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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
Satyrs and Pan
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.