The Shug Monkey is a ghost-like hairy humanoid sighted in Rendlesham Forest in Britain, in the Suffolk area, particularly on the road that runs between West Wratting and Balsham. Witnesses describe it as combining the chacteristics of a big dog and a monkey.
In behavior and habits, it resembles the numerous spectral black dogs that are sighted in Britain to this day, such as Black Shuck. Both "Shug" and "Shuck" derive from an Old English word for demon. Most researchers, in fact, classify the Shug Monkey among the weirder types of ghostly black dog. For example, some black dogs have cat features, cow features, are headless, eyes like glowing saucers, or human heads.
It appeared as an indeterminate figure between canine and monkey. It is linked with British werewolf legends because of its canine features. It leaves footprints that look like a dog's tracks, except that they are gigantic and have flattened "claws" that seem shaped more like human fingernails.
James Wentworth Day was the first author to catalouge this piece of folklore, and the old informants he interviewed in the 40's all agreed the Shug hadn't been seen in a long time.
- "A curious variation of this ghostly hound ['Black Shuck'] is said to haunt an overgrown and little-used lane called Slough Hill in the parish of West Wratting...Police Constable A. Taylor, of The Tiled House, Panton Street, Cambridge, tells me that, in his youth, this lane which is on the road from West Wratting to Balsham was haunted by an extraordinary thing called 'the Shug Monkey.' It was, he says, 'a cross between a big rough-coated dog and a monkey with big shining eyes. Sometimes it would shuffle along on its hind legs and at other times it would whiz past on all fours. You can guess that we children gave the place a wide berth after dark!'"
- "The creature, either ghost or demon, is said to be jet-black and shaggy-haired, with a monkey's face and staring eyes."
- "The Shug-monkey...haunts the short stretch of road, and the adjacent lanes, between West Wratting and Balsham...With the body of a shaggy sheepdog, only black, and a monkey's face..."
There are several explanations as to what the creature could be. Theories include:
- An undiscovered species (a Cryptid)
- A nature spirit or remembrance of Pagan traditions
- A tall tale
- A "bogey story" meant to scare children
- A bio-fortean manifestation