The Appalachian Mountains are a region rich in folklore and legend, with numerous stories of mysterious creatures and supernatural entities. From the Virginia Devil Monkey to the Flatwoods Monster, Appalachia lore is filled with cryptids and otherworldly beings that have captured the imagination of locals and tourists alike.
These creatures have been the subject of countless sightings, stories, and debates, and many people still search for evidence of their existence. Here are 10 of the creepiest cryptids in Appalachia.
Related: Top 10 Cryptids Easily Explained By Real Animals
10 the smoke wolf
According to legend, the Appalachian smoke wolf is a fierce predator that hunts at night, preying on livestock, wildlife, and occasionally humans unfortunate enough to cross its path.
Physical encounters with a smoke wolf are extremely rare, but those who have seen it describe it as a large wolf-like creature with black fur and red eyes. Is this giving anyone more Little Red Hood vibes?
He also has the ability to transform into a cloud of smoke, making him nearly impossible to track or catch. And if that’s not enough to send shivers down your spine, here are two more nuggets of knowledge for you. It can only be deterred by the sound of rattling chains, and when you hear it, it sounds like a wolf’s howl with a demon’s scream.
The legend of the Wolf of Smoke is relatively recent. It dates back to the early 1900s when reports of a mysterious smoke-like creature began circulating in the region, with some speculating that it was either a supernatural entity or a previously unknown species of wolf.
9 the silver giant
The Appalachian silver giant is a folklore creature from the Appalachian region of North America. According to legend, this massive humanoid creature has shaggy silver fur and glow-in-the-dark eyes. He is described as being almost 10 feet (3 meters) tall and weighing over 500 pounds (227 kilograms), making him incredibly strong and agile.
The Silver Giant is said to be a solitary predator that hunts in the mountains and forests of the Appalachian region. It feeds on livestock, wildlife, and sometimes humans. His strength and speed make him a formidable opponent, and those who have encountered him describe him as a terrifying and imposing sight.
Due to its fearsome reputation, the Appalachian silver giant is often portrayed as a creature to be avoided at all costs. Many believe that meeting the Silver Giant is a sign of impending doom or tragedy, and some legends suggest that it can only be defeated by powerful magic or divine intervention.
The legend of the Silver Giant is relatively recent, dating from the mid-20th century. Some speculate that it was either a previously unknown primate species or a mutated bear. Many people in the region still believe the creature lurks in the forests and hills around them.
8 The Taunting Crow
The Mocker Crow is a creature from the folklore of Native American tribes in the southeastern United States. According to legend, the Mocker Crow is a malevolent spirit that preys on the sick and dying.
It is said to take the form of a large bird with raven feathers and sharp talons or an elderly person. Known for his ability to fly silently at night, he hunts those whose time has come. Once it finds its prey, it uses its powerful magic to drain its life force and prolong its own existence.
The legend of the Mocker Crow is believed to have originated from fear and superstition surrounding death and disease in traditional Native American cultures, including the Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole. It was a way for people to explain the mysterious deaths of their loved ones and understand the power of disease and death.
Today, the Mocker Crow is still considered a dangerous and malevolent spirit in many Native American communities. The legend of him continues to be passed down from generation to generation. Meeting the Raven Mocker is believed by some to be a sign of impending death or tragedy, and many traditions and rituals are still practiced to protect against its dark magic.
7 Virginia devil monkey
CRYPTIDS 101 🐾 Devil Monkey 🐾 “Deadly Demon Primate” (Appalachian NAPE Origin Myth Legend) ᴸᴺᴬᵗᵛ
The Virginia devil monkey is another creature from the folklore of the Appalachian region. According to legend, the Devil Monkey is malevolent and dangerous, feeding on humans.
The devil monkey is said to be a medium-sized (3-5 feet or 1-1.5 meters) ape-like creature with powerful legs, 3-toed feet with sharp claws, and a thick tail. He is known for his incredible strength and agility and can move quickly through trees and over rough terrain.
The legend of the Virginia devil monkey supposedly originates from sightings of unknown primates in the Appalachian region. The ferocity and cruelty of the creature quickly became the subject of local folklore, with many claiming to have seen the Devil Monkey attack and kill livestock and humans.
