Campfire Stories, Camping, Family Camping, Glamping

Campfire Tale #11: The Tale of the Dwayyo


Nestled within the heart of western Maryland, where time seemed to move at a slower pace, the town of Ravensbrook lay in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains. This idyllic enclave was a place where generations of families had put down roots, their lives intertwined with the ebb and flow of the seasons. It was a town with a rich history, its streets lined with centuries-old oaks and colonial-era cottages that whispered secrets of days long past. Some of those secrets were held deep in the tale of the Dwayyo.

Read more scary stories by Hyacinth Rumero in her book: Tales from a National Park Campfire

The Darkening Skies

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm, golden glow across the landscape, Ravensbrook transformed. The once-lively streets grew quiet, the laughter of children playing in the fading daylight replaced by an eerie stillness. It was during these twilight hours that the townsfolk would gather around their hearths and speak in hushed tones of the Dwayyo. The creature that had haunted their dreams for generations.

The legend of the Dwayyo was a tale as old as the mountains themselves. It was a story passed down from parent to child. A whispered warning of the terrors that lurked in the shadows. The creature, also known as the Maryland Wolfman, was said to be a harbinger of doom, a malevolent presence that prowled the depths of the nearby forests. Its eyes like molten gold and its howl a mournful dirge. It was a legend that cast a perpetual shroud of unease over Ravensbrook. This was a town where superstition and reality often blurred. A legend that had taken root in the very soul of Ravensbrook. One that would soon draw a spirited young woman named Emily into its chilling embrace.

Whispers in the Woods

Emily was unlike most in Ravensbrook. Her spirit was untamed, her curiosity boundless. While others shied away from the shadowed woods, she was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Her raven-black hair framed a face that bore the freckles of countless hours spent beneath the sun. Her eyes a striking shade of emerald that sparkled with a fierce intelligence. The townsfolk often spoke of her as if she were a force of nature herself.


Emily’s fascination with the legend of the Dwayyo had blossomed at a young age. Her grandfather, a grizzled storyteller with a twinkle in his eye, had regaled her with tales of the creature’s nocturnal prowlings. He spoke of eerie howls that cut through the night. Of livestock found slaughtered in the most gruesome of ways. Not to mention the brave souls who had ventured into the woods never to return.

A Story or Challenge of the Dwayyo

As Emily grew older, her grandfather’s stories became more than mere bedtime tales. They were a challenge, an invitation to unravel the mysteries that clung to the legend like a shroud. She would often slip away from her chores and spend hours in the woods. Her time spent searching for any trace of the enigmatic creature. Her lantern casts eerie, dancing shadows among the ancient trees as she ventured deeper into the heart of the forest. With her heart pounding with excitement and trepidation.

The townsfolk regarded her with a mix of admiration and concern. They admired her spirit and her fearlessness in the face of the unknown. However they also felt fear that her obsession would take her down a dark and perilous path. Yet, Emily was undeterred. She had a belief that the key to unlocking the secrets of the Dwayyo were hid in the very heart of the woods. She was determined to find it.

Into the Woods

And so, on one moonless night, when the world was cloaked in a shroud of darkness and the stars were obscured by thick clouds, Emily set out on a fateful journey. Armed with a lantern, a notebook, and the unyielding resolve of youth, she ventured into the very heart of the forest. She was guided only by the haunting howls that echoed through the night. It was a night that would change her life forever. Especially as she would come face to face with the chilling reality of the Dwayyo legend.

Campsite activities besides scary stories.

The Midnight Pursuit

The night was heavy with a sense of foreboding as Emily ventured deeper into the woods. Her lantern casting a feeble glow that barely held the darkness at bay. The forest seemed to close in around her. The branches above forming a tangled canopy that obscured the moon and stars. It was a night devoid of celestial guidance, and she felt as if she had stepped into a realm untouched by the waking world.

As she ventured further from the safety of Ravensbrook, the familiar sounds of the town—crickets’ chirping, the distant murmur of voices—faded into an eerie silence. It was as though the very woods held their breath, anticipating her every move. Emily’s heart beat like a drum, the only sound that seemed to exist in this shadowed realm.

The lantern’s light flickered with each step, casting long, wavering shadows that danced among the trees. Emily’s senses were heightened. Every rustle of leaves underfoot, every distant hoot of an owl, sent shivers down her spine. She knew that the legends spoke of the Dwayyo as a creature of the night. It was a spectral presence that thrived in the darkest of hours. She couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being watched.

The Dwayyo and Its Mournful Cry

The howls, those mournful cries that had drawn her here, grew louder and more haunting with each passing moment. They reverberated through the forest, seeming to come from all directions at once. Emily’s resolve was unyielding, her determination unwavering, but a sense of unease gnawed at her. It was as though there were secrets the very heart of the forest not meant for mortal eyes.

With each step, Emily felt as though she was descending into a nightmare, the line between reality and myth growing ever thinner. She couldn’t turn back now; she had come too far, and the answers she sought were just beyond her reach. The night held its breath, and Emily pressed on, her lantern’s feeble light a beacon in the impenetrable darkness.

The Terrifying Encounter

In a clearing shrouded by ancient oaks, Emily’s lantern fought against the pervasive darkness, its feeble glow casting eerie, wavering shadows that danced like specters in the night. It was in this eerie glimmer that the unimaginable materialized before her, a sinister silhouette that sent a shiver down her spine.

