The Goatman of Maryland

Greek Wild-of-Spirit god, Pan

Half Man, Half Goat

People say the Goatman is half man (waist up) on the top, and half goat (legs and hooves of a goat) on the bottom. Some claim he has goat horns on his head, too, and if this doesn't thoroughly frighten you, then the claim that the goatman carries a double-headed axe and scouts for victims along deserted lovers' lanes, OUGHT TO scare the bejesus out of you...

What a description!

Curiously, almost the exact same details are presented when people attempt to describe the devil, and if you include in the above description, mention of a lot of hair, particularly facial hair (a beard), then you can also imagine the Greek god, PAN, or the feisty and wild creatures of Greek lore, called SATYRS.

Unique to Maryland, U.S.A.

While most Urban Legends seems to transfer about, The Goatman Legend has remained primarily focused on the state of Maryland, U.S.A. Details of most legends shift as the legend is expressed, told, shared, and adapted. This is a normal process for an urban legend, particularly because urban legends are primarily word of mouth expression. Geographical locations inside the tales are often changed when new versions of urban legends are rendered - however - this hasn't happened significantly with The Goatman Legend.

The Goatman is one of the most stable, 'intact' urban legends I am familiar with, concerning place of origin of the creature in question. It might be this detail of origin - this unshaken uniqueness and specificity to a location - which makes the goatman legend particularly unnerving for me, while a great many other urban legends don't frighten me nearly as much. To me, this is a nasty Urban Legend that I have avoided making a hub about for several months!

* Note - the word "origin" above...people commonly agree that The Goatman comes out of the Maryland region of the United States...

(there are a few sources who have dug up information about a goatman being talked about from as far back as the early 1800's in Louisiana - but these details are not commonly perpetuated and told in the most common versions of The Goatman legend)

As Urban Legends are told, they typically suffer a sort of incoherent periods and some fragmenting at some point to a certain extent. If an Urban Legend still has purpose in society, then the legends are reconstructed, told and re-told. As this occurs, one of the most common details that changes (if a part/detail has been messed up or forgotten at an earlier point in time) is location of ORIGIN of a certain event, creature, alleged ghost, animal, spirit, or object. People tend to 'adopt' the legend, personas within, creatures and entities and 'bring them homeward' into their own sphere of vision.

This is why legends are tricky little phenomena to chase! The legends 'migrate,' shift and become altered, according to who is doing the storytelling, who the listeners are, and with respect to what societal fears and concerns are present during the telling, too.

Whoever, whatever the Goatman is and whether he's a man who met with supernatural forces or strange science/medical procedures or otherwise at some point, which turned him goat-like, nobody right knows yet...we just know that people from all over seem to INSIST that Maryland, U.S.A. produced a dangerous and frightening unexplained entity and phenomena known as The Goatman


The Goatman is not stationary by any means. Indeed, this entity is moving about, and has been doing so for the past 5-+ years! Urban Legends include sightings of the hybrid man-goat in other areas of the U.S.A. besides Maryland. Sightings have been reported from as far South as Texas - and as far North as Ontario, Canada!

Goatman Mentioned, Described as Satan

The First Known Evidence of Goatman - Details Fade To a Dead End

The first "evidence" of a strange and frightening goat-like man allegedly came about in 1957 - in Maryland, of course. This was in Prince George's County.

After these details, the trail of the goatman goes...well, to a dead end, concerning the important first sighting/evidence of existence of The Goatman.

But "sightings" of the goatman do not end in 1957. Sightings have continued since the late fifties, right up to present day.

I couldn't track down any official statement or report of the first sighting or 'awareness of' the goatman in 1957, nor could I locate exactly WHERE the first alleged sighting was at.

I have been unable to discern whether the first sighting was around the general location of Governor's Bridge Road, Lottsford Road, or Fletchertown Road, but wherever information is posted about The Goatman, people seem to agree that he/it was seen in Prince George's County in Maryland, USA.

Also, no matter how hard I've searched over the past couple of years, there doesn't seem to be a detailed account of a ONE EVENT in 1957 in Prince George's County which tells of any particular person's encounter with goatman.

It is like 1957 is a date garnered out of thin air, and like Prince George's County has been similarly grabbed on to in order to house the date of origin for the elusive Goatman.

Talking About Goatman Around The Campfire. First place at the Dugan Film Festival.

