Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
grutherford3

The Truth Behind the Goatman's Bridge

23 posts in this topic

Hello everyone, this is my first post on Unexplained Mysteries. My near-obsession with this bridge and the surrounding woods was started with this topic posted six years ago: http://www.unexplain...showtopic=60089. My friends decided to go this last Halloween and I decided that after my first visit, I simply had too many questions that needed to be answered. I took many trips to the Bridge after that night in search of the truth, and I believe I have touched on the truth. There are still way too many experiences I've read and heard about that I will never be able to explain or be able to debunk, but I have my own experiences and research to get a good idea of what's really out there.

"Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality." - Hunter S. Thompson

The Legend:

First off, for anybody who is unfamiliar, you have to start with the legend. The basic story of the Bridge s this (taken from wikipedia, but I have seen it on this website and many others):

"Alternatively, legend tells of a black goat farmer who moved his family to a residence just north of the bridge. A few years later, Oscar Washburn was known as a dependable, honest businessman. North Texans endearingly began to call him the Goatman. But the success of a black man was still unwelcome to many, and Klansmen in the local government turned to violence after he displayed a sign on Alton Bridge: "this way to the Goatman's".

In August 1938 Klansmen crossed the bridge and kidnapped Washburn from his family. They hung a noose on Old Alton Bridge and, after securing it around his neck, threw him over the side. When they looked down to see if he had died, the noose was empty. In a panic, they returned to his family home and slaughtered his wife and children."

I have also heard a few varations, one saying that the goatman was NOT liked by the townspeople, and wasn't lynched by the KKK, but actually run off the bridge. Another story, radically different from the rest, says the ghost is actually of a Catholic Irish immigrant named Shamus, who takes the form of a half-goat half-man body and is a very angry and violent spirit.

I have looked at records of Alton, and have not found records of anyone named Oscar Washburn or Shamus.

There is a popular video on youtube which attests to this, and you can watch it here:

.

The Bridge:

Going back to the legend, they state there are no records of lynchings off the bridge, but records will show lynchings in the surrounding area. The only reported violent act on the bridge is a shootout between outlaw Sam Bass and the Texas Rangers. If anything, the bridge is just a symbol of the legend, as it is definitely creepy, scary, and strange. The history behind the bridge is that it connected Copper Canyon to Denton Texas. It was mainly used to carry horses and automobiles across the creek below. There are still many strange experiences recorded from on the bridge, from rocks being thrown, to screams, maniacal laughter, crying, even a bigfoot scream.

Satanic Rituals:

This is what I believe to be the most unnearving part of the whole thing. I have many friends who live in the area of the Bridge and say they see people in black with candles on the bridge after midnight often. I myself saw a person in a black robe the first night I went. I think a lot of the apparitions of goats or goatmen are things conjured by satanists. I found one picture in the bathroom of Goatman's house of what I believe to be a satanist, but who knows what the hell it is:

http://i.imgur.com/M5WN3.jpg

The Woods:

If you were to park off Old Alton Road and hop the gate, you'd be on your way to the Bridge. The bridge itself is off a trail to the right. The woods beyond the Bridge are very scary at night. I have my own experiences which I'll share later. To my understanding, the woods are the remnants of Alton. I have heard that there is an old asylum, a church, and even the house of the Goatman himself. People have reported everything from orange lights to being touched out there.

The House:

Now if you read the legend, it says the "goatman" put a sign on the end of the bridge saying "this way to the goatman." Everything I've ever read or seen says that the house is not too far from the bridge, and just off a path. This is true. If you watch the video I posted above, the man at the end says that there was no "Oscar Washburn." The only truth to the goat aspect of the legend is that there was a house not far from the bridge which owned slaves. One of the slaves lived in a cabin not far from the house, and he in fact DID sell goats. I have found the house after a few trips, but I felt very stupid after I realized it was not past the bridge, but in fact behind it. There is a trail that goes past Old Alton Road from the parking lot that leads directly to the alleged cabin of the goatman, and his owner's house. I have many pictures of the house, and will post them if you would like. If you want to look at the house, some over at the UER forum posted some great pictures of the house itself: http://www.uer.ca/fo...&threadid=89481. The cabin that the alleged Goatman lived in is right next to the house if you want to go look, but it is torn down.

