In August 1973, several Lancaster County Amish farmers encountered a monster. Eyewitnesses described the beast as the size of a heifer with gray fur and a white mane. It had tiger-like fangs and curved horns like a billy goat. It ran upright on long legs and had long, grizzly claws.
The first to encounter the creature were two brothers whose team of horses panicked, throwing both boys to the ground when the beast approached their hay wagon. Fortunately, neither were injured.
The following day, a man was cutting weeds on his farm about five miles from the previous incident when he heard a fierce roar and turned to see a monster with horns and a tail charging in his direction. He raised his scythe to defend himself, only to have the implement ripped from his hands. At that point, the man wisely decided to turn both cheeks to the monster and escaped as fast as he could run.
He returned later with investigators only to find that the beast allegedly ate the wooden parts of the scythe.
A day later, a woman was feeding poultry on a farm midway between the two earlier incidents when she heard a commotion and turned to see the creature snatching a goose in each of its hands. She bravely ran toward the thing, waving her apron. The woman recovered one of her geese when the creature threw it at her, knocking her to the ground. The interloper escaped with the remaining bird in hand.
These three vignettes naturally beg the question, what did these members of the Amish community see? Wendigo. Albatwitch. Goatman. Something else. This Haunted Lancaster tale comes courtesy of Phillip L. Rife’s America’s Nightmare Monsters book. Available on Amazon.
More Haunted Lancaster
Haunted Lancaster: The Legend of Ironville’s Headless Horseman
“I’ll be in Columbia by the stroke of midnight…or I’ll be in Hell!” These words and an unfortunate accident forever cursed a headless horse rider to patrol the Pike between Ironville and Columbia. Legend says that on cold autumn nights in the minutes before midnight, the sounds of a galloping horse can be heard along Ironville Pike. Click the link to read the whole story.
The White Werewolf and the Full Moon Curse of Shock Graveyard
Legend holds that anyone foolish enough to walk seven times around Hans Graf Cemetery under the full moon’s light will perish before sunrise, hunted down by the werewolf who guards the graveyard. While I’m not superstitious or even a “littlestitious,” I don’t make it a habit of walking around cemeteries in the middle of the night. Tread with caution. Click here to read the whole legend and the history of Hans Graf Cemetery.
Meet Columbia’s Little Bigfoot—the Albatwitch
At Chickies Rock near the ancient Susquehanna River, stories of a 4-foot-tall hairy ape-man fond of apples have existed since Native Americans dominated the region. As recently as 2020, people have seen the hairy beast. Click the link to learn about Columbia’s little bigfoot—the Albatwitch.