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Comments 51 comments

lxxy profile image

lxxy 7 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

We need an army of Goatmen around here, to graze on the grass and keep away fires. ;D

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 7 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Is the Goatman just seen or does he do anything? Interesting Hub with some great info

zer0darkx 7 years ago

Ive been reading arround on the Goat Man for awhile now, but I haven't found out much what he does. Supposidly it just chases you with an axe, with no known death far as I know and searched. Ive also read there were car accidents. But I haven't been able to find more information either other than what the author of the article wrote. Which is good information, better than what ive found so far. But since im into this stuff I plan to drive arround the area of sightings and check it out.

Ryan 7 years ago

Goatman is real i watched this documentry and these experts went out and tied a goat to a stick because apparently goat- man hates anything that represents normal life and so when they came back after looking around the goat tied to a stick was gone and there was blood and the experts heard a bone chilling sound in the distance and they had to abort the investigation.

Jane Taxpayer 7 years ago from Your innermost conscience

Mythbuster... I'm sending a link to your facebook account relating to this. i think you'll find it quite interesting, to say the least.

7 years ago

i seen goatman when i was young in the daylight in the woods in gaithersburg,MD i seen something that look like a half man and his body look like a horse or maybe a goat real strange something ill never forget, the legend is real

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

"?" You should send a message to me through Hubpages, "?" I'd love to put more information about your account of the Goatman in Gaithersburg, MD, onto the hub!

ForestRain 6 years ago

He is real!!

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Have you seen him, ForestRain?

murpy 6 years ago

I grew up in Bowie and as a teen in the mid 70's, partying out in the woods was a common thing on the weekends. One of the places frequented regularly was "The Bridge" on Governor's Bridge Road. It was never called "Crybaby" Bridge then. The tale we all knew was totally different from what is being said now. It had something to do with a farmer that raised goats and other animals. His land was taken away from him. He commited suicide by hanging himself from a tree on his property. While hanging himself, he was decapitated. Strange occurances started happening shortly thereafter. A man with a goat's head started being seen late at night. We used to all joke about it, yet no one would step foot on his farm. Thirty + years later, it still spooks me to think about it.

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

murpy, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on a different version of the Goatman tale. I'll search around for a similar version like the one you've mentioned and add the details to this hub. I hope you'll wander by again and share if any more details come to mind. Thanks again!

ForeverFitness profile image

ForeverFitness 6 years ago

This is a great article! I grew up in Michigan, and heard tales of the Dogman my whole life. I am convinced it is real, simply because there is a lot of evidence behind it, and I lived deep in the woods, and occasionally heard sounds, though I never went to investigate. Just the thought of it chilled me to the bone. Maybe you could write an article on the Dogman.

Anyway, I was reading an article today, and stumbled upon the goat man, and I found two common stories about the goat man. I don't know if you have heard them, so i will say them.

First one. There was a couple in the woods, and they were having a romantic moonlight make out session. Then they heard tapping on the hood of their car. Then they looked up and were terrified, as they saw the goatman, holding a double sided axe, and he was waving it back and forth. He then turned and ran into the woods. This story is very interesting. I don't know why he would run, as he could have easily damaged the car, killed them, etc. Maybe he just wanted to mess with them?

Second one. A woman had her dog tied up outside. In the middle of the night it started barking urgently, and she saw the silhouette of a creature in the woods. Too scared to go outside, she waited until the morning. Which she then found her dog beheaded outside. This story is a little darker, and gruesome. But none-the-less, interesting.

Good bye!

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello ForeverFitness. Glad you stopped by an added some material here. Your first account - goatman with his axe, going back into the woods - this is a pretty common story.

Your second account actually did happen...or at least there's a case of a dog being beheaded in Ontario, Canada, and a high percentage of townspeople from the area where this happened say the goatman damaged the dog.

friendofdeerman 6 years ago

I have a friend who grew up in Burtonsville who swears he saw something he calls "deerman". I was searching around to see if I could find any similar reportings and the closest thing I could find was goatman.

My friend claims he was in his car in the woods one night with a girlfriend when he saw a deer approaching their vehical. As it got closer, they saw that it looked like a dear but the face didn't have a deer snout and looked more human. They freaked out and started to drive away when the "deerman" stood up on two legs and started running after their car at a crazy speed.

My friend has been consistently telling this story for 10 years. I believe he saw something. I'm not sure about the location but it was in Maryland.

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

friendofdeerman, your friend's claim is very interesting to me. Think you can get your friend to email or comment? I'd like to hear what happened!

Tim 6 years ago

I grew up in Oxon Hill, MD in the 70s and early 80s. Similar Murpy, we spent a lot of time partying in the woods, and these stories would often come up. I don't recall specifics other than being spooked by the many trails we wondered as kids in the night. At any rate, the point is, there is a FB group or two about growing up in PG county, and I know this subject has been discussed. You may want to check it out.

