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Once upon a time there was a man living in an old farmhouse in the village of Kewaskum, Wisonsin - let's call him Bobby - and Bobby really liked his drinks. He liked them so much, in fact, that he would sometimes do some very bad things while under the influence of the juice. He would hurt his wife and hurt his goats. One particular night, he had one too many glasses and fell upon his wife with a flurry of frenzied fists until she stopped breathing. Still seeing red, he turned his vicious attention away from his wife's corpse and towards the terrified goats penned outside - wading out through the furious rain into the night, fists balled and ready to fight. However, before he could lay a hand on one of the animals, he gasped as a horn slammed into his belly. It pierced his jacket and punctured his flesh. Wet, thick blood oozed out of the wound - and Bobby knew that he wouldn't make it. He strode out into the forest, and eventually bled out against a tree. Now, legend has it that Bobby was such a terrible man that neither Heaven nor Hell would take him. He was too awful to stay dead. His body stirred and staggered to its feet, horns springing from its decaying forehead and horizontal pupils flaring in caprine yellow eyes. He now wanders the woods as a violent and hateful fiend which has come to be known as the Goatman. South Mill Road, not too far from the ruins of Bobby's farmhouse, now bares his name. It has become known as Goatman's Road.

Legend Made Flesh

Apologies if that gory story was difficult reading. You'll be pleased to know that it's completely fictional. The ruins of the house allegedly belonging to the drunkard (unnamed in the original story) do indeed exist close to the dead-end of South Mill Road in the Milwaukee River Flood Plain Forest, but they never actually belonged to anyone. Cryptozoological researcher J Nathan Couch dug into the upsetting legend I recounted above, and found that the house was actually placed there in the 1960s by the DNR, only for the decision to be promptly made that it would actually be impractical to waste time hooking it up to electricity. It was abandoned and left to be reclaimed by the forest. However, that doesn't mean that the legend of the South Mill Goatman is completely fictional - and if the harrowing story told by one Jason Miller of Washington County is to be believed, then there's definitely more flesh than folklore behind the caprine creeper.

It was the Autumn of 2003, and Mr. Miller was prepared for a pleasant day of bow hunting. He had set up his treestand just off of South Mill Road. After this, he returned a few days later only to be met with confusion when he saw that his treestand had somehow been moved. It had been taken down from the tree and placed down approximately a hundred yards away from where it had originally been set up. There were marks on it that he would later describe as resembling hoofprints. Irritated, Jason chalked it up to a prank played by one of his fellow hunters and the tracks of a regular animal such as a deer. He put the stand back up in the original tree, and once again left to return a few weeks later. This time the stand hadn't been moved - but he was about to be confronted with something far stranger than mysterious treestand relocation...

A picture of a centaur-like goat creature. This doesn't match the animal's description perfectly, but it's the closest I can get.

He clambered up the tree and perched in the treestand, sitting there in the hope of spotting a trophy buck. Perhaps he thought that he was in luck when he started to hear the distinctive sounds of something large moving through the thick undergrowth. This something sounded angry. Peering off into the brush, Jason caught sight of the source of the strange noises - and then promptly wished he hadn't. The thing was the size of a deer, and was grey and tan in colour. Up to the head and the forelimbs, it looked just like an ordinary goat - but its arms and head were distinctively that of a human. This head was adorned with a long, grey beard. He presumably gagged as the stench of the creature hit him - it was described as smelling like 'rotting flesh and garbage all mixed into one'. However, perhaps the oddest thing about it was the fact that it was speaking. More specifically, it was swearing and cursing under its breath as it shambled into the clearing. It muttered something about 'trespassers' and Jason stayed deadly still - waiting with his bow at the ready in case the bizarre thing noticed him in his treestand. The monster seemingly passed through the clearing and disappeared into the undergrowth without incident if the lack of description of its departure is extrapolated upon. Jason kept an arrow ready for self defence, but immediately left the forest as soon as the beast was out of sight.

His encounter with an unconventional Goatman has stayed with him. He used to think nothing of straying out into the Wisconsin forests alone, but now he doesn't like to go out there - only going with protection if he has to go at all. He had heard stories about how violent the Goatman could get - and he says that he will never forget the sight of the abhorrent thing.

Source

'Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?' by J Nathan Couch

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