My Experience:

I went on Halloween of this year, but did not experience much. I was scared out of my mind, but I eventually got to know the area pretty well. I went back a second time with my brother, a friend I go to college with, and a good friend from UNT. We brought a flashlight for each person. It was dark as we parked right in front of the gate, and we all got out excited to explore and hopefully find Goatman's house based on what we knew about the legend in the area. There was only one other car there, and it was overflow parking for the soccer field which was hosting a game that night. We hopped the gate and only walked around thirty steps before something rustled the bush and scared the hell out of us. We jumped and held our flashlights close to the bush. My brother says something big and brown ran away after we shined our lights on it. I still belive that was probably an animal, but it was a big one and not a good way to start off the night being as scared as we were beforehand. We walked another five steps before we heard footsteps. Not of any animal, as we all are very outdoorsy and my friend hunts often. They were obviously of a human. The problem is, no matter where we shined the lights, we could not find the source of the steps. Now if you go to the Bridge in daytime, you notice that the surrounding wooded area is really not too dense. It is surprisingly open and there aren't many places to hide. That's why I was scared, because the steps were a deliberateheel-toe step not too far in front of us. We stood there yelling at the noise, trying to be tough as we initially thought it was just some students messing with us. Not even a second after we stopped yelling, a rock hit my friends truck that we all rode in. A few other rocks were thrown, and we charged the area, finding literally nothing. We were mad that something threw rocks, and it wasn't until a night later that I found out that there is reportedly a bigfoot in the area, and one story I found includes rock throwing. We walked the path across the Bridge, and even heard a grunt while we took our time on it to recollect. Advancing in the woods, we heard the same heel-toe footsteps everywhere we went. It came from all directions, it even ran right in front of our lights and we couldn't see anything. We checked everywhere and there was nobody there. It was just too weird for me. We kept experiencing this the entire way up to another parking lot where there were no cars, right by the powerlines. We decided to turn around and experienced nothing for the rest of the night until we decided to try and find what threw rocks at us at the beginning, where another rock was thrown. We did not find the Goatman's house that night, but instead went home scared and skeptical. I would have been skeptical myself, if I hadn't known that there would had to have been about fifteen people placed all across the trail walking around, and we found no other cars except one that was obviously for soccer (it had shinguards in the backseat and it only held four people anyway). I cannot say that it wasn't weird.

My Conclusion:

After a lot of time spent exploring, researching, and not sleeping, I have finally found what I believe to be the truth behind the legend. Most of the legend isn't true, the only thing that is true is that a slave sold goats. I believe the woods are haunted. I believe the house itself is haunted. Based on what I know, I believe the original Goatman may have been that slave, and he very possibly could've been one of the lynchings in the area. He may not be the only ghost, as the legend of La Llorana is attached to the area, and many Native American Ghosts have been reported in the area. Also, a five year old girl apparently drowned in Hickory Creek. The whole area is basically a giant ghost story.i believe completely that anything you see out there may be the result of black magic, especially the demonic satyr that has been spotted. I may not know what happened to the Goatman in exact details, but I can hope that he rests in peace along with the other tortured souls in the area.

If you want to go to the bridge, just search old alton bridge on google maps and find directions. It's right by UNT off Teasley Lane. You won't get ticketed for trespassing day or night unless you do something stupid and are past a curfew.

I had a lot of fun writing this, and I'm glad I came to some sort of conclusion regarding the legend and to even touch on what really happened. I loved spending half of my free time researching and exploring, and I had an absolute blast with my friends going out there.