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello Tim. Thanks for stopping by to read and to comment. Also, thanks a bunch for the heads-up on the FB group - now I can look for the group and see if there are interesting accounts/stories about Goatman there.

cant tell you 6 years ago

fuf lucky i dot live in maryland

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mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

cant tell you - I am also very glad I don't live in Maryland. Goatman freaks me out a lot!

TylerA 6 years ago

Hi, idk if there is any connection but i live all the way down in SC, which is easily 4 - 8 hours drive away from MD. Idk about the story behind why/how he came about, but maybe it/he is breeding? My friend also swears by a story of seeing a "creature" come flying through the backyard, and by flying i mean running at an extremely fast rate. He said it was tall, around 6-8 ft. They were on the back porch being very quite drinking beer so as to not wake up his parents.. Then all of a sudden that thing came over the fence, kept running, and hopped the other side. Now back in my time i had heard a lot of these sounds that the investigators claimed to have heard. They were ear piercing and bone chilling that's for sure, sometimes they would resemble a goat, and there definitely were no goats out near where i lived. Lots of cows though, and interestingly enough, some of the local farmers were claiming to find livestock "massacred" in their fields, finding them dead the next day with either severe lacerations or broken necks, etc, etc. I honestly just always thought there was an old homeless man walking around out there stalking us in our mischief of rolling houses and running through the woods, etc, etc, but then he told me that story some years later when we were talking about how creepy things would be sometimes. Definitely struck me and sent a tingle up my spine because i had always felt like there was SOMEONE out there.. it didn't appease me at all to hear it.

P.S. we live in the "country"/rural parts of SC

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello TylerA - thanks for reading and commenting. I found your comments very interesting so I did a little search on Goatman Legends in SC... I didn't find much on the Goatman of the sort you've mentioned but I did find something interesting on a legendary man who looked after goats, named, "Ches" McCartney. There's even been a song written about him and he is called "The Goatman" in a decidedly benevolent context. You can listen to a clip of the song Duane Branam wrote:

In better keeping with your details, TylerA, what you've described definitely sounds like Goatman (urban) Legends or sightings and I'm quite surprised that even my quick search for goatman + South Carolina didn't turn up similar accounts like you see on the main article here. Certainly, I had a friend in SC (Wayne county and rural, not far from Mt. Rainier) who told me a couple of regional Goatman tales about a decade ago! I figure - your location only a 4h road trip away from MD is definitely in the vicinity where a Goatman might wander to and is definitely close enough for a legend to drift to...

I'll do some more searching for SC/USA accounts of Goatman sightings and if I find anything, I'll post an extra section at the bottom of the hub article asap.

Brandon 5 years ago

Me and some friends were bored one night and decided to go to Governers Bridge. On the way back to the bridge i started telling my friends about the goat-man. And out of no where, what looked like a deer came out of no where and ran alongside of our car, and in a a brief second it was gone. Maybe it was just a deer? Or maybe not, either way it was creepy.

Liezeltjie1 5 years ago

Hi there. I find these stories interesting and love to read urban legends such as Bloody Mary, Killer in the back seat etc. but the goat man sounds so real. Its really creepy and I dont know what to think. I mean, ussualy its easy to tell yourself "That was a scary STORY, but it was only a story" but since so many people have claimed to see him, its kind of scary. Does he kill people, or just scare them? Thanks a lot!!

PS: Sorry for my spelling, I'm Afrikaans (:

Brian 5 years ago

The Goatman is something more people should view! Good stuf!

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mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Liezeltjie - some people have reported being chased by Goatman and others say they've had their vehicles assaulted and pounded by what they believe is Goatman (although I haven't found PROOFS or police reports of such things yet - I am still looking). Apparently (this could be lore and embellishment, but it's part of the legend, as yet), some people have had Goatman swing his axe at their car but they managed to drive away in a hurry, thus preventing further damage...

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hi Brian, thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. I'm glad you've enjoyed the Goatman legend. I, too, think more people should view - then discuss - this legend!

Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

Great hub! I used to hear the Goatman roamed around PG county with an axe. He would chop at you or chop on your car if he caught up with you. I also heard there was a documentary about the Goatman on PBS one time, but I am skeptical about that one.

