By Jim Miles
Georgia’s most mysterious ancient animal was the Wog, which inhabited Nodoroc, a boiling pit of mud in northeastern Georgia near Winder.
In The Early History of Jackson County Georgia, published in 1914, local historian G.J.N. Wilson wrote of the creature: “The Wog was said to be a jet-black, long-haired animal about the size of a small horse, but his legs were much shorter, the front ones being some 12-inches longer than the hind ones. This gave him something of the appearance of a huge dog ‘sitting on its tail,’ and when walking seemed to require him to carry forward one side at a time. His tail was very large…and at the end of it there was a bunch of entirely white hair at least eight-inches long and larger in diameter than the tail itself.
“Whether sitting, standing or walking, this curious appendage was in constant motion from side to side…with a quick upward curve which brought it down with a whizzing sound that could be distinctly heard at least 25 to 30 steps distant.
“His great red eyes were very repulsive, but not so much as his forked tongue, the prongs of which were thought to be eight-inches long and played in and out of his mouth like those of a mad snake. Really the meanest feature about the beast was that his bear-like head contained a set of great white teeth over which his ugly lips never closed.”
To the Creeks Nodoroc was hell and the Wog was Satan. They believed evil souls spent eternity in the volcanic bog and their bodies were often cast into the boiling mud, where they were welcomed by its host. At times the cauldron burned hotter and Native Americans contended the Wog was angry because it desired more victims. Additional sacrifices were hurled into the mud from fear that the Wog would leave the bog by night and seize local villagers. Prisoners of war and condemned criminals were commonly thrown to the Wog.
A Native American woman named Fenceruga once killed and devoured one of her children. Sentenced to death by Chief Urocasca, she was thrown headfirst into Nodoroc. The Wog swept his repulsive tail through the mud and covered up the hole she left. Dead her body may have been, but her spirit lived on in torment. On dark nights her ghost was seen running through the hills, screaming loudly as a party of children who shouted with joy and gleefully clapped their hands relentlessly pursued her.
Chief Umausauga had a beautiful daughter named Nere Nara (Sunrise) who was courted by a Choctaw brave. When the princess spurned his love he murdered her. Chief Umausauga and his son, Notha Nera, pursued the Choctaw and found him near Thomocoggin (Jefferson). His heart was cut out of his body and devoured by hungry wolves, but the body was taken to Nodoroc and thrown into the boiling mud.
“I swore a vengeance on the whole Choctaw tribe,” Chief Umausauga said. “I organized a war party of more than 200 followers. When we were almost ready to start on my mission of vengeance, the Wog began to appear occasionally.
“At first he scared some of the natives to death, and it was reported all over the country that he snatched dead bodies out of their graves and ate them.”
THE WOG IN HIS GOLDEN YEARS
Native American accounts describe a vicious, devil Wog, but it had mellowed considerably by the time American settlers appeared in the area. Occasionally it would approach cabins, announcing its arrival by making its whirling tail sound, and poke its long, forked tongue through chinks between the logs.
“Dogs and cats ran away and in some instances were scared to death,” wrote Wilson. “Horses snorted, cattle moaned, and chickens flew from their roosts in all directions.” Humans were never molested.
From Weird Georgia (2000 and 2006).
Jim Miles is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org