The Beast of Bungay
4th August 1577

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On the 4th August, 1577, the quiet village of Bungay cowered under storm clouds as lightning rent the sky. As the storm grew, the villagers gathered in St. Mary's church to pray for deliverance from the rain, hail and ever-darkening skies.

But the storm was the least of their problems on that long-ago night. For a black hell hound appeared in their midst, tearing around the church and mauling several villagers. Then, the beast departed, haring across 12 miles of countryside to Blythburgh Church, where it reputedly killed two men in the belltower before departing this world, never to be seen again. The entity that caused the scorch marks is today often identified with Black Shuck.

Today, visitors to the church can still see the black scorch marks on the church door, where the corporeal beast left his eternal mark for all to see.

Modern Theories

Today's rationalists ascribe the beast's appearance to freak weather conditions - perhaps lightning - suggesting that a colourful legend arose from superstition and country simplicity in the face of unusual or extreme weather. We find it hard to believe that lightning was unfamiliar to the people of Bungay - even in 1577. However, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that something rarer such as a tornado may be at the root of this persistent story.

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Author: Ian Freud   |  Last updated: 28th October 2012 | © Weird Island 2010-2020
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