7 Foot-Tall Hellhound Skeleton Found Buried near Ancient Monastery (UK)

How often are legends validated by archaeological finds? Not frequently, but when it happens, everyone starts believing to some extent.

500 years ago, the British Isles were terrorized by hellish black dogs. One of the more famous dogs being “Black Shuck,” a giant hellhound with burning red eyes and a matching attitude. An ancient legend tells that on the night of August 4, 1577, as a storm was raging in Blythburg, Suffolk, villagers took shelter inside the Holy Trinity Church.

Suddenly, a thunder burst open the doors and the monstrous dog barged in, snarling and growling. It set its bloodshot eyes upon a man and a boy, whom he killed before fleeing the church when the steeple collapsed.

The account is described in Reverend Abraham Fleming’s book ‘A Straunge and Terrible Wunder:

This black dog, or the devil in such a likeness (God he knoweth all who worketh all) running all along down the body of the church with great swiftness, and incredible haste, among the people, in a visible form 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 both at one instant clean backward, in so much that even at a moment where they kneeled, they strangely died.”

Blythburgh residents say his claw marks still adorn the church door. And according to some, the legend of Black Shuck was the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles.’

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Last year, archaeologists who were excavating the ruins of Leiston Abbey in Suffolk, England uncovered the remains of a giant dog that once stood 7 feet tall on its hind legs. A veterinarian was called to the dig and estimated the mammoth dog weighed approximately 200 pounds when it lived. Could this skeleton have belonged to Black Shuck, the demon canine? And why was it buried on holy grounds—was it ritualistic?

Radiocarbon dating will show us this dogs lifespan, and if the time frame is correct the legend gets a reality boost.. But no matter what, the tale of the Black Shuck will surely persist.

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11 comments

  1. Horses don’t have canine teeth. This skull shown has obvious lower canines.

  2. Really misleading. If a dog is 7′ tall it is 7′ tall at the shoulders. This sounds like the skeleton of a Great Dane.

  3. Black Shuck was a bastardization of the great hounds that were the guardians of the gates to the lands of the daoine sidhe. Christians tried everything they could to turn pagan beliefs into something demonic.

  4. Sounds like witch talk to me…you know what we do with witches? We burn them! and do you know what we burn witches with? MORE WITCHES!….ok not really…not sense the late 16th century or so…but we will shake are fists at you and talk about you poorly behind your back….ok that’s not very treating is it then?…well, we will…um..ok, our bible says…fuck…we got nothing..well carry on then with you witchery stuff but know that next Sunday mass I’m going to possibly say something not very pleasant about your mother’s cooking to my friends and your not going to be there to hear it OR defend your mother’s cooking….check mate witch…

  5. Do you even realize how tall 7 feet is? Odviously a great Dane or any living dog is that tall.
    And I think a vetranearin would know a horse.

  6. My surname is borrett, it means the shaggy haired gatekeepers, we were based around Suffolk during this, I found this out a few years ago when I had a strange dream of it appearing before me, I talked to my mother who then proceeded to tell me of the black shuck, a few months later she had told me some of her pagan friends said it had returned and shortly after these bones were found. What do you make of it?

  7. Umm, of course I realize how tall that is. That is my entire point. This dog was NOT seven feet tall.

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