Let’s get back on the road again, traveler, and discuss some tales of warning and woe. Perhaps you already know the warnings of taking your lover on a late-night excursion to a secluded location. As exciting as it may seem to have some solitary time for romance, sometimes it pays to be cautious of your surroundings.
You have heard of “The Hook,” haven’t you? It is a common story, really. Two teenagers sneak away together under the cover of night. Just when they start to really enjoy each other’s company, their mood is soured by a disturbing radio announcement: A killer is on the loose in the area! Beware of a man who has a hook for a hand!
The girl grows concerned and demands that they return home immediately. The boy, in much frustration, eventually obliges. Once they return home and exit the vehicle, a bloody hook is found on the door handle. Clearly, they had escaped in the nick of time.
This is a common story, and the veracity of it is suspect, of course. However, what if I told you that sometimes the monster in the story wasn’t so…human?
Wisconsin holds such a legend. Long ago, a young married couple naively took their wagon up a treacherous winding road in the middle of the night. This was a grave error, as the carriage was unable to make the journey and broke down. The husband decided to walk back toward civilization to retrieve assistance while his wife remained behind with the wagon. Already nervous to be left alone under such circumstances, she became absolutely petrified when, in the middle of the night, she heard odd animalistic sounds outside. When she tried to catch a glimpse of what could be making such noises, she was greeted with the sight of a fur covered creature that had the horned head and face of a goat but was standing upright on two legs. Unwilling to leave wagon, she cowered in it until daybreak. It was then that the new bride saw something even more terrifying than the goatman itself…cloven tracks in the dirt that led to a tree covered in her husband’s blood which had dripped out of his body as it draped over the branches.
Ever since that fateful night, the creature still prowls for any waylaid travelers or, sometimes, it forces accidents to happen so that it can have a bit of fun. Today there would be no excuse to tempt such fate. The legend is well known. Travelers have been warned.
By this point, traveler, you may be wondering why I am sharing such tales with you this evening. It is simple, really: always be aware of your surroundings, don’t immediately dismiss local legends…and don’t be surprised when the unexpected comes to pass….
Until next time,
Brunvand, J. H. (2003). The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings. New York, NY: Norton.
Couch, J. N. (2014). Goatman: Flesh or folklore? West Bend, WI: Self-pub.