Monday, November 16, 2009


In November, 1883, an individual using only the initials R.B. wrote to the Frederick News in Maryland. He swore that at Catoctin Mountain he had seen, early one morning,
...a monstrous dragon with glaring eye-balls, and mouth wide open displaying a tongue, which hung like a flame of fire from its jaws, reared and plunged.
This may be the same as the dragon which supposedly guarded the mines at Silver Run, in Carroll County. In the 1760s, a silversmith by the name of John Ahrwud supposedly was shown a hidden vein of silver under Rattlesnake Hill by local Indians. Ahrwud was permitted to use the silver in his work: but he was never to become greedy and take more than he needed, nor to tell anyone of the mine. He broke this when he told his wife and daughter about the mine and thereafter was banned from the mine.

In the 1780s, according to "A Field Guide to the Monsters and Mystery Animals of Maryland," by Mark Chorvinsky and Mark Opsasnick, a German silversmith and his daughter saw a "fiery dragon with gaping jaws" in the Silver Run mine. Was this silversmith Ahrwud? A "large white fiery eyed monster" was seen near Rattlesnake Hill in 1885. It's usually thought of as a Bigfoot, but could it have been the dragon?

Another 1800s dragon tale, this time from Pennsylvania, supposedly occured at a country schoolhouse in Jenner Township (Somerset County). William Johnson and others swore that they had seen a monstrous serpent coiled around a schoolhouse built at the crossroads there, always at night and on the nights of a new moon. Only one coil of this serpent was seen - never a head nor tail. Apparently, anyone who trod on the serpent (not everyone could see it) was hurled to the ground.

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