The Snallygaster – A Creature of Cryptozoology

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 referers to a fast or quick ghost or spirit.

The early descriptions of the Snallygaster are varied, but it never 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 stop 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 intense wings. It had a long pointed beak with claws that resembled steel hooks.

The first person, who claimed 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 whiskey.

Based on the story, it was assumed that the creature was attracted by the aroma of the moonshine. However, as the Snallygaster flew over it, it suffocated in the fumes. Occasionally, 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.