The Dwayyo emerged from the obscurity of the woods, its towering form a grotesque fusion of man and beast. Its fur, matted and tangled, hung in ragged clumps, concealing a frame that seemed to defy nature. It moved with an unsettling grace, its eyes like molten gold, gleaming with an otherworldly malevolence.

Face to Dwayyo Face

Emily’s heart pounded in her chest as she stood her ground, the lantern trembling in her grip. Her eyes locked with those of the Dwayyo, and in that chilling moment, it became abundantly clear that the legends were not mere fanciful tales but a nightmarish reality.

Credit: BygoneMarylandSketch of the dwayyo by News-Post sketch artist Ed Mull from the December 1, 1965 issue of The News

The creature’s snarling muzzle revealed rows of razor-sharp teeth, and its breath, hot and fetid, washed over her like a noxious cloud. Every instinct screamed at her to flee, to escape the clutches of this abomination, but her curiosity and determination held her rooted to the spot.

As the Dwayyo closed the distance between them, its eyes bore into hers, devoid of humanity. Its very presence seemed to defy the laws of nature, and Emily felt a palpable malevolence radiating from the creature. It was a terror that transcended the bounds of mortal understanding, a nightmare made flesh.

Tell your tales around the campfire with some crazy s’mores.

The Haunting Reality

In that heart-stopping moment, the world seemed to hold its breath. Emily, though trembling with fear, refused to yield to the encroaching darkness. The Dwayyo, with its fur bristling and eyes aflame, moved with eerie fluidity. Its monstrous form cast a grotesque shadow that stretched like a malevolent specter across the clearing.

As the creature closed in, Emily’s lantern flickered erratically, casting intermittent flashes of light upon the nightmarish scene. She could see the creature’s snarling muzzle, its jagged teeth glinting menacingly. Its eyes, those molten pools of gold, bore into her with an unrelenting malevolence.

The Dwayyo’s movements were a paradox of grace and savagery. It circled her with predatory intent, its very presence a grotesque affront to the laws of nature. Emily’s heart hammered in her chest, and her breaths came in ragged gasps as she struggled to maintain her composure.

Dwayyo Attack

Then, in an instant, the Dwayyo lunged. Its powerful form crashed into her, sending her sprawling to the forest floor. The lantern slipped from her grasp, its light extinguished in the chaos. Emily felt the creature’s hot, foul breath against her skin as it pinned her down, its massive weight pressing down upon her.

The world seemed to spin in a disorienting whirlwind of terror. Emily’s senses were overwhelmed by the stench of the creature, a nauseating blend of wet fur and decay. She could hear the guttural growls and snarls that emanated from the Dwayyo, the sounds of a predator closing in for the kill.

Desperation fueled her. With every ounce of strength she could muster, Emily fought back against the creature’s relentless onslaught. Her fists struck out blindly, finding purchase on the Dwayyo’s fur-covered limbs. She could feel the creature’s coarse, matted fur beneath her fingertips, and it was a grotesque reminder that this nightmare was all too real.

A Fraught Escape

In that harrowing moment, Emily’s survival instinct kicked in. She wriggled and squirmed, struggling to free herself from the vice-like grip of the Dwayyo. Her breaths came in ragged gasps, and her vision swam with terror-induced tears.

With a surge of adrenaline-fueled strength, Emily managed to push the creature away, creating enough distance to scramble to her feet. She stumbled backward, her eyes locked onto the creature that had nearly claimed her life. Something made it back away. What had she felt in that instance when she had embraced her fate?

The Realization

The Dwayyo, though momentarily thwarted, remained a looming menace. Its eyes, once predatory and unrelenting, now held a haunted, tormented look. Emily realized that, beneath the monstrous exterior, there was a tragic story, a curse that had condemned it to this nightmarish existence.

As the two adversaries stood there, locked in a chilling standoff, Emily couldn’t help but feel a pang of empathy. The Dwayyo, for all its monstrous form, was not a creature of pure evil. It was a victim of circumstances, a prisoner of the very legend that had brought her here.

In the darkness of the forest, the encounter had revealed a haunting truth—a truth that would propel Emily deeper into the heart of the Dwayyo legend, determined to unearth the secrets that bound this tragic creature to the shadows of Ravensbrook. The Dwayoo ran off into the woods leaving Emily alone.

The Bittersweet Truth of the Dwayyo

In the days that followed, Emily ventured deeper into the woods to learn more about the Dwayyo. She discovered that it was once a man, cursed by an ancient ritual gone awry. The curse had bound his soul to the form of a monstrous wolf-man, and he had become a creature of darkness, forever haunted by the moonlit nights.

As Emily’s understanding of the Dwayyo deepened, she realized that the creature’s malevolence was a reflection of the fear and prejudice it had faced from the townsfolk. The Dwayyo, in its lonely existence, had become a tragic figure, a prisoner of its own curse.

In the end, Emily chose not to reveal the truth of the Dwayyo to the townsfolk. Let alone the marks it had left across her back. She was understanding that it was a creature born of tragedy and not true evil. In fact, she left the woods with a heavy heart, carrying with her the bittersweet knowledge that the line between myth and reality was often blurred. The most terrifying monsters could be the ones we created ourselves. For now, the Dwayyo was not longer alone. The changes in Emily had already begun.