The Other Goatman of Texas

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!

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.

3 Responses to “The Other Goatman of Texas”

  1. HulkSmashNow responds:

    I’ve heard stories growing up in North Texas, in Ellis and Navarro Counties, of the “Goat-Man of Emhouse,” which is roughly fifty-six miles southeast of Dallas, and about ten miles off I-45S. Back in either the ’50s or ’60s, this Goat-Man, a huge, shaggy bipedal creature with goat-like horns, haunches, and hooves, was nearly hit by a car that driving through Emhouse along FM-1126 (which I drive every night to work), and was later seen by a homeowner scooping out and eating corn from a homemade deer feeder in his backyard.

    From Emhouse, you can drive an older farm-to-market road to Ennis, Texas, in Ellis County, and cross right over the wooded spot on Chambers Creek, where the infamous “Chambers Creek Monster” was first seen some forty-odd years ago. My father was the first person to see the monster, with a friend, while they were camped out on Chambers Creek and fishing. The site of the giant, hairy creature scared them so badly, they drove backwards all of the way back to Ennis.

    I finally visited this spot for the first time nearly ten years ago with my father, and he told me that the road led all of the way to Emhouse. I’ve wondered since then, were the Goat-Man of Emhouse and the Chambers Creek Monster one and the same?

  2. texascheeseman responds:

    The Old Alton Bridge Goatman was a much scarier story and destination when it didn’t have a modern road compromising its shadow. In my youth, the road to the bridge cut off a Farm Road and went down along the creek and the pasture. There was a sharp turn and you were on the single lane bridge. And on the other side there was another sharp turn to continue down the road through dark pastureland as the creek ran away on your other side down toward the lake.

  3. texascheeseman responds:

    Additionally, all that cleared land leading up to the bridge…wasn’t. It was thick woods all along the creek back then.

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