The Goatman of Texas

Welcome to Freaky Friday.  Today is a paranormal Friday.  Cryptid sightings are pervasive throughout the US.  In Texas, we have Bigfoot, the chupacabra, donkey lady…and the goatman.  Today, we’re going to discuss the Texas Goatman.

The book Weird Texas got me interested in the Texas Goatman.  Here’s why:

Go ahead and laugh.  I did at first.  Then, I got curious and started researching.

The more I researched the Texas Goatman, the more stories I found.  Before long, I realized I wanted to illustrate how pervasive the story is more than I wanted to discuss the origins of the legend.  Thus, my intent today is to share a thumbnail of each story I’ve found.  My sources are at the end of the post.

I found two types of stories: cryptids and ghosts.

The Goatman as a Cryptid:

The Goat Man of White Rock Lake (Dallas, Texas)

This beast is very tall—seven feet—and has horns and hooves like a goat but stands erect like a man.  The creature’s face has humanoid features.  The skin is greenish, and it has long, nasty fingernails.  It is known to throw objects at people.

Another description of the White Rock Lake Goatman has it covered with thin but coarse brown hair and walking both on two feet and on four feet.  This version of the Goatman vanished into thin air before a witness’s eyes.

The Lake Worth Monster (NW Tarrant County, Texas–Near Fort Worth)

The Lake Worth Monster by Sallie Ann Clark

The Lake Worth Monster was seen near Greer Island, which is a small patch of land near where the west fork of the Trinity River runs into Lake Worth.

This story has been made into a book, documented in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, and covered by Fox 4 News in Fort Worth.  It’s a popular story.

[Click here to watch a short video about the Lake Worth Monster by Fox 4 News.]

The hoopla started in 1969 when two couples saw a creature that had both fur and scales and looked like a cross between a man and a goat.  They reported it to the Fort Worth Police.  This started a monster-hunting craze during which other sightings of the monster occurred.

Other reports said the creature looked like a big, white ape.  This creature was associated with several half-eaten sheep.

This well-known picture is associated with the Lake Worth Monster.  It was taken by Alan Plaster in 1969 (during the monster-hunting craze).

The Goatman of West, Texas (McLennan County, Central Texas)

This goatman story has a semi-scientific basis.  Scientists bred a half-man, half goat in a lab somewhere in North Texas.  When they could no longer handle the monster, they dumped it in West, Texas where it now lives under a railroad bridge.  Be careful, this goatman attacks passersby.

The Goatman of McLennan County (Central Texas)

This goatman is a satyr-like cryptid which is thought to be a demon from Hell.  It has hoofs and horns and a man’s torso.  It roams the rivers and lakes of McClellan County in search of its favorite prey—children.  Reports date back to the 1920s and are as recent as the 1960s.

The Ghostly Goatman 

The Goatman of Alton Bridge (Denton County, North Texas)

Alton Bridge was built in the late 1800s.  The short version of the story is that in the 1930s the KKK hanged an African American businessman from the bridge.

Watch a short video that tells the story much more entertainingly than I do:

Alton Bridge is now closed to motor traffic, but one legend says motorists who drive across the bridge at night with their headlights turned off will encounter the Goatman’s ghost.  Another legend says that motorists who honk twice will see the ghost’s fiery red eyes.

The spookiest part of this story is that in the 1960s several abandoned cars were discovered near old Alton Bridge.  The cars were linked with disappearances.

Thank you for your interest in this article. I often receive requests for further information on these articles. Please understand my knowledge of this topic is limited to what you’ve read in this article. I have no plans to update or expand these articles. I am currently focusing on my fiction writing career and am no longer writing or researching for non-fiction articles. If you’re interested in seeing what else I write, please check out the My Fiction page on this website or visit my Amazon Author Page on amazon.com.

Sources

Websites:

Coming of the Goatman by Nick Redfern

1969 Lake Worth Monster: Was the Goatman Hulk or Hoax?

The Trails of Denton County—Old Alton Bridge

Goatman’s Bridge: A Texas Ghost Legend 

Books:

Weird Texas

Cotton Bales, Goatmen, and Witches

30 thoughts on “The Goatman of Texas

  1. These stories are extra creepy, but I love them anyway! I would freak out if I saw something that was half-goat, half-man. What weird tales. My daughter’s always asking me if I believe in aliens and I do. I just wish (like this tale) that I’d encounter something that would give my belief more credence!
    Patti

    • I don’t know if I want to meet the goatman. While I was researching this, I read some super creepy accounts. I also read some stuff about where in mythology a creature like this fits. That freaked me out even more. It somehow made the stories even scarier. However, if you ever visit Texas and want to, you and me will go goatman hunting. :D

      • I know what you mean about the mythology thing. I’m pretty sure a goatman of sorts is from a gazillion years ago. I think there was something of a goatman in one of the Harry Potter movies too, though I’m trying to picture it in my head and can’t figure out whether it was a goat or not…something goat-ish and icky-looking.

  2. Wow, great post, Catie!! I never heard of the Texas Goatman so this was new for me. I love tales of mythic creatures like this. Thanks for sharing.

    • So glad you enjoyed it. I find sightings of creatures like this completely fascinating. I wonder what people really saw. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Thanks, Catie. Stories of the Lake Worth goatman have abounded around Fort Worth for decades. Never heard the story that it was students from Brewer High School – but Brewer isn’t too far from Greer Island.

