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Albatwitch

The Albatwitch is one of several local legends in the area of Columbia, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvanians speak of a creature called an Albatwitch. The Albatwitch is a small (about 4 feet tall), manlike creature which supposedly lived in wooded areas. Their main area of residence seemed to be near Chickies Rock, a heavily wooded area

along the banks of the Susquehanna River about a mile or two north of town. Albatwitches were also reported from wooded areas all along the river's shore.

The creatures are named for a habit which they possess. Their bizarre common name is short for "apple-snitch", as they are reputed to have a taste for apples. Legends speak of how the Albatwitches would oftentimes steal apples from picnickers, occasionally even throwing them at the startled people. Legends also record that the creatures often sat in trees, coming down only to find food. Legend also says that the Albatwitches either became extinct or were driven nearly into extinction in the later years of the nineteenth century. Chickies Rock, where the creatures supposedly lived, does have a tradition of strange sights and sounds - in the 1950s and 1970s, a manlike figure was seen several times, and local legends also speak of sounds like the crack of a whip heard in the woods at night. One can only wonder if these could be connected with the Albatwitch. Whether these stories are connected or not, several sightings of Bigfoot-types have been recorded from this area. A vague report concerning the sighting of a hairy humanoid came from Lancaster in 1973. Lancaster is a scant 10 miles east of Columbia . Another came from the town of North Annville (about 20 miles to the north) in the same year. In addition, a number of reports have surfaced out of neighboring York County. Also, some sources say that the Susquehannocks, like many Indian tribes, had a belief in an apelike monster, and sometimes depicted it on their war-shields. The Susquehannocks were a local tribe - coincidentally, major evidences of their civilization (ruins of a village and burial grounds) were found at the base of Chickies Rock.

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