The Goatman

This urban legend comes from the depth of Maryland. He is half-man half-goat. And he does exactly what you would expect him to do. He kills teens, eats dogs, screams like a shrill goat, and other things of the sort. Did I mention that he come wielding an axe? Terrifying I know.

Now, no one knows where exactly this urban legend came from.

One tale is that he was once a scientist who worked in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. He was working on experiments using goats and one day the experiment backfired and he was mutated into a half-goat creature: The Goatman. (This one actually became so big that the USDA had to come forward and publicly deny creating this creature accidentally.)

Another tale is that he was a goat farmer who went crazy and killed tons of teenagers after he figured out that they killed his goats.

The more likely tale is that the Goatman legend was popularized in 1971 when a family came forward and blamed the brutal decapitation of their new puppy on the Goatman. The dog’s head was found 14 years later.

While the story of how he was created remains a mystery, the story of what he does is the same across the board. He jumps onto cars and chops tires so they can’t get away. He then drag them into the forest with him. Where, well, I’m sure you get the rest.

Now, don’t get this Goatman twisted with the Goatman in Texas. Two separate Goatmans. Who knows, maybe they are cousins.

The Goatman of Texas haunts the Old Alton Bridge, which is nicknamed Goatman’s Bridge for obvious reasons. This bridge connects Denton and Copper Canyon. The Goatman is said to roam the forest surrounding the bridge.

This Goatman arises from the tale of a black goat farmer who lived with his family on one side (the North side) of the bridge. A few years after he moved there, he became known as a dependable and honest businessman. So, North Texans started to call him the Goatman. The farmer put a sign on the bridge that read “This way to the Goatman’s.” Local Klansmen didn’t like this and turned to violence. They kidnapped the farmer and hung a noose on Old Alton Bridge where they hung him. When they looked down to check that he had died, he was gone. The Klansmen then panicked and went back to the farmer’s house where they killed his wife and children.

Locals now warn people of this tale. They warn that if you cross the bridge with no headlights, the Goatman will appear on the other side. People have reported seeing strange lights and ghostly figures as well as reports of being touched, grabbed, and having rocks thrown at them. Locals warn visitors not to mess with the Goatman.

Family members or not, neither of these Goatmans (is that the correct plural? who knows) are forces to be reckoned with. I would advise that if you are looking for a thrill, get it somewhere else. Or don’t, after all, it’s Shane and Ryan’s bridge now. (Peep Buzzfeed Unsolved)

5 thoughts on “The Goatman”

  1. Larsen, I appreciated this urban legend to start off my Friday morning! I find it fascinating that there are two DESPERATE goatman legends, both in two different places of the Unites States. I do wonder why the goatman in Maryland has an axe. Did past USDA scientists, if that is his true origin story, need axes in their line of work? Great legend, I am interested to see what else you post about this semester!

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