Sunday, April 23, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
While we have all heard of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra, many more regional and rare cryptids exist that few ever hear of. One of these is the Snallygaster of Maryland, particularly found in the hills of the Washington and Fredrick counties.
Descriptions of the beast vary, but in general, it is described as a reptilian bird with hooks on the ends of its feet, a massive beak (possibly made of metal) lined with sharp teeth.It is reported as having claws, but it is also reported as having hooves.At times it has tentacles.It resembles a flying octopus. The noise it makes has been likened to that of a locomotive whistle.
The Snallygaster has one widely known enemy, called Dewayo. The Dewayo is reported to be a mammalian biped with features similar to a wolf, but the stance and stature of a human. The sightings of Dewayo are primarily reported in West Middletown, Maryland, but sightings have also been reported in the Wolfsville, Maryland region. The Dewayo and the Snallygaster have reportedly had vicious encounters dating back to early settlement of the Middletown valley.
The word Snallygaster has its origins in the German phrase "Schneller geist," meaning quick spirit.The area around Middletown Valley was no stranger to strange happenings.Rumors of a beast that would swoop in silently and steal children and chickens pervaded the area from as soon as the first white settlers arrived in the area.There are early references to ghosties and ghoulies that could be the Snallygaster throughout Frederick's history. The documented Snallygaster, however, is a twentieth-century beast.
The first newspaper article about the Snallygaster appeared in 1909 in the Middletown Valley Register. A smattering of articles appeared during that time. The Snallygaster then went dormant in this area until 1932, when a series of sightings were again reported in the Middletown paper. Some speculate that the second monster was the offspring of the first that had been reported to have been laying eggs. In fact, some men were reported to have found one and tried to incubate it.
The First report of the Snallygaster came from a man named James Harding who saw the creature flying low overhead. He described the Snallygaster as a huge winged monster with a long sharp beak, claws like steel hooks, and having one eye in the middle of its head. The monster’s screech he described as “as loud as a train whistle”.
Reports would continue for several months with only one reported fatality. Bill Gifferson was a black man and is said to have been snatched up by the monster, who flew to a nearby hill, pierced his neck and sucked out his blood. While it dined it flapped its wings and when satisfied, dropped his corpse down the hill.
Sightings of the Snallygaster were creating such a commotion that at one point it was reported that President Theodore Roosevelt might postpone a trip to Europe so that he could lead an expedition to capture it.
Apparently, the Smithsonian Institute was also interested in the beast. From the description provided by engineer 83, at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, they determined the strange beast was either a bovalopus or a Snallygaster, since it had the characteristics of both. Further, its hide was so rare that it was worth $100,000 a square foot, as it was the only substance known to man that could polish punkle shells.
The Snallygaster's travels throughout Maryland are not limited to Frederick County. It has been seen not only in neighboring Carroll and Washington Counties, cut as far away as Baltimore and Cecil Counties.
Some accounts place Snallygaster activity in Ohio and West Virginia, communities that have migrant patterns out of Western Maryland. Coincidence - or an illustration of cultural traditions?
While people may have seen less of the Snallygaster as the twentieth century progressed, it was still very much in the minds of Frederick Countians. In the late 1940s, for example, a Thurmont algebra teacher would threaten his less studious charges with the beast. He also threw erasers at them. It is unclear which threat was more successful.
The Snallygaster finally met his end in a way some might envy. The creature was flying near Frog Hollow in Washington County when it was attracted by the aroma of a 2500-gallon vat of moonshine. As the beast flew overhead, it was overcome by the fumes and dropped into the boiling mash. A short time later, revenue agents George Dansforth and Charles Cushwa arrived on the scene. They had received information about the still, but were rather startled at the sight of the dead monster in the vat.
The two agents exploded five hundred pounds of dynamite under the still, destroying the remains of the Snallygaster and John Barleycorn’s workshop.
A great deal has been written about the Snallygaster since 1909. It has appeared in countless articles in the Middletown Valley Register, Frederick News Post, and other area newspapers. Is has also appeared in the Baltimore Sun, National Geographic, and Time Magazine.
Information about the Snallygaster can be found in several books on Maryland legends. There is a Snallygaster chapter in both "Spirits of Frederick" (1992) and "Weird Maryland" (2006). The definitive history of the Snallygaster tale was recently published by local researcher Patrick Boyton in "The Snallygaster: The Lost Legend of Frederick County."
Thursday, April 13, 2017
The forests, sparsely populated regions and the Ozark Hills of Arkansas have long made for many mysteries and the strange creatures of the state are no exception. There have been a number of anomalous creatures who have appeared throughout the state over the years.
