The great state of Maryland on the Mid-Atlantic coast is a fascinating region of the United States. While most visitors to the region tend to focused solely on the state’s neighbor of the Washington DC (and not entirely without good cause), the Free State has its own stories to tell. Some of these stories are well enshrined in the lore of Americana, such as the Antietam battlefield or Baltimore’ Inner Harbor. Other visitors have more eccentric reasons for coming to the state, such as the annual Otakon convention or the American Visionary Museum. That said, like every part of the world, Maryland has its own folktales and legends that have kept the state’s residents enthralled for generations on end. These are but a few.
The Snallygaster: Back in the nineteenth century, mysterious things happened out in the more rural regions of Frederick county. A mysterious beast that was dubbed the snallygaster became a regular part of local newspapers’ coverage of the regions. A flying, tentacled, blood drinking beast, the story goes that it rampaged across Frederick county before its weakness to alcohol fumes knocked it into unconsciousness. The stories of era claim the beast was destroyed with a great deal of dynamite once it was unconscious, though further details on the incident remain unclear. Though likely a simple invention of newspaper writers to increase circulation, many feel that there may be a grain of truth in these tales.
The Goat-man: Out in Prince George’s county, a mysterious beast is said to roam the few wooded regions of the area. The exact origin of the goat-man is a matter of myth and legend, but people have been seeing the creature for decades now. Periodically leaving graffiti, some stories hint that the goat-man is actually a scientist who mutilated and transformed themselves with dangerous biological experiments. Some stories claim that the creature is a killer, though the victim count is a mystery.
Chessie: As one might infer, Chessie is the Free State’s home grown Loch Ness Monster, named after the Chesapeake bay where it’s said to swim. Though some genuinely mysterious underwater footage and sightings from reliable witnesses have emerged since the 1930’s when the creature first appeared in the popular consciousness, even myths about the creature are somewhat sparse of details. Some have described Chessie as the archetypal sea serpent, while others have pegged the creature as a type of orm, eel or fish.