The Legend of the Ghost Dog Tree on Formby Beach

Cassandra Lane recently wrote about the 'the Ghost Dog tree' on Formby beach, using her Instagram account.

Cassandra Lane Ghost Dog Tree
According to Cassandra, the tree, which was the perching place of a lone black crow is associated with the legend of the Black Dog. This is the first time I've heard of it, so naturally it intrigued me.

Cassandra writes:

Legend has it a black dog appears here before someone croaks! We didn't see him. We're all safe.

A little research suggests there is indeed such a legend. According to sources there was a siting of a:

Dog with Glowing Eyes

Location: Formby - Coastline
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 31 October 1962
Further Comments: Locally known as 'Old Trash', this black dog bounds along the dunes leaving no prints or marks in the soft sand. He was last seen by two journalists and a photographer, though it is unclear whether an image was caught of the entity.


And in another source a 'Shuck' is described as follows:

Black Shuck is a legendary black ghost dog that wanders the coastline and countryside in East Anglia in England.

It is classified .... a harbinger of death. The dog's eyes are reported as red and sometimes even green, large, and mesmerizing. Some report him as being the size of a large dog, others the size of a horse.

The legend might go back as far as the time of the Vikings and the name translated to “hairy demon.” In fact, the story even influenced the Sherlock Holmes novel,”Hounds of the Baskervilles.”

Frequently it's been reported to be seen by someone just before a relative fell ill or died. Other tales say that he has escorted lone women safely home. He is most often reported in graveyards, side roads, near bodies of water and forests.

I wonder how many more legends there are in and about Formby, why not share them with us, use the 'your story' link:

Cassandra is a Creative wedding photographer in Manchester, for more see her web site at


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