As in previous years, Andre Underhill of Rivertowne Trolley Co. took passengers on tours during Albatwitch Day 2021.
This year, however, a Norfolk Southern train that was stopped on the tracks for about two hours futzed with the trolley schedule and prevented pedestrians from safely entering and leaving Columbia River Park, where the event was held. The train stretched out of sight in both directions.
Some folks resorted to climbing over the train cars - a highly dangerous and probably illegal action - but one that was perfectly understandable in light of the situation.
The police were called and Columbia's Sgt. Stein took charge of the situation.
He ordered people away from the train, because it was about to move.
He watched as the train slowly rolled by.
Andre, along with passengers, waited in the trolley on Front Street for the train to pass.
And finally, visitors walking in both directions were able to cross the tracks...
...as was the trolley
Inside the park, the event, which was organized by Chris Vera and Rick Fisher, was underway.
Dozens of vendors welcomed visitors who numbered in the hundreds.
Lancaster PA Ghostbusters
Walter Bosch, the albatwitch hunter himself, appeared with a friend.
Back in 2017, Walter almost bagged an albatwitch, but the creature got away.
(That story is HERE.)
Most of the parking spaces in the park and along Heritage Drive were filled.
Folks seemed to like the Albatwitch.
Mark Vera created this reasonable facsimile.
'Til next time!
A family of albatwitches, along with a pet wolf-creature, was spotted on the outskirts of town Sunday afternoon...
WARNING: Never come between them and their apples!
By the way, what IS an albatwitch anyway?Local legends in the area of Columbia, Pennsylvania 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.
Source: Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization 2000