    • That’s right! This is your neck of the woods. Next time I make the trek out that way, perhaps I’ll get to see the Lake Worth/Greer Island area. Dallas/area has some neat, neat stories associated with it. Thanks for stopping by, David.

  4. I must tell you, we actually did have a “Goat Man” in the state of Georgia. This man was not half goat, half man; he was a true gypsy goat herder that traveled the back roads of Georgia with his goats. I remember his brightly painted Gypsy wagon well. He was kind to all that were kind to him. No legend. I do wonder whatever became of him. Memories of childhood past.

    • What an interesting story. Georgia is a fascinating state. It’s so much more southern than Texas is, and seems to be full of quirky characters. Like you, I sometimes think of characters from my childhood and wonder what path their lives ultimately took. I always send up a silent good wish for them. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your goatman story. I enjoyed it.

  5. Fascinating! I’ve heard about the half man breeding, but I have to admit … I wonder about Big Foot. I recently saw a two hour doc on either Discovery or the HIstory channel that really made me wonder. Is it so far fetched? And SO many sightings…

    • In the area where I grew up in East Texas, there are thousands of acres of National Forest. There’s also a group of folks who go Bigfoot hunting on a regular basis. I don’t doubt the existence of Bigfoot, but I imagine it’s not what people thing it is. You get deep enough into those woods, and you’ll see some stuff that will scare the poopy-kaka out of you. :D

  6. i guess I must be living under a bridge. I have never heard of the goatman and I’ve lived in TX my whole life, including just a few miles from Lakeworth. Now I’ll have to keep an eye out whenever I go through there! LOL And a little off topic — every time I go through West, I have to stop and get Kolache’s. Not sure why. I don’t really like them. Maybe it’s because the first time I went through there was with my favorite cousin and she stopped making such a big deal of it. Anyway, my family loves me because I bring back some for them! I love the Freaky Friday posts!

    • I had never heard of the goatman until I bought and read Weird Texas. It’s a horrifying take on the Bigfoot legend, isn’t it? So…do you think you’ll go out to Greer Island and look for the Lake Worth Monster?

      As for the famous West Kolaches, I like the ones that have the sausage in them. But I’ve had something even better than that in West. It was called an armadillo egg. It was sausage (like Jimmy Dean bulk sausage) packed around a hard-boiled egg and deep fried with batter. We had these at the West Fest one year on Labor Day. They were really, really good.

      And…thanks for the kind words about my Freaky Friday posts. I have a lot of fun with them. :D

    • If you were writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, or Horror, it sure would be a great antagonist. :D

  7. I’ve never heard of the goat man, but it’s a great story. I’ll have to investigate what creepy creatures have been seen in NY. Always entertaining, Catie. Thanks.

    • Oh, if you do find something cool in New York, I hope you’ll blog about it. The only boogie man I know of in the general area is the Jersey Devil. I’ve also heard some odd things about the area of New York State about which Washington Irving wrote. I’ve heard it called the Devil’s Playground or Hell’s Playground or something along those lines. So, yeah. I am very curious if you find anything interesting.

  8. Native Texan, and I don’t recall ever hearing of the Goatman. What intrigued me about the reports is how the sightings were near bodies of water. I know that eyewitness testimony is more believable when the accounts have similarities to corroborate one another but some differences the indicate individual perception. Makes you wonder. Although, as you know, I’m a skeptic. Interesting topic, Catie!

    • I say this to my husband often, and now I’ll say it to you: we are not so far from a group of scared pioneers huddled around the campfire and jumping at noises in the dark. :D

      Now, I’ll also say that I grew up in the East Texas piney woods. Some of the noises you hear in those dense woods are downright scary. And some of the things I’ve seen can’t be explained.

      So there you have it: it might be real and it might not. It’s a great story, though.

  9. Could The Goatman be the new Twilight? I think you’re on to something, here Catie! It’s a fascinating concept and captures the imagination and has a little creepy factor. I hope you use this as a platform for a larger writing project.

    Keep me posted!

    • Goatman as the new Twilight: I am laughing. I can just see myself trying to make the goatman sexy. However, my research is for a story. You know me well. :D

      Good to see you.

  10. on ,
    Donna Coe-Velleman said:

    We don’t have anything like a goatman on Long Island from what I know. But we do have a serial killer who has left bodies at Gilgo Beach that the police are trying to solve. Anyone want to trade?

    • I hadn’t been following y’all’s serial killer story, but now I’ve looked it up. Wow. That’s scary.

      Pretty recently, Pasadena PD arrested a security guard whom they suspect of killing prostitutes. They’re looking into cases going back 15 years. I guess nobody had connected the cases before.

      Be careful out there, Donna. And thanks for stopping by.

  11. Pingback: Denton’s top haunts: Goatman’s Bridge and UNT « Denton Haunts and Ghost Stories

  12. on ,
    lionstanding said:

    There was/is(?) a goatman legend in Ellis County, Texas, Belle Branch area…When I was a teenager we were driving around the area(a largely uninhabited game preserve) late at night when we noticed what appeared to be an upright running figure alongside the car (about 8 feet to the left running along the bar ditch off the road) and we were driving about 30-35 mph….some claimed to see the glint from the figure’s eyes…The area was also believed to be an enclave of Satan worshipers….