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello Jeannieinabottle. You've summarized the Goatman legend perfectly in just a few words - goatman creature who swipes an axe at people and cars! I have seen a documentary on Goatman but nothing solid was mentioned in the film as to what Goatman is, etc. If you find the PBS documentary you're thinking of, drop by and let me know the title. I'd like to watch it.

mallori 5 years ago

I live in Cass Lake and me and my family and some cousins always go camping at pow wows and at night we tell ghost stories about Goatman but when we are telling the stories we never say his name because our side of the story is that he is the Native American devil and if you say his name somehow somewhere he will here you and he will come for you and eventually kill you. And also from what we believe is that there is not just one but thousands.

My story: Me and my friends... I am only 11 years old but we didn't know what we were doing but we were telling stories and saying his name and my friend Lizzie woke us all up about 1 in the morning or so and we saw what looked like his shadow and we all started freaking out but we were careful to be really quit we stayed up for about 3 hours huddling together and crying and we finally fell asleep at morning my mom and my friends mom came and woke us up the next morning and asked us if we ate all the food the previous night and we all said NO and we all were thinking about what we saw the night before and we had my friends dad come and sleep with us the next night.

missy 5 years ago

i live in CA I have seen this devils advocate close up three times in my 43 yrs. the only difference is his horns are wrapped along his scull like braides next to his ears and hes skinny and gray skinned on his top half ,hallow eyes ,no face hair and small nose.HE is very real, and comes when death is already in the air.

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello missy - thanks for posting! You've assigned a "purpose" to the Goatman's appearance... that of messenger of death - something like a Banshee, appearing before a death? What makes you believe this? (Not disputing here - just wondering what else you might know or believe).

thankful 4 goatman 5 years ago

hello folks i am from southern md we had a bridge near waldorf md that supposedly had the"goatman" under it, took all my girlfriends there to scare them and it worked! never saw the"goatman" though.Now the bridge has been replaced by an ugly generic bridge that no proper"goatman"would live under,I sometimes wonder where he went to....

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hey thankful4goatman, glad to hear a good spin on goatman for a change - even if you didn't actually encounter the goatman! Some do, some don't - and some that don't get to be popular with all the ladies, apparently! :)

Maureen 5 years ago

I'm from Beltsville, Maryland, and the goatman story I grew up hearing was about a scientist working at the USDA Beltsville Research Center who had an experiment go very wrong and ended up creating a half goat, half man creature. The creature escaped and has been roaming the vast area of woods and fields that make up the Agriculture Center's property. As teenagers (during the 1970's) we used to cruise around the back roads of the center at night and scare each other with threats to throw someone out of the car into the night and leave them on one of the backroads alone to wait for the goatman.

greg 5 years ago

The real "crybaby bridge" was not Governors Bridge. People who don't know started calling it that because the real one is gone.It was the old bridge on Lottsford road- torn down long ago and the original road is gone too. A housing development changed the whole lay of the land. The old Lottsford road is where the goatman was. Back then, quite a few dead bodies was also found along that Road. I remember when the dozers come and tore it up and buried it. Just as well if you ask me.

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hi Maureen! Thanks for adding details of the Goatman Legend that you're familiar with. I am glad I wasn't partying with you in the 70's lol. I'd have been terrified to be left on the backroads to wait for the goatman. Heck - I wouldn't enjoy that a bit NOW! :)

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mythbuster 5 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello greg - thanks for commenting. I think there are dozens of bridges called "Crybaby," all over the place. Even train-bridges can end up with that title "Crybaby Bridge," depending on whether or not people believe they're haunted and whether or not they've seen or heard strange things near the bridge.

5 years ago

Seen this creep in 1986 Harford County, Md. No picture truly shows its true form. Some have described it as half man and goat or deer. I have never heard this legend all the years I was raised in Maryland. This thing looked more demonic, half man half deer though it had a short snout like a goat. It stepped out of the woods on Rt. 1 and bolted across the road and damn near made me wreck. It was as though it tried to make me crash.Fuuny thing is, I've told people about this and of course it was funny to BS about. At the time I was coming home from a party and was pretty hammered. Nothing that should make me see crap that's not there.More than 15 years later I buy this book called "Weird Maryland" and after several weeks of off and on reading, I see the story and just about freaked out. Never remember hearing anyting about this then years later I read this legend. I remember this thing in clear detail. Was it me or did I see something connected to this so-called legend???????

Mr. Lehn Sr 5 years ago

Hi my name is mike. I grew up in greenbelt, md.When I was a kid, I think I encountered goatman. I was riding my bike home from boy scouts. I was on the opposite side of the road from the N.A.S.A. Space center in greenbelt. N.A.S.A. has a 8 ft fence around it, mind you.I stopped to catch my breath when I got a very eerie feeling. I looked across the highway to the NASA side and heard something crash or charge into the fence several times. I will never forget that sound. I rode my bike home as fast as I could.I don't care what anybody think. I think he's real!!!!!!!!

