Drawing of a phantom black dog.

The phantom black dogs of Britain are mysterious phantoms which look like black dogs. They are considered by many to be demons or representations of the Devil. They are also said to be an omen of death.


There have been reported sightings of phantom black dogs throughout Britain ever since the medieval period. Almost every county has its own variant, from Black Shuck of East Anglia to Padfoot and the Bogey Beast of Yorkshire.

When someone in Britain sees a phantom black dog they are not supposed to tell anyone about it for a year and a day. According to legend, if someone is told about it before a year and a day has passed, they will die.

Phantom black dogs are described as taking on many different shapes and forms, some howling, some with only one eye and others carrying chains around them.

In 1577, a phantom black dog was said to have attacked Christians in a church in Blyborough, killing five people as they prayed. It is said to have left its pawprints burnt on the church door where they can still be seen today. Another church nearby was also said to have been visited by a phantom black dog. They are also described as being in many different shapes and forms, some howling, some with only one eye and others carrying a chain around them.

One of the most famous phantom black dogs is Old Shuck of East Anglia, which is said to have been haunting the area for many years. In 1941 a young woman is said to have seen it. Mistaking it for a neighbours dog. she tried to grab hold of it but it shrunk its size and escaped.

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