The "Fouke Monster" - or "Boggy Creek Monster" as it is sometimes referred to - is a Sasquatch-like creature said to haunt the network of creeks extending from the Sulphur River Bottoms in southern Arkansas to the small town of Fouke.It is also known as Southern Sasquatch.Over the years, the creature has been seen by countless people, including respected citizens, experienced hunters, famous musicians, and even a police officer. It has inspired several movies, most notably The Legend of Boggy Creek, which became a drive-in sensation netting nearly $25 million during its run.
Various reports between 1971 and 1974 described the creature as being a large hominid-like creature covered in long dark hair, which was estimated to be about 7 feet (2 m) tall with a weight of 300–500 pounds. Witnesses said that its chest was about 3 feet (1 m) wide.Later reports, published during the early 1980s, claimed that it was far larger, with one report describing it as 10 feet (3 m) tall, with an estimated weight of 800 pounds (360 kg).It has also been reported that the creature's body is covered with dark brown or black hairs.
Some accounts describe the Fouke Monster as running swiftly with a galloping gait and swinging its arms in a fashion similar to a monkey.Reports also describe it as having a terrible odor, the odor being described as a combination of a skunk and a wet dog, and as having bright red eyes about the size of silver dollars.
A variety of tracks and claw marks have been discovered which are claimed to belong to the creature. One set of foot prints reportedly measured 17 inches (43 cm) in length and 7 inches (18 cm) wide, while another appeared to show that the creature only had three toes.
Prior to the 20th-century reports, several reports in the general area have been tied to the Fouke Monster. The two most widely circulated reports focus on an 1851 report in the Memphis Enquirer, and an 1856 report in the Caddo Gazette.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Although most Europeans stopped taking vampires seriously by the 20th century, belief in the creatures persisted in some rural areas. In the Bosnian village of Tupanari, for example, in 1923, a case of vampiric manifestation happened in Bosnia. The story started on the death of a village peasant named Paja Tomic on April 9. 1923 (Some says that it was May 1923, but the date May 1923 is the day that the case was published in the local newspaper but based on the book of Alan Dundes The Vampires: A casebook the incident happened on April 9, 1923). Soon after his death, his wife named Cvija was alarmed about the sightings of her husband during the night. She claimed that her husband appeared on random guests and scares the occupants. She also said that her husband has turned into a vampire. Some villagers immediately believed her claims but some of them disregarded it. But when her sons Krsto and Stevo told them that they also have an eerie experience with the vampire, the villagers started to grown weary.
The two siblings called the attention of the town and asked them on what measures they should take in order to repel this evil creature. Finally, they made the conclusion that this vampire should be destroyed. The two siblings together with some of the town members storm to the cemetery to hunt the vampire. They exhumed the body of Paja Tomic and struck the corpse with a stake made up of Hawthorn, which they believe has a magical element that strongly opposed the undead element. They also burned the body of Tomic and dispersed the ashes. The remaining bones were returned into the grave.
The incident was picked up by a local newspaper. According to the report published on May 23 of 1923:
“…an old peasant Paja Tomic…died…the 9th of April this year. Shortly after his death, his wife Cvija began to complain that her dead husband had begun to return nights as a ghost and that he ran throughout the house scaring the inhabitants. There are some who believe Cvija and some who did not, though she has unceasingly asserted that her husband is a vampire and that he returns every night. Thus things went on for a whole month and then, it is said, her sons also became aware that there was a vampire in the house. Stevo and Krsto Tomic, the sons of the deceased man, called the whole village to a discussion of what could be done about their father who had become a vampire. All of the peasants were in agreement that the vampire must be destroyed. They decided that they must dig up the corpse, burn it and disperse the ashes. The decision was put into action. The peasants, armed with pickaxes and shovels, went to the cemetery. Some carried wood for the fire and one prepared a pointed hawthorn pole. The peasant crowd, led by the sons of the deceased Paja, arrived at the cemetery. The corpse was dug up, it was pierced by the hawthorn pole and thrown onto the stakes. After the body was burned, they dispersed its ashes, and those few charred bones which remained were thrown back into the grave…”
Thursday, April 6, 2017
The world is filled with secrets. Many of them it does not give up easily. Empires have risen and empires have fallen in the midst of mysteries-riddles that remained unsolved through the centuries.
One such mystery has haunted the darker, steamier regions of the fabled land of the Amazon.The Amazon, a dark, forbidding river sluggishly twisting its way through Brazil and eight other South American countries. It is a river second in size only to the mighty Nile and it is so wide that no bridge passes over it.
As far back as the Aztecs, legends have been spoken about the monster snakes. The Aztecs of central Mexico made it one of their most powerful gods: Quetzalcoatl.
|Quetzalcoatl tasting human flesh.|
In the centuries that followed, the indigenous people of the Amazon often spoke of the Yacumama—the snake of the water. The Yacumama is a giant anaconda-like snake that has been frightening Brazilians for many years. This immensely strong serpent, capable of sucking up everything around it, has the power to cause mudslides and general chaos. European and American herpetologists shrugged off the talk as myths or as references to the great aquatic boa, the anaconda.
