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Monster of The Month: THE GOATMAN

When I heard my fellow Wisconsinite author J. Nathan Couch had written a book about an entity known as “Goatman,” I admit the first thing I visualized was Jim Breuer’s lame Saturday Night Live character Goat Boy.

That thing is haunting the woods of Wisconsin and beyond?

Scary indeed.

Through his research for his book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?, Couch has found something much cooler: an urban legend, with a subcategory of Lover’s Lane story.

You know and love this kind of tale—teenage couple parks out on Lover’s Lane to get some sweaty alone time when eek! Eek! Eek! Eeeeeek! The long scraping and stabbing of a hook hand against the side of the car.

You can fill in your own version of the story from here.

Couch speculates the stories were intended to scare teens away from copulation, but also correctly notes that the only thing the young folks find sexier than sex is danger.

Many a country road drive under the moonlight has been spent looking for Hook Man, Bloody Mary, and the half man, half goat entity known in various communities as the Goatman. Couch finds stories of the manimal from Texas, Wisconsin, Indiana, California, and the eerie…Pennsylvania.

Sorry, I stole that joke from The Simpsons.

Sometimes given other names, like the Sheepsquatch, Sheepman, the Pope Lick Monster (near the Pope Lick River of Kentucky), the stories of this satyr-like cryptozoological wonder can be found around the country.

While Couch finds most Goatman lore is simply urban legend (sometimes with a kernel of truth that gets spun way out of control—an odd hermit or an unsolved murder slowly evolve into folklore) he also finds cases where people have actually claimed to have spotted “Goaty,” as Couch sometimes refers to the entity.

Couch does a good job of entertaining the stories, but not endorsing them as them as fact. Because the idea of a half goat, half human stalking through the woods to head butt you is ridiculous…(wait a minute—do you hear that horrible bleating sound?)…or is it?

You can find more info on J. Nathan Couch and his book at: jnathancouch.com

Tea Krulos is a freelance writer and author of Heroes in the Night. His new book Monster Hunters: On the Trail With Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators is out June 2015 from Chicago Review Press.
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