Cryptid Fan hopes his museum will draw attention to a forgotten cryptid

For Sarah Cooper, the hidden history of the Snallygaster is something Western Maryland needs to know more about.

Cooper, founder and owner of the American Snallygaster Museum, said the story of the cryptid is not only an untold gem among rural legends, but also one that could bring tourism to the Frederick, Maryland area.

“I’m also a big fan of cryptids and cryptozoology,” Cooper said. “It’s my favorite thing. And when I moved to Maryland a few years ago, I started doing all this folklore research and I found snallygaster and I was like, ‘why isn’t it more of a thing?’

In the 1770s, German immigrants came to western Maryland and brought with them brats, beer, dances, and Schnell Geist—or “quick wit.” Over the years, the legend has grown from stories told to small children to the creatures living in the area.

In 1909, locals reported seeing a snallygaster. Described as a dragon-like creature, half-bird, half-reptile, the monster is said to have large wings, a metallic beak, glowing red eyes, tentacles for arms (or sometimes protruding from its mouth) and sharp teeth like razors. metal greenhouses. Locals said the snallygaster grabbed a farmer, sucked blood from his neck and threw his lifeless body over a cliff.

Over the course of two months, several people reported seeing the creature and hearing fights between it and its mortal enemy, the Dwayyo – a wolf-like creature that walked on two legs.

More sightings followed and the monster made national headlines. It took the country by storm, as the Smithsonian Institute offered a reward for the skin of a snallygaster, and President Teddy Roosevelt reportedly considered postponing his trip to Africa in order to travel to Maryland to hunt. the creature.

Soon after, other sightings began to appear across the country. In New Jersey, a resident said he found the footprints of a snallygaster in the snow. In West Virginia, reports have emerged that the monster nearly grabbed a woman near Scrabble, and was later found perched in a farmer’s barn where it had laid a barrel-sized egg. In Casstown, Ohio, a man reported in a letter to the Valley Register that a strange creature, with large wings, a horned head and glowing red eyes flew over his house, making horrible screeching noises.

In the 1940s, a report declared the creature dead. A Washington County, Maryland moonshiner claimed the snallygaster flew over his still and passed out from the fumes. The lizard bird fell into its 2,500 gallon tank and drowned, only to be destroyed later by tax agents when they demolished Operation Moonshine and its product.

It’s a story that should get more attention, Cooper said.

She currently houses all of the exhibits of the American Snallygaster Museum in her house. Right now, she’s waiting for the materials to arrive so she and her husband can build a barn that will eventually house the museum. In the meantime, she takes the exhibits to nearby locations to tell Marylanders about snallygaster.

She said she hopes the museum will bring cryptid lovers and others to the Frederick, Maryland area.

“I have visited many paranormal and cryptic museums like the Flatwoods Monster Museum and attended their festivals and seen how much tourism they bring to these communities,” she said. . “I think we really need to make this happen in Maryland. We have such a cool cryptid with such a cool story that is so tied to American history, we should celebrate it and our businesses should benefit from it.

But the snallygaster story is something that did more for her than just give her something to do. The story is one that helped her cope during the Covid-19 pandemic. An ER nurse, Cooper said she heard about the story and would read about the snallygaster to distract herself from the pandemic and work.

The snallygaster is thought to live for 20 years and then have a 20 year incubation period before another snallygaster hatches and another generation emerges. The next lifecycle of snallygaster, she said, is expected to begin in 2024.

With her museum scheduled to open in 2022, Cooper plans to be ready.

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Cryptid Fan Hopes Her Museum Brings Attention to a Forgotten Cryptid

For Sarah Cooper, the hidden history of the Snallygaster is something Western Maryland needs to know more about.

Cooper, the founder and owner of the American Snallygaster Museum, said the cryptid’s story is not only an untold gem among rural legends, but also a story that could bring tourism to the Frederick, New York area. Maryland.

“I’m also a big fan of Cryptids and cryptozoology,” Cooper said. “It’s my favorite thing. And when I moved to Maryland a few years ago, I started doing all this folklore research and I found snallygaster and I was like, ‘why isn’t that more of a thing?'”

In the 1770s, German immigrants came to western Maryland and brought with them kids, beer, dances, and Schnell Geist – or “quick wits”. Over the years, the legend has grown from stories told to small children to the creatures living in the area.

In 1909, locals reported seeing a snallygaster. Described as a dragon-like creature, half-bird, half-bird. -reptile, the monster is said to have large wings, a metallic beak, glowing red eyes, tentacles acting as arms (or sometimes protruding from its mouth) and razor-sharp metallic talons. the blood from his neck, and threw his lifeless body over a cliff.

Over the course of two months, several people reported seeing the creature and hearing fights between it and its mortal enemy, the Dwayyo – a wolf-like creature that walked on two legs.

More sightings followed and the monster made national headlines. It took the country by storm, to the point that the Smithsonian Institute offered a reward for the skin of a snallygaster, and President Teddy Roosevelt reportedly considered postponing his trip to Africa in or heading to Maryland to hunt. the creature.

Soon after, other sightings began to appear across the country. In New Jersey, a resident said he found the footprints of a snallygaster in the snow. In West Virginia, reports have emerged that the monster nearly grabbed a woman near Scrabble, and was later found perched in a farmer’s barn where it had laid a barrel-sized egg. In Casstown, Ohio, a man reported in a letter to the Valley Register that a strange creature, with large wings, a horned head and glowing red eyes flew over his house, making horrible screeching noises.

In the 1940s, a report declared the creature dead. A Washington County, Maryland moonshiner claimed the snallygaster flew over his still and passed out from the fumes. The Lizardbird fell into its 2,500 gallon tank and drowned, only to be destroyed later by revenue officers when they demolished Operation Moonshine and its product.

It’s a story that should get more attention, Cooper said.

She currently houses all of the exhibits of the American Snallygaster Museum in her house. Right now, she’s waiting for the materials to arrive so she and her husband can build a barn that will eventually house the museum. In the meantime, she takes the exhibits to nearby locations to tell Marylanders about the snallygaster.

She said she hopes the museum will bring cryptid lovers and others to the Frederick, Maryland area.

“I have visited many paranormal and cryptic museums like the Flatwoods Monster Museum and attended their festivals and seen how much tourism they bring to these communities,” she said. “I think we really need to make this happen in Maryland. We have such a cool cryptid with such a cool story that is so tied to American history, we should celebrate it and our businesses should benefit from it.”

But the snallygaster story is something that did more for her than just give her something to do. The story is one that helped her cope during the Covid-19 pandemic. An ER nurse, Cooper said she heard about the story and would read about the snallygaster to clear her mind about the pandemic and work.

The snallygaster is thought to live for 20 years, then have a 20 year incubation period before another snallygaster hatches and another generation emerges. The next lifecycle of snallygaster, she said, is expected to begin in 2024.

With his museum slated to open in 2022, Cooper plans to be ready.

This article first appeared on The Daily Yonder and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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