According to the indigenous peoples, other giant snakes inhabit the Amazon's shadowy realm too: the Sachamama and the Minhocão, a snake that some Amazon natives believe can alter the land as they pass through.
Despite the herpetologists' belief, the natives were not speaking of big anaconda by different names. They spoke of true monsters-leviathans so huge that the anaconda would be small in comparison. The snakes the natives sometimes spoke of in fear and awe over village campfires and the safety of their homes—measured 120, sometimes 160 feet long. The heads of these mammoth creatures were said to reach 6 feet wide. They can bring down their prey with explosive jets of water, toppling trees in their passage and change the course of minor tributaries.
During the year 1906, the world-famous explorer Major Percy H. Fawcett claimed of encountering a gigantic anaconda while traveling up the Amazon River.
such large specimens as this may not be common, but the trails in the swamps reach a width of six feet and support the statements of Indians and rubber pickers that the anaconda sometimes reaches an incredible size, altogether dwarfing the one shot by me. The Brazilian Boundary Commission told me of one killed in the Rio Paraguay exceeding 80 feet in length!"
|Major Fawcett was inspired by tales of giant anacondas (Picture based in part on a photograph published in the newspaper of Pernambuco, January 24, 1948.)|
However, they were far from convinced academic professionals and herpetologists. The monstrous snakes just seemed to be something obviously crazy. As the dispute continued for another century until two brothers, Mike and Greg Warner, mounted an expedition in the jungles of the Amazon looking for evidence of monstrous snakes. The expedition was inconclusive, although recorded mammoth trails giant snake and took testimonies of natives who claimed to have seen the Yacumama.
Mike Warner spoke to hundreds of indigenous and workers who had encounters with Yacumama. He researched thousands more. He noted that certain native tribes of both African and Native near the Amazon River in South America describe an enormous snake "takes water with it." Although the first expedition could not find the elusive Yacumama, the brothers were undeterred. After two new fundraising, they mounted another expedition to the Amazon.
During the second expedition, Warner succeeded in finding and photographing areas where Yacumama lives, gaps are formed near rivers, their trenches (some almost 2 meters wide) and photographing some of the giant snakes, not Yacumama but just as impressive. In fact, their findings are so credible that the National Geographic Society expressed serious interest in the brothers' research and findings.
What they found tallied with the reports of previous witnesses. Through the years, many sightings have included descriptions Yacumama snake with horns sprouting from his head. This peculiar feature, mentioned in many reports of independent observers along the Amazon, has led Warner to the hypothesis that Yacumama could be a prehistoric version of modern day caecilians.Most of the roughly 50 species of caecilians that have been rated have a groove along both sides of the head containing retractable tentacles. To the untrained observer, they may appear as horns. According to Mike Warner, "The exact species of this creature is unknown but we believe that the physical characteristics and behavior are a snake - or amphibians - similarly to a caecilian behavior. " - An amphibious snake-like creature.
|A snake photographed in Brazil with a length of 35 meters, 75 cm wide and 4 tons.|
Most of the witnesses who have sighted one Yacumama have not spent much time studying the creature -. Been generally passed over it by accident and then gave swing and ran for their lives. Warner's research led him to discover that seeks Yacumama prey near the regions where two rivers merge into one, called "confluence". He determined that those areas provide the colossal predators a steady supply of food. He hypothesizes that this capacity may have one or more of the following purposes:
1. The stunning prey or tear down trees in its path. The Yacumama allegedly swallows water and throws his prey like a water cannon.
2. while "takes water with it" you may use this water pressure to sustain its skeletal structure, while moving through the jungle . .
3 You can also use water as an instrument of burrow - like a worm does on the ground, therefore, has some similarity to a Gymnophiona features. The Indians of the Peruvian Amazon witness a loud noise that can be heard when the Yacumama this game during the rainy season.
All sightings of these giant snakes have similar descriptions. Warner believes that the snakes that the natives call the Sachamama - mother earth - are the same as the Yacumama snakes. Have grown so large that they have become virtually immobile and therefore no longer feed on prey caught in the water. He extrapolates this hypothesis: "At this point we can release pheromones to attract snakes of the same species and so eat them This process can even restrict the population of this species in a given area.."
Perhaps Yacumama are real.They can even be a previously undiscovered species. They are also, without a doubt, some of the most dangerous and terrifying predators in the animal kingdom.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Highgate Cemetery was constructed in 1839, but by the 1960's it had fallen into neglect and decay.Overgrown and sprawling, the gothic Victorian graveyard seemed the perfect setting for the strange and sinister events that would follow.
In the early 1970s, a wave of panic spread around the north London suburb of Highgate. There was a vampire on the loose.Tales of the sinister ghostly figure and bizarre occult rituals at the famous local cemetery had led many residents to fear for their safety.