Old Alton Bridge was built to connect Denton, Texas to the town of Alton, Texas. Now that Alton is gone, it serves as a footpath connecting Denton and Copper Canyon. Many believe a demonic entity with the head of a goat haunts the bridge. Thus, it earned the nickname Goatman’s Bridge.

The myth stems from a local ghost story about an African-American goat farmer named Oscar Washburn. He was popular in the community for being an honest businessman and producing quality goods. Locals endearingly called him the Goatman. Sadly, he was less popular among the Klansmen in the area.

When Washburn hung a sign on Old Alton Bridge that read “this way to the Goatman,” it angered the Klansmen. It is said that in the late 1930s, a lynch mob dragged Washburn out of his home and attempted to hang him over the side of Old Alton Bridge. However, when they rode down to the river’s edge, the noose was empty. The Klansmen rode back to his home and torched it with his family still inside. Washburn was never seen again.

Legend says his spirit still haunts the Old Alton Bridge, and if you knock on the bridge or honk your car horn three times, he will appear.

Other sources say that Satanists summoned the demonic satyr or that the bridge is actually haunted by the Goatman’s wife.

The paranormal Youtube show Buzzfeed Unsolved did an episode on the legend of Goatman’s Bridge in 2017. The two hosts, Ryan Bergara and Shane Madej, tried several methods to provoke the Goatman. Methods included knocking three times, using an Ouija board, and insulting the demonic entity.

While on the bridge, Madej goaded on the Goatman by exclaiming “Goatman! I’m dancing on your bridge. It’s my bridge now!” and “They’re gonna put my name in graffiti! Children will come here and tell tales of me!”

This became a running joke among fans, who edited the Wikipedia to say “Shane Madej’s Bridge” instead of “Goatman’s Bridge” so often that it had to be protected from editing.

Goatman’s Bridge is a popular haunted location for people in the area. Since the appearance on Buzzfeed Unsolved, it has only grown in notoriety. If you’re looking to scope out a spooky spot during the Halloween season, Old Alton Bridge just might be the place to be.

By Kat McDonald-Wilson

Kat McDonald-Wilson is a senior at TCHS. She is the Fine Arts Editor for the Timber Creek Talon and the Copy Editor for the Art and Literature Magazine.

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