The Snarly Yow

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Near South Mountain in western Maryland, along the old National Highway, arose an Appalachian legend.

Back in the 19th century travelers on the National Highway reported a strange apparition appearing out of nowhere. What they saw was a creature resembling a very large and angry black dog, snarling and growling. That was enough, naturally, to cause the driver or rider to swerve to avoid the animal, which would suddenly vanish. Stories tell that the beast, known as the Snarly Yow, could keep up with a horse at full gallop before disappearing into the Maryland mists.

A hunter who happened upon the Snarly Yow tried to shoot it, becoming surprised, then alarmed, when his bullets just passed right through the angry dog. The last time the Snarly Yow was reported was back in the 1970’s when a motorist reported suddenly seeing the beast and then hitting it after not being able to stop in time.

The thing is, this driver didn’t feel any impact but when he finally stopped and got out to check the damage to his car, there was no dog there. At least not until he heard a low growling from behind. Turning, he saw the Snarly Yow slowly walk toward him from behind his car with its eyes glowing a bright red. Then the dog started getting bigger, and bigger and bigger. The man jumped into the car and, with the dog attacking, took off down the road. The Snarly Yow simply disappeared, not to be seen since.

Similar dog stories exist all across Appalachia, including in Carter County, Tennessee, where folks tell of the Devil Dog, a large black angry dog that will appear from time to time. It’s said there that only those evil enough can walk with the Devil Dog, all others are at risk of being killed.

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