You are here:
  1. » Home
  2. » Areas
  3. » Mythology
  4. » Americas
  5. » Native American mythology
  6. » Snallygaster
Cite/print/rate article
Send comment    References


by Gerald Musinsky
Snallygaster is an "oicotype" from the Frederick County region of Maryland, USA. Most likely corrupted German "schnell geiste", a Pennsylvania Dutch term meaning "quick spirit" often associated with those draughts that slam doors, topple over lightweight objects, or scatter papers. The visual or physical appearance of the Snallygaster is confusing since there are several variation narrative, some of which where invented after the oral tradition, having roots in the dragonlore of the early settlers. The Snallygaster more often has similarities to dragons, green and scaled, and winged.

However, of her tales exist around the South Mountain region where the Snallygaster is a monstrous bird preying on young children. Literary accounts of the Snallygaster were printed in the local newspapers. These narratives were most likely invented tales by two rival editors. To end the rivalry caused the Snallygaster demise; sent plummeting headlong into a boiling vat of whiskey. Such a just end for this unseen spirit. Of interest to scholars is the nature of the various tales likely invented, those which were patterned after Dragonlore, the absence of Native American influence (owing to the region once inhabited by Leni Lenape, Susquehannocks, Cherokee and other Northeast tribes), and its connection to Pennsylvania Dutch lore.

Article details:

  • N/A

Page tools: