] Yeah. Let us know, let us know, drop us an email.
Zoe: [00:32:55] I mean, to be fair, we’ll take any stories you’ve got.
Mike: [00:32:58] Yep.
Zoe: [00:32:58] I’m quite eager to hear stories from all over the place.
Mike: [00:33:02] Yeah, absolutely.
Zoe: [00:33:03] Because I love it. I love it.
Mike: [00:33:04] Yeah. We’d love to hear any, any stories of any kind of weirdness: Aliens, hauntings, banshee’s, black dogs, whatever you’ve got, basically we’ll have a read of it, so send it across.
Zoe: [00:33:13] So what’s the email address they need to send it to?
Mike: [00:33:15] It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zoe: [00:33:18] There you go.
Mike: [00:33:18] I managed to get that out in one.
Zoe: [00:33:20] I’m impressed.
Mike: [00:33:21] Me too.
Zoe: [00:33:21] I was testing you.
Mike: [00:33:22] Yeah. Phew!
Zoe: [00:33:24] Okay. where else can they find us?
Mike: [00:33:26] They can find us on Instagram. We are @storiesofstrangeness. We also now have a Twitter account, which I don’t even think you know about!
Zoe: [00:33:33] I did not know that.
Mike: [00:33:35] Which is @sostrangepod.
Zoe: [00:33:37] So strange pod.
Mike: [00:33:38] Well the S O is supposed to be “stories of.”
Zoe: [00:33:40] Oh, ok!
Mike: [00:33:40] So it’s so strange pod.
Zoe: [00:33:42] Nice, nice!
Mike: [00:33:43] You see. So, yeah, we just got on to, onto there. We have a Facebook page. If you just search for Stories of Strangeness you should be able to find us. We have a Facebook group, if you want to come and chat with us, and hang out and talk and tell us your stories. That’s cool too. Also have a couple of thank you’s to go through,
Zoe: [00:34:01] We do.
Mike: [00:34:01] Because we’ve received our first two reviews on iTunes,
Zoe: [00:34:05] Which is incredible as we’ve only done one episode so far. So thank you.
Mike: [00:34:10] Thank you very much. So we’d like to thank Leslie Ann Craven from “The Crimes We’re Into” podcast who wrote, “Can’t wait to hear a full length episode,” but still gave us five stars. Thank you very much for that.
Zoe: [00:34:19] Thank you!
Mike: [00:34:20] We shall be probably returning the favour soon, once I’ve listened to more of your episodes. When I listened to them, it was just a one episode and some outtakes, but it was still worth a listen. They were releasing on, I think by yesterday, I think they were releasing three or four episodes, or something.
Zoe: [00:34:35] What day is yesterday love?
Mike: [00:34:37] The fourth.
Zoe: [00:34:38] Of?
Mike: [00:34:39] Uh, this month.
Zoe: [00:34:41] So June? 2020?
Mike: [00:34:43] Sure. Why not? Yeah. June, 2020. Yeah. So they should have several episodes out, for you to listen to now, it sounded like it was going to be well worth a listen. Is there anybody else we need to thank? I need to thank you. Thank you very much!
Zoe: [00:34:54] You’re very welcome. And I can’t wait to hear what you have to tell us in the next episode, about Tesla!
Mike: [00:35:01] About Tesla. it’s all coming together. Ooh, one other thing I did want to mention. Zoe has done some amazing artwork for this episode, which will be going up onto our Redbubble page. We might post it in the Facebook group as well, just so that people can have a look, but you’ll be able to buy stuff with that on . It’s a fantastic painting of Black Shuck.
Zoe: [00:35:20] Well, you know, my little version him.
Mike: [00:35:22] Yep. So keep an eye out for that. Other than that, we would really like it if you’d subscribe. We’d love it. If you’d review us and give us a rating on iTunes, because that really helps us grow the show and help more people listen to us.
Zoe: [00:35:35] But yeah, just get in touch.
Mike: [00:35:36] Yeah. Give us a shout
Zoe: [00:35:38] Tell us what you want to hear.
Mike: [00:35:39] Yeah. So I want to just give a couple of little shout outs. First one is to Rode, who make our microphones. They are awesome. Thank you very much. We couldn’t make the podcast without them.
Zoe: [00:35:50] They make me sound very intelligent.
Mike: [00:35:52] Yeah, absolutely. I think, I think you get a plus one to intelligence with these microphones.
Zoe: [00:35:56] Fantastic.
Mike: [00:35:57] I want to give a shout out to Captivate our podcast hosts who have been helping me all this week with some technical issues and have been fantastic at getting back in touch with me. Thank you very much, guys. And I also want to just give a quick shout out to Descript, which is a new program that I’ve found for editing the podcast.
Really clever, little bit of software, that actually transcribes what you’re saying as you record. And then you can edit the podcast by editing the script. So you can just delete words and it changes the audio. There’s loads of clever things that it does. If you do run a podcast, check it out. It’s well worth a look into.
Zoe: [00:36:34] It will be taking over the world soon.
Mike: [00:36:35] Yup. The AI is going to be Skynet.
Zoe: [00:36:38] I was gunna say, it’s Skynet in disguise.
Mike: [00:36:41] It is, it’s listening to us right now as we’re recording.
Zoe: [00:36:44] I can see it.
Mike: [00:36:44] Yeah. Populating the little screen there with words. Okay.
Zoe: [00:36:52] Thanks very much.
Mike: [00:36:53] I think that’s it. Isn’t it. Try not to have nightmares.
Zoe: [00:36:56] Love you lots.
Both: [00:36:57] Bye.
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