Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]
Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]

Albatwitch - [Cryptid/Critter]

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Albatwitch - [Cryptid / Fearsome Critter] - AKA: Albotritch, Apple Snitch, etc.

• About this Cryptid: - A Variety of Pennsylvanian "Mini-Sasquatch" Often sighted near Chickie's Ridge In the outskirts of Columbia, Pennsylvania, [The area is known for having over 1340+ bigfoot sightings to date as well as a ton of other strange, paranormal and unexplained occurrences as well.] - Described as a 4-5ft tall, slender, black or brown slick-haired Sasquatch with thin proportions & glowing yellow-eyes. The mysterious creature has been said to have an extreme fondness for fruits (most famously apples.) They have been known to steal from trolly workers and picnickers' lunch baskets: later tossing the cores back at them when they aren't expecting it! -in the 1920s scouts would capture them in pillow cases, it's often been said that when a "whip-like sound" or the "clacking of stones" is heard in the wild, an Albatwitch is nearby.

• History: The Earliest 'named' mentions of the "Albatwitch" appear to be in  early 1920's through 1926, back when 'monster hunting' was a popular club activity.

[Lancaster New Era - Aug 24th, 1920]
 

It seems that by the 20s, the 'Albatwitch' would have already been a well-known local 'game' among boyscouts, The described method of 'capturing an Albatwitch' seems to be near identical to how one would capture a Snipe. (The above-mentioned method of capture is identical, though it's also been described as a variant of tag by locals.) - The name "Albatwitch" is believed to originate as a Pennsylvania Dutch/English compound word for “Apple-snitch.” (Apple-thief.) However, if you look at the Dutch origins of the name, you can also come up with “Apple-elf,” “elf-spirit” & more. - Furthermore, the creature has some connection to a German creature called Elwetritsch. Alternatively spelt "Elbedritsch." (Said creature is locally called the "Elbegriksel") Most easily described as A Pennyselvanian-Dutch variant to the Snipe with a hint of jackalope or worpletinger in the mix. Often associated with April fools day & practical jokes. it seems quite likely to me that the dutch & german immigrants brought over their creature and it turned into "Albatwitch" & others over time... ((See also, Squonk.)) - Furthermore, concurrently to all of that, a similarly described "something" called an "Albotritch" is described identically to all of the above; the name appears listed in a few early Fearsome Critter lists & books on the subject of American folklore. - The "Albotritch" was even said to be a practical joke as far back as 1925: where-in the name is found listed next to the 'Prock' and several other mainstays among critters & folklore. - [The English language, 1925.]  

[A 2016 article with Dr scribbler, talking about the likely origins of the Albatwitch.[Note: i looked it up, the dictionary in question spells it "Elbadritchelcher" defining it simply it as "A Mythical bird."]

[supposedly an "elbedritsch" on a barn door, whatever it is, it's a lot cuter than how the creature is usually depicted.]

However, I must digress, These early papers & sources also lack a solid description for how the creature in question might appear, So, I'd suppose that one could separate the folklore & other creatures, from the 'Bigfoot' related Albatwitch sightings' -- However on the same hand: One could also easily tie the Albatwitch to another 'Sasquatch-like' fearsome critter, which was said to frequently hunt and harass lumbermen by pelting them with branches, pinecones and twigs, best known as the "Agropelter."  [said critters earliest illustrated appearance was 1910 putting it at just the right time to weedle its way into the lore.]

...Diving further down the trail of similar Sasquatches: some may also link the 'Albatwitch' to the "Apple Devil" of West Virginia, yet another small-ish [as if 8ft tall can be considered "small."] big foot variant from Marlington, West Virginia was reported on in the summer of the 1960s: it stalks orchards and takes a single bite out of every fruit it can & then it retreats swiftly. – [Notably, Apples are also said to be a favourite of the skunkape of Florida.] but I digress... I'm sure that there are several local bigfoot sightings through the years which can also be labelled as 'Albatwitches'

 The most famous 'Albatwitch-Bigfoot' sighting happened on February 14th of 2002 when what is most quickly described as a 'Little Bigfoot' was sighted by one Rick Fisher of the local bigfoot & Paranormal Society - Self-published in 'Paranormal Pennyselvania.' [October 2002.] - To summarize the encounter up quickly: Rick claimed that whilst driving down on Route 23 in the early morning (about 6:00 AM) he saw what he thought was a 4.5" tall teenager in black walking down the middle of the road, as he drove up closer to it he noticed the black hair covering its body. When he turned on his cars highbeams, the creature turned to look at him but then vanished into thin air. He was left with chills and unsure if what he saw was real or not.

[Depiction of the creature by John D Weaver based on witness sketch (below) - [source: Paranormal Pennsylvania - Issue 2 - 2002]

[supposedly the witness sketch, (more likely the rough draft of John D Weaver's depiction.)]

Although the encounter is certainly questionable, This sighting seems to have largely brought the idea of 'Albatwitches' back into the local publics consciousness, the interest generated from it eventually led to the creation of The Albatwitch Day & Festival which has been proudly held annually every year on October 10th, since 2014. Their website also hosts several historical articles & recent publications surrounding the creature as well.

• [a newspaper which mentions Ricks sighting & the festival, 2014]

• The Albatwitch 'Photo' ?:

• One last note... Unrelated to most of the above & (not to rain on anyone's parade, but I just gotta debunk this, because the truth of the matter is REALLY funny & i haven't seen anyone else talk about it yet.) - The above photograph seems to have been mistakenly labelled an 'Albatwitch' since at least 2013. - it's hard to say who this 'mistake' originated with exactly, but: the earliest article at least that I can find, which claims that the above photo is of an 'Albatwitch' seems to be 2013 UFORC of Pennyslvania article on the subject. - However, a quick Tineye reverse image search reveals that the source for said blurry photograph puts it online as far back as 2008 (if theres an earlier post I'm unsure of it.) - The defacto earliest post containing said photo claims that it's a photo of a "Leprechaun Alien" [supposedly captured by a tourist at Lake Tahoe USA] ... Reguardless, This mislabeling of it as an albatwitch was further perpetuated by Mysterious Universe when they used it in their 2014 article on the creature, which seemingly cemented it as such. - (The image has since been hosted on the 'Cryptidz fandom wiki' since at least 2015.)... Reguardless, as with most blurry bigfoot 'photo evidence' I suppose the image is so lossy that it might as well be an Albatwitch...

Anyway I'd hate to leave you 'holding the bag', but my research is mostly inconclusive! – The Albatwitch could be either a cryptid or critter (and once again i ask, why not both?) mostly I want to end this on the high note, so i'll say this, enjoy the Albatwitch for what it is, a bit of Pennsylvanian Monster Folklore which is certainly worth celebrating either way!

• Similar creatures: The Snipe, Squonk, Sasquatch, Agropelter, Skunkape.

Sticker Art and writings by @SamKalensky, part of my Cryptids & Critters series of stickers. if you enjoyed this article please consider buying a sticker or supporting me & my work on patreon.com/samkalensky.

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