Monday, August 3, 2009

The Snallygaster - A Creature of Cryptozoology

By Robert Benjamin

In the Blue Ridge Mountains in Maryland, a mysterious creature lurkes and scares the local people. It is called the Snallygaster. Deriving its name from the German words "schnelle geist" or refers to a fast or quick ghost or spirit.

The early descriptions of the Snallygaster are varied, but it nevertheless had the common features of a half-bird with a ghoul-like face. Some describe the nightmarish monster as half-reptile and half-bird. It was reported to have a metallic beak with very sharp teeth. Some even say that it had tentacles.

In the early years of the nineteenth century, there had been increasing reports of sightings of the Snallygaster. Many claimed that it lurked its barns and stole their chickens. Some say that it even damaged their properties and also attempted to attack them. To ward of the beast, the locals kept seven-pointed stars painted on their rooftops, windows, and barns. The said symbol allegedly scares the Snallygaster away.

In 1909, the first newspaper accounts of the Snallygaster were seen on prints of the Valley Register. According to the news, many of the local people have seen a beast with enormous wings. It had a long pointed beak with claws that resemble steel hooks.

The first person, who alleged that he had seen the Snallygaster, was James Harding. He pointed out that it only had one eye in the middle of its forehead and it made shrill and screeching noises as it flapped its wings over their barn. He claimed that its features looked like that of a vampire and a tiger.

Hunts for the Snallygaster were popular since and even the Smithsonian Institute developed an interest on the beast. The institute offered a reward for anyone who catches the beast.

Panic and anxiety continued to grip the local people of Maryland until the Snallygaster was reported to be dead in 1932. A shadowy picture was released among the pertinent publications in Maryland. According to the story, revenue agents George Dansforth and Charles Cushwa saw the dead beast in the vat of moonshine whisky.

Based on the story, it was assumed that the creature was attracted by the aroma of the moonshine. However, as the Snallygaster flew above it, it suffocated in the fumes. Eventually, it dropped and drowned in the vat of whiskey mash. Unfortunately, the agents blew up the still and destroyed the carcass before the remains of the monster can be examined.

There is a website that describes the Snallygaster and numerous other creatures of Cryptozoology in detail, this website is called: Unknown Creatures and it may be found at this url:

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.

Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 5 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released products on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's.

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