Philadelphia Weirdness
Mystery Casebook Although slightly further afield from Philly, one of the most sinister of monster legends which has fascinated us for years concerns Lancaster County, a place which, over the years, has been known for its reports of ferocious werewolves and also Bigfoot. In the past at Phillyist we've discussed these eerie legends with brief mention of one of the strangest spectres known to haunt the county: The Albatwitches.

These spookily-named apparitions have been the belief and cultural dread of the Susquehannock Indians for many years, existing as local bogeymen but also with relations to hairy hominids such as Bigfoot. The Albatwitch however, is a slightly smaller form, around four to five feet in height, also sighted in York County.

The Indians paid homage to these elusive monsters by carving images of these fiends on their battle shields, to create fear and trepidation. Despite being reasonably small in stature and having such a fearsome reputation, the Albatwitch is said to mainly feast on apples and is often considered a cunning creature which steals, usually from those who are relaxing with a woodland picnic, only to find their apples missing. The beast lurks in the shade of trees and snatches the apples, and that's where its eerie name originates, deriving from "apple snitch." It seems that the critters have ape-like characteristics and have even been known to playfully throw the remains of the apples back at the people they stole them from.

The legend of the Albatwitch, which comes mainly from the area known as Chickie Rock, sounds like a vague yet unsettling spook tale. It is said that the monsters make their presence known by peculiar whip-crack noises which emanate from the dark woods, and although sightings still allegedly persist of these creatures it is believed they were driven to extinction during the early 1900s either due to lack of woodland or fading superstition, but the reality is, such mysterious forms resemble that faceless entity we all fear, that unnerving aspect of the unknown.

Surely it won't be long before a movie called The Albatwitch Project emerges, detailing the misty fantasy of this long forgotten woodland prowler.

Source & References:

http://phillyist.com/2008/07/09/philadelphia_weirdness_3.php

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