One Of The Country’s Most Terrifying Urban Legends: The Goatman Of Maryland

 Matthew O'Thompsonski
Matthew O’Thompsonski

A large creature half-man half-goat sounds like a something straight from the cover of an H.P. Lovecraft piece, but for residence of Prince George’s County in Maryland, this is what is stalking them at night. Said to stand 8 feet tall and wielding an ax, this creature was dubbed the Goatman.

As with every other urban legend, there are several theories that have been expressed as to who or what it could be. One theory suggests that the Goatman is a goat farmer that went crazy after a group of teenagers massacred his flock, and now he is out for revenge. Another suggests that there was an old hermit that lived in the woods off of Fletchertown Roadand he carried a pickax and chased and harassed anyone that came near his land. The most popular theory floating around seems to be that of a scientist who was performing a series of experiments on goats at the Beltsville Agriculture Center went mad and fled into the woods. All pretty creative and well thought out, but how could this be a living person when the sightings started in the 1950’s and are still being reported?

The first documented account of the Goatman was in 1957 when a couple returning home spotted a large half-man half-animal standing in their driveway. The first violent encounter came in the 1960’s when a young couple went “parking” off of Flechertown Road. The couple was being harassed by something in the woods and the guy got out to investigate and never returned. The next day, they found his severed head hanging in a tree above where the car was parked, and his body was never found. In the 1970’s, another brutal attack was reported by a family who’s dog went missing. While searching for the dog, the father stumbled across the head of the dog laying on the ground not far from the house, and again, the body was never found. The most recent documented sighting was in March of 2014. A man driving home saw what he described as “a man with large horns” run across the road and into the woods.

Goatman sightings have been reported not only in Maryland, but also in Kentucky just outside of Louisville and as far south as Texas. Some think it is the Devil himself.

The legend of the Goatman has spawned two films. In 2011, Deadly Detour: The Goat Man Murders and in 2013, Legend of the Goatman.

If you’re in the area and feeling brave, head down to the hub of Goatman activity, Fletchertown Road and Lottsford Road. These two locations have had the largest number of encounters and are still producing reports from frightened teens that claim to have been harassed by someone or something in the woods. Residents claim it is not uncommon to find at least one body there a week. Many believe it is just crime overflow from nearby Washington D.C.. Whether there is a crazy man dressed like a goat running around with an ax, a well preserved mad scientist, D.C. crime, the Devil, or the Goatman, there is something scaring teens and adults alike. Are you brave enough to find out? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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