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  • Into the Rabbit Hole

Ep. 20 Goatman's Bridge

Updated: Nov 5, 2019


Goatman's Bridge

What do you get when you mix a small town, a bridge, and a racially charged murder? You get a bridge that’s hella haunted, that’s what.


Today I’m going to tell you about the Old Alton Bridge, more commonly known as Goatmans Bridge. The bridge connects the two Texan towns of Denton and Copper Canyon and is part of what was know as Alton Village. This village was founded in 1848 and had the astounding population of 1.


So this ridiculously tiny town eventually got more citizens, and even shifted locations. I guess that’s a thing that can happen. By the 1850s it was practically a metropolis with it’s blacksmith shop, 3 whole stores, a school, a saloon, hotel, baptist church, 2 (I repeat) 2 doctors, and even a few lawyers.


All they were missing was a bridge. So in 1884 one was built.


For a good 50 years the bridge was just a bridge, uninhabited by anyone, most especially a demon. But that all changed in 1938 because of the KKK. This is why we can’t have nice, non haunted, things!


So, it’s 1938 in small town Texas, where a man by the name of Oscar Washburn lives with his wife and children. He made a living by raising and selling goats. I think you can guess where this is going.


So Oscar is just doing his thing, living his life, raising his goats. And turns out, he’s pretty good at it. He even becomes known as Goatman. The KKK unsurprisingly did not like this because god forbid a black man make anything more than a meager living.


For a while, they only grumbled, but then one day Oscar put up a sign on the bridge which said “this way to the Goatman’s”. You know, like anyone would to drive more business to themselves. But oh no, this was the final straw for the KKK. How dare he?


So late one august night these fuckers drove their cars across the bridge, careful to keep their headlights off so no one would see them. They then went to Oscar’s house, forced him out of his home, and dragged him to the bridge, where they put a noose over his head and threw him off the side.


All because of some goats, and some good ol’ fashioned racism.


The sarcasm is strong in this one if you can't tell.


So anyway, they hang him on the bridge, but when they looked to make sure he was dead, there was nothing but an empty noose. This angered them too, so they went back to his house and killed his family by locking them in a burning house. Oscar was never seen or heard from again.


It’s thought that perhaps a concerned townsperson took his body down before the KKK members looked or that he escaped. But I don’t know if I buy that. The only logical explanation is that his body disappeared because he transformed into a Goatman so he could haunt the motherfuckers that murdered him.


There are no official historical records of this, but I’m not sure that really even means much.


But before we get to the actual haunting of the bridge, there’s actually another legend.


This one actually predates the building of the bridge, but was near it’s future location.


It involves a group of cowboys and a goatherder named Jack Kendall. Legend goes that the cowboys for whatever reason lynch Jack Kendall, but through the power of voodoo his body is reanimated. He then rips the head off of a nearby goat and replaces his own head with the goats as the cowboys watch in horror.


So now we can get to less depressing part of the story and talk about what actually happens on the bridge.


People have long said that if you cross the bridge without your headlights the Goatman will meet you on the other side. Some variations say that instead of having a goat’s head as his own, it is a man holding a goat head under each arm.


There have even been reports of abandoned cars with no sign of the owners. Cars also often break down while crossing, or the doors lock and unlock by themselves.

Some people even claim to have heard hoofbeats on the bridge.


Some people have reported the much less horrifying sight of a man herding goats over the bridge. Ghost goats or regular goats, I am unsure of. I’m assuming ghost goats.


On halloween night if you go to the bridge and honk your horn twice you might get lucky (or unlucky) enough to see the Goatmans fiery red eyes appear. Some sources say it doesn’t have to be halloween and you need only knock on the bridge 3 times for the goatman to appear.


But it’s not just the bridge that’s haunted. It’s the surrounding woods as well.

People have reported hearing inhuman screams and growls, maniacal laughter within the trees, and splashing in the creek. It’s also a hotspot for satanic rituals.


Some believe that rather than the Goatman being the pissed off spirit of a man who was lynched by the KKK, it was satanists that opened a gateway to another dimension and a demon passed through.


Always blame it on the satanists.


In the Buzzfeed episode they also said that this demon supposedly calls himself Steve. Not a very demon-y name, but hey, who am I to judge. However, I didn’t see that anywhere else.


In 2001 the Old Alton Bridge was closed to vehicles and is now open to pedestrians only. Not for any supernatural reason, but simply because a new bridge and road was built next to it.


Sources:

Buzzfeed Unsolved

2 Girls 1 Ghost (podcast)

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/07/24/old-alton-bridge/

https://texashillcountry.com/goatman-bridge-history-hauntings-denton-alton-bridge/2/

https://www.discoverdenton.com/article/paranormal-denton-county-night-goatmans-bridge/

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