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In Search of
The Black Dog of Bungay
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Placed: 4-12-03
Placed By: WWW (Formerly known as Chuck Straub and Molly)
Location: Scotland Connecticut, Windham County
Rated: Easy

Rated easy to find but about a 2 mile round trip hike, half of which is uphill.

From the intersection of routes 6 and 97 in Hampton, go south on route 97, (Pudding Hill Road) 3 Ĺ miles. You will cross the Hampton, Scotland town line and come to the Rock Spring Wildlife Refuge on the left. There is a wooden sign and a small parking area along the side of route 97. If you come to The James Spignesi Wildlife Area, you just passed it. If you are coming from route 14 east in Scotland, take route 97 North 1.5 miles and the Rock Spring Wildlife Refuge is on the right. Going to the box is mostly downhill, which means coming back is almost all uphill. It is a hair over 1 mile to the letterbox. This is the same starting point as the Rock Springs Wildlife Refuge Letterboxes and the Tennessee State stamp letterbox. After parking, go on the one trail entering the refuge. You quickly come to a bulletin board on the left. There is a guest book there. Sign in if you wish. Just past the bulletin board take the trail going left. Same trail as the Tennessee State Stamp letterbox. Follow the white blazed trees and do not get off this trail until you come to a T. At this T, your trail is at a wide dirt road that runs north to south. Remember this spot. This is an important turn to return your car later. Unlike the Tennessee box, here you go south, right, and downhill. The trail marks become a white over red blaze. Pass the white over blue trail at 70 degrees. You will come to the four corners of white trail and white over red trails. Go on the white trail headed 190 degrees. Go through a stone wall. You will come to pass through another stone wall. Stop here. The stone wall runs east to west. Go east to the large tree. You canít miss it. It grew along the side of the wall but grew so wide, that it broke down the stone wall, knocking over the rocks. The tree measures over 14 feet in circumference near itís base. From this tree, take 6 steps along the walls north side. Search the base of the wall for a flat rock standing up, blocking a cavern in the wall that hides the In Search of The Black Dog of Bungay letterbox. Go back to the trail and go back to the parking area the way you came.

In Search of The Black Dog of Bungay

In 1577, an apparition of the devil in the disguise of a Black Dog appeared in the churches of Bungay and Blythburgh England. On Sunday, August 4th, 1577, a terrifying thunderstorm occurred with darkness, rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Storms were always greatly feared during that time. Many houses were built of timber and thatch and a lightening strike could quickly cause a fire. As the people knelt in fear, praying for mercy, there suddenly appeared a great black Hell Hound. It began tearing around the Church, attacking many of the congregation with its teeth and claws. An old verse records:

'All down the church in midst of fire, the hellish monster flew
And, passing onward to the quire, he many people slew'

It is said that the dog passed between two people kneeling at prayer, touching them and killing them instantly, and caused another man to shrivel up, severely burned. Although there is no official record of injuries caused, the Churchwardens account book mentions that two men in the belfry were killed. Then as suddenly as the black devil dog appeared, it ran off, departing for Blythburgh Church about twelve miles away where it killed and mauled more people. ... "placing himself uppon a maine balke or beam, whereon some ye Rood did stand, sodainly he gave a swinge downe through ye church, and there also, as before, slew two men and a lad, and burned the hand of another person that was there among the rest of the company, of whom divers were blasted." Large chunks of masonry fell on the congregation killing three as the black devil dog leaped down from the roof and ran out the great north door of the church. The Holy Trinity Church at Blythburgh still stands and the north door, still has the scorch marks on it that were caused by the Black Dog .St Mary's Church still exists and attracts many visitors who come to see where this strange event took place but whereas the door in Blythburgh Church still retains the scorch marks of the Devils claws there is no similar evidence surviving in Bungay. The popularity of the legend has resulted in an image of the Black Dog being incorporated into the Town of Bungayís coat of arms and there are depiction's of him on buildings around the town. A weather vane in Bungay Market in Suffolk depicts a black dog and a flash of lighting. Its name also lives on in the Black Dog Running Club, Black Dog Marathon, Black Dog Antiques and the Black Dogs is the name of Bungay Town Football (Soccer) Club.

More information on The Black Dog of Bungay and Blythburgh can be found at:

http://moebius.psy.ed.ac.uk/~simon/homepage/Bungay.htm
http://www.bungay-suffolk.co.uk/history/black-dog.htm
http://moebius.psy.ed.ac.uk/~simon/homepage/Blythburgh.htm

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