If anyone knows anything about the abandoned asylum or church, I would love to know. Thanks for reading!

Edited by grutherford3
5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely sounds creepy. I've seen a ghost before so to me that is not out of the question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love this! I love the abandoned 'house' or whatever it was/is.

Can you post the photos please?

Welcome to the forum!!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, this is my first post on Unexplained Mysteries......................

Wow. Bigfoot and ghosts in the same woods? Thats a lot to bite off and chew. Huge post by the way - its obvious that you are passionate about the topic. My thoughts are that if you believe that there are ghosts in the woods and you go there in the dark, eventually you will hear/see something that you believe is a ghost. And if believing in ghosts and being scared by them in the woods makes you happy, then you should keep doing it. Welcome to the site.

Edited by orangepeaceful79
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting. I'm sure you and your friends had a lot of fun! Welcome and thanks for the story.

We had a place like that where I grew up. Ruins of a house, skeleton of an old barn where someone hanged himself surrounded by woods. It always made for a creepy night!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum.

Thanks! I've lurked a lot here.

I love this! I love the abandoned 'house' or whatever it was/is.

Can you post the photos please?

Welcome to the forum!!

Yes! Here's all the pictures I have that are decent:

"You can't leave"

post-134595-0-92661500-1352861125_thumb.

The bathroom, you can kinda see the satanic picture on the wall but it is pretty dark. There was a dark picture of the bridge across from it, but we didn't get a picture.

post-134595-0-09500100-1352861135_thumb.

Also the bathroom.

post-134595-0-36009500-1352861117_thumb.

Okay so the rest of the pictures were too big so I had to upload them elsewhere, hope y'all don't mind:

This is a bench right by the bridge. I really like this quote.

http://imgur.com/Ud6iX

This is the bridge itself, but the house is in the other direction.

http://imgur.com/dTjVC

This is a trail not too far from the house.

http://imgur.com/MMIJJ

The House:

The house, we were basically standing on collapsed roof. The entryway was behind us. That's cigar smoke in the top-right corner, no ghost.

http://imgur.com/NgDuC

Finally found the house. Had to celebrate. Here's the entryway.

http://imgur.com/I7Foy

Here is the bathroom. The two stangest pictures were found in the shower and across the shower on the walls within the bathroom. Sorry for shoddy quality on this one.

http://imgur.com/6YNql

Much better picture of inside the bathroom, more specifically the shower.

http://imgur.com/8azPQ

Another shoddy picture, but you can see that there were playing cards. My brother found a poker chip outside by the collapsed roof.

http://imgur.com/yALg7

In the living room I believe, kind of by the kitchen. Hatchet marks on the wall, which was strange. This is one of around six or seven pictures found inside the house, none of which had a frame.

http://imgur.com/jzOam

The balance beam to the kitchen. The floor obviously hasn't aged well, but a few support beams still stand and are walkable if you are careful.

http://imgur.com/FTETm

Room next to the kitchen. It was pretty small, maybe a closet?

http://imgur.com/7FtLj

Someone took a long-exposure shot on the Bridge and put it above a doorframe. Cool picture.

http://imgur.com/zQ0gi

Picture of a chair facing a drainage ditch we saw not too far from the house.

http://imgur.com/4zEHP

The pantry.

http://imgur.com/lq1tu

Buckshot on the walls. You can kinda see one of the pellets on the exposed wooden beam.

http://imgur.com/Jla7P

The house in full view.

http://imgur.com/qMHvD

The kitchen floor.

http://imgur.com/Q0OEK

Hope this satisfies you guys!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to UM grutheeford3,

Not trying to discourage you, but the house in the photos was not built in the slave days. Just a few clues; indoor plumbing, assault shingles, drywall, electrical conduit, and junction boxes, fiberglass insulation, etc.

Cool Story.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to UM grutheeford3,

Not trying to discourage you, but the house in the photos was not built in the slave days. Just a few clues; indoor plumbing, assault shingles, drywall, electrical conduit, and junction boxes, fiberglass insulation, etc.

