Posted by: Nick Redfern on April 9th, 2012
Just a few days ago, I was interviewed on a radio show here in Texas on the subject of the legendary Goatman of the Lone Star State. When the host asked me for my thoughts on the affair, I replied: “Which one?”
This momentarily flummoxed him, since he wanted to speak about what is undeniably the most famous Goatman of Texas: that of Lake Worth, which burst onto the scene in the summer of 1969.
But, being Texas’ most well-known Goatman, doesn’t mean it’s the only one, I told the host. It actually isn’t.
Another such creature of distinctly Goatman proportions has been regularly reported at the 1884-built Old Alton Bridge in the town of Denton, which is situated only a short drive from the city of Dallas.
One legend says that, many years ago, wannabe devil-worshipers in the area inadvertently opened up a portal to some hellish realm that allowed the vile beast open access to our world. And now, today, and as a direct result of this reckless action, the Goatman has no intention at all of returning to the strange zone from which he appeared; hence his deep desire to forever haunt the old steel-and-wood bridge at Denton.
An even weirder story maintains that the Denton Goatman’s origins can be traced back to a resident of the town who, decades ago, slaughtered his entire family, and was quickly hanged as a punishment for his terrible crime. As the local legend tells it, at the moment he was hung, the man’s head was torn from his body by the weight of his form. And, for months, his spectral body returned to the world of the living with only one goal in mind: to find itself a brand new head, which it supposedly did by wrenching off the head of an innocent goat that had the great misfortune to be in the area at the time.
And clearly of very similar origins is yet another legend which suggests the man hung by the neck was a local goat farmer, one Oscar Washburn, who incurred the wrath of local Klansmen for, in their warped eyes, having the wrong color skin. In this version of events it is the Klan that kills the unfortunate family.
Was the “head-wrenching” story, in both versions, merely a tall tale? Of course, it was! But that does not take away the fact that local folk, on a number of occasions, have reported seeing the nightmarish beast roaming around the vicinity of the bridge. In other words, whatever the real origins of Denton’s Goatman, there does appear to be some substance to what many merely perceive as an entertaining piece of local hokum and nothing else.
The critter of Lake Worth has competition!