6 The Dwayyo
The Dwayyo is a creature from Appalachian folklore, specifically from Maryland. Said to be a large, wolf-like creature with shaggy fur, sharp teeth, and glowing eyes. Starting to sound like a familiar image, right?
The legend of Dwayyo dates back to the early 20th century, when reports of a mysterious wolf-like creature began circulating in the region. Some believed that the beast was a werewolf, while others speculated that it was a previously unknown species of animal. According to legend, the Dwayyo is the enemy of the Snallygaster, one entry later on our list. He is known for his incredible speed and agility and is said to be able to move quickly through forests and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Despite many reports by University of Maryland students of Dwayyo’s history, there is no concrete evidence of his existence. Some believe the creature is simply a legend, while others believe it is a real but elusive predator that still roams the wild.
5 the bell witch
Bell Witch is a legendary ghost or spirit from Tennessee folklore. According to legend, the Bell Witch was an evil entity that haunted the Bell family in the early 19th century.
The Bell Witch is said to have caused a wide range of supernatural phenomena, including poltergeist activity, strange sounds, and physical attacks on family members. The entity is also said to have had the ability to speak and was known for its taunts and insults directed at the Bell family.
The legend of the Bell Witch began in 1817 on the Bell family farm when their daughter became engaged. The paranormal activity, such as strange banging sounds and disturbances in the house, continued for several years. After allegedly threatening to kill her father, John Bell, Sr., was poisoned and most disturbingly stopped. Today, the Bell Witch is still considered a dangerous and malevolent spirit in many Tennessee communities.
4 The Flatwoods Monster
The Flatwoods Monster, also known as the Braxton County Monster, is a creature from West Virginia folklore. According to legend, the monster is tall with glowing green eyes and a shovel-shaped head.
The legend of the Flatwoods Monster began in 1952 when a group of people in Braxton County reported seeing a strange object crash in the woods. When they went to investigate, they found the monster, which they said made a hissing noise and gave off a terrible smell.
The incident quickly drew national attention and many people flocked to the area to investigate. While some believed the sighting was evidence of extraterrestrial life, others speculated it was a hoax or misidentification of a known animal.
3 The Wampus Cat (Cherokee Death Cat)
The Wampus Cat or Cherokee Death Cat also comes from Appalachian folklore. According to legend, the Wampus Cat is a fearsome creature that roams the forests and mountains of the region, feasting on humans and animals.
The Wampus Cat is said to be a large cat-like creature with green eyes, razor-sharp claws, and a long, sinuous tail. It is known for its speed and moves quickly through the dense foliage of the forest.
The legend of the Wampus Cat is believed to have originated with the Cherokee people, who believed the creature was a powerful shapeshifter that could take the form of either a cat or a human. In some versions, the Wampus Cat is said to be a cursed woman who transformed into the creature as punishment for violating a sacred tradition.
2 Grafton’s Monster
The Grafton Monster is a creature from West Virginia, USA folklore. According to legend, the Grafton Monster is a large bipedal creature that roams the woods and hills near the town of Grafton.
The creature is said to be between 7 and 10 feet (2.1 and 3 meters) tall, with a muscular build and a slippery seal-like body. It makes a whistling noise that some suspect is a spaceship. Depending on who you listen to, he may not even have a head!
The legend of the Grafton Monster began in the 1960s when several sightings of the creature were reported in the area. While some believe the monster is a bear or other misidentified animal, others believe it to be a true cryptid, a previously undiscovered species of creature. Its legend continues to be passed down through West Virginia folklore, and many people in the region still believe that the creature lurks in the woods and hills around Grafton.
1 the snallygaster
The Snallygaster is another creature from Maryland folklore. The Snallygaster is a fearsome creature with the body of a reptile, the wings of a bird, and a long, sharp beak. It is said to have a ferocious appetite and will feed on livestock and people.
The legend of the Snallygaster dates back to the early 18th century, when German settlers in the region reported seeing a winged creature they called the “schneller geist,” meaning “swift spirit.” The legend evolved over time and the creature became known as the Snallygaster.
In the early 20th century, the Snallygaster became the subject of a media frenzy, with newspapers reporting sightings of the creature and offering rewards for its capture. Despite the hype, however, the Snallygaster was never captured or shown to exist.
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