Justified & Ancient
- May 30, 2009
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There are a few 'worm' legends like this in that part of the country. Was it the same creature or a spread of a legend, or was there more than one creature? Interesting.It's worth looking up the Lambton Worm too:
I know about this from folk song (I'm a Morris dancer and occasional folk singer) and there are a few songs loosely based on the tale.
It's a morality tale in a way, and it shares features from many other famous legends. The hero misses church (bad boy) and goes fishing instead. He only catches weird and ugly fish with legs. He thinks it's the devil (what other explanation could there be?) and throws it down a well and forgets about it (as you do). Off he goes on crusade and while he's away, it lays waste to his father's lands. He comes back to find desolation, kills the worm, but fails to comply with the instructions he has been given and as a result brings down a curse on his family.
Not really a cryptid as there is no doubt it was only a story, but nevertheless fascinating.
There are a few 'worm' legends like this in that part of the country.
... I've been in a church somewhere, I think it was Ripon, where there were things carved on the pews that had some connection with the Alice books by Lewis Carroll. I can definitely remember a depiction of a rabbit going down a hole but there were others. ...
How about 'The Barghest O' Whitby' a black 'devil dog/hell hound' most closely resembling the Rottweiler/Mastiff breeds of dog all black in colour. I visited Whitby once as a youngster with the family and was told it was famous for it's fish and chips, a decade or so later and the band 'My Dying Bride' released an album titled 'The Barghest O' Whitby' as a concept album exploring the myth (real or imagined) behind it.
I know someone who claims to have seen Black Shuck 20 or more years ago .. on Cromer beach one night to be precise, he told me he'd seen a black dog the size of a small horse running along the shoreline although he's more than likely pulling my leg I suppose .. the legend of Shuck is quite famous around here, you can even buy Black Shuck gin, it's produced by the parents of a waitress I know ..Thanks to all who responded, yes the Whitby Barghest also enlarged it's 'stomping ground?' to the wider area and I read it also frequented those 'snikelways', so it is believed they are one and the same or at least have a connection of some sort. There was one other account that caught my intrigue by the name of 'Black Shuck' a devil dog of near identical appearance to it's counterpart in Whitby from the flatlands of Norfolk, Suffolk, and also the northern part of Essex, I read that this creature (whatever it is) invaded a church and attacked the parishoners there, they left the church with the 'hell hound on their tail' and relocated at another church not too far away, once there they of course bolted the not insignificant doors shut and Black Shuck was said to have some great long scratch marks on the door, the article went on to say that these marks were still there to be seen to the present day, so I thought "great I'll run a Google search on the church" and sure enough in images one of the first things to come up was photos of the door with the everpresent scratch marks, they look almost like they were burned into the wood, maybe suggesting or exploiting (whichever way you see it) the creatures hellish origin. Could these just be urban legends to garuntee a certain amount of tourism to these otherwise insignificant places (Whitby has a bit more going for it I'll admit, but the vampire connection seems fabricated and I can see how they have benefited from that what with the already mentioned goth festival, some say dracula is a fictional character, others say he is based on a real life person 'Vlad Dracul' or 'Vlad the Impaler' as he was also known, the psychotic ruler of Wallachia which is in modern day Romania but as ever I digress.) There seem to be many spots along the North East coast of Britain claimed to have some connection or other with this dracula character, the disgusting paedophile jimmy savile (always in lower case !) was said to have insisted on being buried 'stood up' so that he would be facing the exact spot along the shoreline where this dracula character (or the one who is supposed to have inspired the story) first arrived by ship to England, why he would want to do such a thing is anyones guess, but I've listened to many different theories including the ones some would deem as 'far out' or strictly for the 'tinfoil hat' brigade, and among them is the belief that it had something to do with the nonces belief in reincarnation, which I'm guessing you can maybe see where that might lead, but I've digressed way too much already and am way off topic ! Anyway back to the hell hounds, I wonder what anyone makes of these supposed scratch marks from Black Shuck on the church door, I forget the name of the church but a Google search on Black Shuck will bring it up, do you think there might be something to it, or is it nothing more than an unscrupulous marketing ploy by local parishoners who supposedly should know better ?
you can even buy Black Shuck gin
Cool .. and I found out recently that Cromer also has a second paranormal ghost dog sometimes seen on the beach completely separate it seems from the Shuck legend .. two ghost dogs ? .. we're just being greedy now !There is a brewery in Whitby
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I bought a bottle from an Off License there once but I can't remember what the ale was like now. Kippers from Whitby? Try driving about 60 miles home in +20 degreeC heat with your kippers wrapped in newspaper on the back seat. Now I'm not sure if the kippers were actually from Craster.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shug_MonkeyIn the folklore of Cambridgeshire, the Shug Monkey is a creature that shares features of a dog and monkey, which reportedly haunted Slough Hill Lane (a street that leads from the village of West Wratting to nearby Balsham). The creature, believed to have the body of a jet-black shaggy sheepdog and the face of a monkey with staring eyes,was believed to be a supernatural ghost or demon. Local writer and broadcaster James Wentworth Day, who first related stories of the Shug Monkey in Here Are Ghosts and Witches (1954), described it as a curious variation of Black Shuck, while local folklorist Polly Howat suggests that both share common origins in Norse mythology.