Artist’s Rendering of Santer

The Santer is a mysterious feline reported below the Mason-Dixon line. It is commonly seen in western North Carolina. It is rarely dangerous to mankind, but a frequent predator to livestock. The origin of this creature likely came from tales of lumberjack in 19th and early 20th century.


It is said to have a long body covered with fluorescent hair, its head is large and bald with small eyes, it also has long legs and a tail, and has eight hard knots in its tail, which makes them look like a string of beads. It can swing it's tail with plenty of power and skill—enough to knock out a cow or a hog with one slap. And obviously this tail can be effectively used in combat.

It lives mostly in wooded swamps in the neighborhood of small villages where cattle and hogs are kept. It is a remarkably fast animal, but is rarely seen. Its cry is a piercing, baby-like wail, that makes even dogs too scared to attack.


A calf has been known to have been killed by one of these varmints near Statesville, and it showed eight distinct bruises, seven on the body and one on the broken foreleg. The hair about each bruise was severely singed.


Like many other Fearsome Critters, the Santer is most likely a tale invented by lumberjacks.

Further reading

"The Santer" from Fearsome Critters (1939) by Henry H. Tryon

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