Cool Story.

I figured that, I thought maybe the house had been renovated. The cabin outside of the house by the trail fit everything I'd heard of the real "Goatman," so I figure there's gotta be some sort of truth to it. Do you have any idea what decade it fits best?

Edited by grutherford3
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I figured that, I thought maybe the house had been renovated. The cabin outside of the house by the trail fit everything I'd heard of the real "Goatman," so I figure there's gotta be some sort of truth to it. Do you have any idea what decade it fits best?

It seems to me that the most likely explanation is that its just another ramshackle turn of the century house. You mention at least three separate, very different tales regarding the "goatman" and his untimely demise. He was lynched off the bridge, no, wait - he was run off the bridge, no, wait he was really Irish. And then the bigfoot stuff?

What you actually have evidence of is

1. An old dilapidated house

2. Woods surrounding said house

3. A bridge

4. The indomitable tendency of people to spin yarns and ghost tales, and the tendency of those stories to get more and more diverse and elaborate.

The fact that you yourself admit to being obsessed with this topic makes you even more succeptable than most to confirmation bias, and your story just adds to the complicated web of already existing, unconfirmed tales. I mean, doesn't it seem suspect that the history of this place can't even agree whether the guy was Irish or Black? Seems kind of unlikely to me.

Edited by orangepeaceful79

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems to me that the most likely explanation is that its just another ramshackle turn of the century house. You mention at least three separate, very different tales regarding the "goatman" and his untimely demise. He was lynched off the bridge, no, wait - he was run off the bridge, no, wait he was really Irish. And then the bigfoot stuff?

What you actually have evidence of is

1. An old dilapidated house

2. Woods surrounding said house

3. A bridge

4. The indomitable tendency of people to spin yarns and ghost tales, and the tendency of those stories to get more and more diverse and elaborate.

The fact that you yourself admit to being obsessed with this topic makes you even more succeptable than most to confirmation bias, and your story just adds to the complicated web of already existing, unconfirmed tales. I mean, doesn't it seem suspect that the history of this place can't even agree whether the guy was Irish or Black? Seems kind of unlikely to me.

Trust me I don't believe that it was Shamus or Oscar since there was no record of either of them, and secondly I found no record of any violent act of anything on the Bridge except for a shootout which is actually documented. I probably should have stated I do not believe in bigfoot. I just think what I was trying to do with my post is say that the legend itself shouldn't be taken so seriously, and I was trying to disprove certain aspects to the story, like Oscar and the lynching off the Bridge. I really am open to any holes in the post or story, as I am always in the process of figuring things out with anything I do. Also, that is a good point that my story just kind of adds to the mystery instead of finishing it... I guess I'll never really know what actually happened out there.

All I know is that there was a goat farmer out there, and that there were lychings. How the two truths intertwine (or if they even do) is beyond me, but the entire area just gives a funny feeling, and is definitely worth checking out in my opinion.

Edited by grutherford3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Conclusion:

After a lot of time spent exploring, researching, and not sleeping, I have finally found what I believe to be the truth behind the legend. Most of the legend isn't true, the only thing that is true is that a slave sold goats. I believe the woods are haunted. I believe the house itself is haunted. Based on what I know, I believe the original Goatman may have been that slave, and he very possibly could've been one of the lynchings in the area. He may not be the only ghost, as the legend of La Llorana is attached to the area, and many Native American Ghosts have been reported in the area. Also, a five year old girl apparently drowned in Hickory Creek. The whole area is basically a giant ghost story.i believe completely that anything you see out there may be the result of black magic, especially the demonic satyr that has been spotted. I may not know what happened to the Goatman in exact details, but I can hope that he rests in peace along with the other tortured souls in the area.

It kinda seems like from what you put in your post that you do hold certain beliefs about the area. So which is your final position? Just trying to clarify........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It kinda seems like from what you put in your post that you do hold certain beliefs about the area. So which is your final position? Just trying to clarify........