Jessica 4 years ago

I live in Baltimore D:

Bphillips498 4 years ago

Goatman is real I spent the night at cry baby bridge. By myself, there was a noise and the next thing I know some car pulls up and then fades away. I look to where the car should be and about 200 ft down the road was a man with horns with an axe I tried to pull up In my car but when I did he ran into the woods. Came later to know I wasn't the only witness

james 4 years ago

Always interested in any such tales, in England we have no such storys i can find bar that of a demonic half dog half man beast that haunts the Eastern counties, known in my local area as 'Shuck, Black shuck or shaker' he is normally though seen as a giant black dog and sightings continue to this day, can be vary aggressive

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mythbuster 4 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

James, thanks for reading and commenting. I will see if I can find some information on the legend/beast you've mentioned. Thanks for letting me know about this one!

Harley 4 years ago

My story is almost identical to Murphy from 2 years ago. I too grew up in Bowie and every weekend we'd party on Govenor's Bridge Road.... right by the bridge. Heard the exact same stories about a farmer that had a goat farm....and something about his land being taken away from him.... a behaeading...etc. Only diffenrece was my "partying" was in the early 70's. No matter how much partying one had done....Nobody would go close to the farm. I'm now 53...and this still creeps me out!!!

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 4 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Thanks for sharing, Harley. I wonder if your partying peers from the 70's are also still creeped out when they think of the bridge parties!

Tay-K-Hunter 4 years ago

I haven't had any encounterment on the "Goat man" but, when i was little i saw somethin creepy. I was out in the yard playin in the snow and i took a glance and saw this big hair object down there. I went and turned my head it/he looked to be 7-8 feet tall looked like a human but yet it didn't. It was just walkin down there and when it looked at me it stopped. I was scared i ran in my house to get my rifle but when i got back outside it was gone. i was only in there for a minute. It scares me to go in the wood now.

I have also heard of the "Goat Man" but have never seen him and i've lived in Maryland all my life and so has my family. but we have never seen anythin and im glad we haven't

ThePaintedGypsy 3 years ago

I was just wondering if this Goatman relates to or is the same creature as the Pope Lick Monster, named for the Pope Lick train trestle it supposedly lives under outside of Louisville, Kentucky. Both legends bear a lot of similarities including the half man-half goat body, the carrying of an axe, and even the stories about a goat farmer who killed himself or sacrificed to the devil. What do you think?

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mythbuster 3 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hi ThePaintedGypsy,

I think you're right to an extent - Pope Lick Monster and Goatman legends are very similar. Goatman legends seem to migrate around whereas Pope Lick Monster legends are quite attached to a specific region of Kentucky.

james washington 2 years ago

It was watching us from the bushes. long black face no eyes or mouth and it ran through the bushes away smashing a fence and gate then screaming at us ran were going to kill it tomorrow. ENGLAND.

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mythbuster 2 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide Author

Hello james washington. Wow, you saw a goat-man in England?

Ray 2 years ago

I live in Maryland my whole life. Me and a friend took are girlfriends to Lottsford Rd to scare them. The girls drop us off at the beginning of Lottsford and 202 and Greg's right the old road was one lane with high banks on both sides and woods all around and Cry baby bridge was on Lottsford. The girls were to wait for us there. When no one is around its pitch black and creepy as hell. We never saw anything but halfway down the road we heard these weird screams in the woods. I know what fox screams are and this was not foxes. We took off running to Cry Baby bridge to meet the girls and we herd it again and it was a lot closer then the first one. Its about 11:30 or so and we see the car at the bridge.( the original bridge not the one that's there now) We get in the car and the girls are freaking out. Did you here that , did you here that , we said yes its over there in the woods. We also heard if you stay on Cry Baby bridge you can here a baby cry around Midnight. so we stayed a few more minutes but we never herd the baby cry. Then bam the weird scream in the woods again and its really close and the girls start screaming , you brought it here . Never saw it but we heard something and got the hell out of there as fast as we could almost sideswiping another car coming down the road. The road is so narrow , for two cars to pass you have to be on the shoulders. NEVER went back there again . I still think about the scream we heard that night and never herd anything like it again. Now the road is all built up Cry baby bridge (original) is gone. This happened back in the 70's and here it is 2014 and I still think about it.

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