The Dwayyo sometimes called the Snarly Yow is a legend that comes out of the Appalachian Mountains that are located in Maryland. They are listed in the list of Cryptids which is a mythological creature that many people do believe exists and there are reported sightings and encounters with the creatures.
The Appalachian people are often thought of the people from Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, and West Virginia. However, some parts of Maryland, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Ohio, lower New York, and Pennsylvania are also inside of the mountain chain. Because it is so unusual and so well documented, we added it to our case list.
Stories of Werewolves come from our mainly German and European history and are passed down from generation to generation. Other cultures around the world also have humanoid wolf-like creatures that are in their myths and legends.
What is a Dwayyo?
The Dwayyo is a humanoid creature that is reported to stand between six to nine feet tall. Sometimes it is described as being on all fours like a giant dog. Other times the creature is said to stand on two legs and use its arms like a human being.
Some reports have the creature be a mix between a dog-like animal and a human being. It is often described as being wolf-like in appearance.
Other reports have the creature with a long thick furry tail. Others describe the creature with long hair and others with short “fur” covering its body. The fur is described as dark and in some cases as being black in color. It has a dog-like nose.
Has a vicious temper and will attack any creature in its path. There have been reports of attacks on dogs and other pets and also cases of cattle mutilations.
There have been many documented reports of campers, hunters, hikers, and park rangers who have claimed to hear the howls or have spotted glimpses of a Dwayyo. The reports describe it as a wolf or large dog howling.
The Enemy of Dwayyo is the Snallygaster.
Another creature of the Appalachian Mountain wooded area in Maryland is the Snallygaster. It is said to be the mortal enemy of the Dwayyo. While we will go into the legend of the Snallygaster in our next Weird Appalachia Cases, it’s described as being a bird-reptile chimera that has a thirst for blood.
From the descriptions given about the epic battles between the Snallygaster and the Dwayyo, it would rival something that the King Kong, Mothra, and Godzilla movie genre battles have put on the big screens. One source proclaims that someone should make a movie involving these spectacular battles. I’m sure that Hollywood hasn’t thought of it yet.
The First Mention of the Dwayyo
In 1944, in West Middleton, Frederick County, Maryland the first report of the Dwayyo occurred. The witnesses to the account claim that the creature was heard howling in the wooded area and left footprints behind in the mud. For a while in the community of West Middleton, the community was disturbed by the descriptions, however, no other sightings were reported. This claim while documented was dismissed as no other sightings were seen for many years.
The Second Sighting
The newspaper the Frederick News Post on November 27, 1965, published a detailed account of an encounter with the creature. It was reported that John Becker lived near Gambrill State Park. He heard a noise one night and went out to investigate what it was. He spotted a large wolf-like creature that was as big as a bear. The creature attacked Becker and he fought it off. The creature ran into the woods and was not seen again by Becker or his family.
For several weeks after this report was published, there were several sightings and people hearing strange howls for weeks. By late December of 1965, these stories began to fade as the community returned to normal.
Other Sightings Over the Years
Several more sightings over the years did occur though. In the Summer of 1966 a man named “Jim A.” reported seeing a Dwayyo enter his camp and described the creature as being wolf-like in appearance.
In the Autumn of 1976, another sighting took place while two men were driving on Route 77 onto a private road. The two men reported the creature also being wolf-like in appearance.
In 1978, two park rangers were near Cunningham falls when they spotted a wolf-like creature running on two legs.
We have always left it up to our readers to make up their own minds whether or not a story is fact or fiction. But we do have a few questions for our readers and listeners to consider. Are these people really seeing something in the Appalachian Mountain woods? Or could the myth of the Dwayyo have clouded their judgment?
We cannot say if the cryptids exist or not. We can only say that others believe that they have seen, heard, or encountered these creatures. However, it is a legend that our Appalachian people hold dear, and who are we to say that they are wrong or right? But telling creepy and scary stories is a huge part of our culture.
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Godfrey, Linda S.; The Michigan Dogman: Werewolves and Other Unknown Canines Across the U.S.A; Unexplained Research Publishing LLC, 2010.
Dwayyo – The Maryland Wolf Man
Introducing the Dwayyo, the Werewolf of Appalachia
Dwayyo – The Maryland Wolf Man
Appalachian Mountains – Wikipedia
6 Mysterious Creatures of Appalachia
by Greg Chaffins
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When we forget our past and who we are as a people, then we become who “they” say we are. ~~ David Sergent
I have attended the University of Kentucky. I have an Associates Degree from Hazard Community College and Technical School. I have also attended the University of Pikeville. I have taken several classes in Journalism as well as in the Appalachian History, Literature, and Sociology during my time at those schools.
I was born in Florida and grew up in Burdine, Kentucky. I have been married to David W. Sergent since May 4, 2013. I have two children and four grandchildren from a previous marriage. I currently live in Tennessee but my hope is to one day come back home to live in the beautiful mountains once more.