I believe the area is haunted. That is just based on my personal experience for personal reasons. Historically, the place is hard to go back and look at because it is so old. From what I can find, only the lynchings and the farming of goats come out as true. I think it is a possibility that any haunting out there is either black magic, or any of the lychings. I believe that the Goatman himself may have possibly been lynched, but I have no evidence to back it up. I think the place has a tragic enough past to say that it can be haunted due to the lynchings.

Edited by grutherford3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the area is haunted. That is just based on my personal experience for personal reasons. Historically, the place is hard to go back and look at because it is so old. From what I can find, only the lynchings and the farming of goats come out as true. I think it is a possibility that any haunting out there is either black magic, or any of the lychings. I believe that the Goatman himself may have possibly been lynched, but I have no evidence to back it up. I think the place has a tragic enough past to say that it can be haunted due to the lynchings.

If you believe its haunted, thats cool. No problem with that. You probably just shouldn't say that its because of any kind of evidence. Even if there were lynchings in the area - there is no proven correlation between lynchings and hauntings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to UM grutheeford3,

Not trying to discourage you, but the house in the photos was not built in the slave days. Just a few clues; indoor plumbing, assault shingles, drywall, electrical conduit, and junction boxes, fiberglass insulation, etc.

Cool Story.

Not to mention, if he was lynched in 1938, he probably wasn't a slave.

Cool story though. Although I think it's important to point out that there are dozens if not hundreds of similar stories about bridges around the country.

Edited by Rafterman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a beautiful area, and that house is pretty amazing. You should take the pictures as keepsakes, since the bridge means so much to you.

I'm a bit on the fence about believing in ghosts, but who knows why some areas are haunted.

The satan worship, however....

Its possible you have seen people, but that place has a reputation and it could be others looking for a thrill, or, more likely, troublemaking teens who love going to those spooky abandoned places. I have a feeling people might go out there in robes to freak people out. Real satanists do not wear robes or conduct spooky rituals at night really. I dont think anyone actually does that anymore. And even if they did draw things on the ground and chant, its not actually going to do anything.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting story :) It's got a bit of a Lovecraftian ring to it, and I enjoyed reading it :)

Not to mention, if he was lynched in 1938, he probably wasn't a slave.

Cool story though. Although I think it's important to point out that there are dozens if not hundreds of similar stories about bridges around the country.

Hmm. Very likely, but it's not as clear-cut as that. Although slavery was abolished in the US in 1865 (I believe?) I recall watching a Trevor Macdonald documentary where it was revealed slavery actually continued alive and well until relatively far into the 20th Century... Just it wasn't legal.

Edited by Urisk
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In regards to the abandoned house discussed in this thread, besides the building materials not being correct for the suspected period, aerial photos from 1968 clearly indicate there was no house at the location when they were taken. The oldest available satellite photo that the house appears in is 1995, therefor the abandoned house was built between 1968 and 1995 and couldn’t be part of the "Goatman" legend. Sorry to burst any bubbles, but knowing the truth is more important.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

That the house was that of a slave owner is belied by its relatively modern stick-built construction: the photos show (apparently) standard dimension milled lumber and plasterboard, two construction materials which I believe weren't in use before the Twentieth Century.

Edit: Should have read to the end of the thread, evancj and lyrxst beat me to it.

Edited by PersonFromPorlock
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha nice resurrection, this is a 2012 thread, def interesting read!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I know this is an old thread but I checked out this house and I believe it fits the time period when a gangster with the last name noble ran gambling houses in southern Denton county and the interior certainly fits or it may be from a different group in the 70s that ran that racket

Edited by Eaatersd
Addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Research threads never get to old to respond too.

If the Noble your talking about is Herbert Noble, he was killed in 1951 and the house in question was built after 1968.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly this is a sasquatch ghost.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.