Was casting about for some weirdness to post here when I got into a quick chat with Chris Charbonneau on Facebook. A few quick clicks around on his page uncovered a paranormal phenomenon that I wasn’t familiar with: It’s a story about America’s haunted history of racism and violence that may have resulted in an actual haunting at an abandoned bridge in Texas involving a mysterious tragedy that took place one dark night back in 1967.
Here’s the back story from the Goatman’s Bridge site…
Goatman’s Bridge Hunting the Goat Man
November 15th 1967: police discover an abandoned car beside Old Alton Bridge, five miles south of Denton, Texas. A rash of mysterious disappearances are becoming alarmingly routine on a chilling stretch of road that is known by locals as “the Goatman’s bridge.”
Constructed in 1884, the bridge connected Lewisville to Alton. The turn of the century brought a black goat farmer and his family to a residence just North of the bridge, and a few short years later, Oscar Washburn was known as a dependable, honest businessman. North Texans endearingly began to call him the Goat man. But the success of a black man was still unwelcome, and Klansmen in the local government turned to violence after he displayed a sign on Alton Bridge: “this way to the Goat man’s”
One night in August 1938, with their headlights off, Klansmen crossed the bridge, dragged the Goat man from his family, and lynched him over the side. Peering over into the water, his murderers saw a rope, but not his body. In a panic, the Klansman returned to the Washburn residence, and killed his family in cold blood.
Since the disappearance of the Goat man there have been many strange sightings on and near Old Alton Bridge. Some say his spirit still haunts these woods. Locals tell the story and follow it with a warning: those who cross the bridge with no headlights will be met on the other side by the Goat man.
Here’s a short documentary about the Old Alton Bridge and the spirit of the centaur that guards it…