Record Number of Satanists Are Living in a Sleepy Suffolk Town, Census Reveals
The small town’s history carries with it the chilling legend that the devil takes the form of a black dog they call “Black Shuck,” who is said to have once terrorized the congregation of St. Mary’s church in 1577.
There are about 8,500 people living in the historic town of Bungay, and about 70 of those people identify as devil-worshippers, according to a 2021 census that asked residents to state their religious beliefs. The responses to that census indicate one in every 120 people in the sleepy town is a Satanist.
Bungay, which is north of London, is a town that dates back to the Anglo Saxon era and is lined with quaint Georgian buildings.
Due to the high number of Satanists in Bungay and its nearby villages, the historic town has been labeled as the United Kingdom’s capital for devil-worshippers. However, some residents are suspicious about how legitimate the census was.
“I was very surprised to hear this. I have never come across a Satanist in the town to my knowledge," said Tony Dawes, the town's mayor. “The churches in the town are very well supported. I am wondering if people with nothing better to do during lockdown decided to put down that they were Satanists.”
Martin Evans, of the Friends of St. Mary’s Church, added he has seen "no evidence of Satanists at all. I can’t imagine why anyone would put that down in the census, but we do have a lot of jokers around here.”
The town also seems to celebrate the British folklore legend of "Black Shuck," which suggests the devil takes on the form of a ghostly black dog. Bungay now has a Black Dog Running Club, a Black Dog Judo Club and a Black Dog Arts group. The black dog is also featured on the town's Coat of Arms and on the weather vane in the center of town.
9 December 2022, 13:35 GMT
Bungay also launched last year what they called the Black Shuck Festival. The town can now celebrate its famous cheese, the location for Prince Harry’s book printing and Satanism.
Chaplain Leopold, a co-runner for the Global Order of Satan UK, explains there has been a 200% increase in the group's membership in the last five years. Leopold, who is 30, says the majority of people who are joining are younger people who find traditional religions, such as Christianity, to be “outdated, dogmatic and stuffy.”
The 2021 census also found that more people under the age of 40 declared “no religion” than identified themselves as Christians. More than half of 27-year-olds in England and Wales identified as not believing in any god, marking the first time in the UK that Christianity was pushed to second place.
In 2011, the census also found that 177,000 people wrote down that their religion was “Jedi” based on the Star Wars franchise making it the seventh-most popular religion at that time. The census is conducted every 10 years by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).