I lived most of my adult life with a fear of heights – pretty ironic really considering I am a slim 6 foot 4 inches tall!
Balconies, ladders, fairground rides – if it get’s above ten foot off the ground I’m pretty much stuffed!
Bridges tend to be the same, but maybe there’s another reason behind their dark threat…
Gephyrophobia is the word experts use to describe a severe fear of bridges, and bridges do collapse from time to time right?
In the dark world of urban legends and folklore, bridges are often depicted as spiritual locations and entrances to parallel worlds…
Texas – The Old Alton Bridge
The bridge was constructed by the King Iron Bridge Manufacturing Company as a transport system aimed at general cattle and the population of the area.
The title ‘Old Alton Bridge’ was given to the structure due to an old, abandoned town in nearby Denton County – Alton.
The old bridge managed to stay in service until late 2001 when it was finally closed down to vehicle traffic.
The Goatman’s Bridge
The Alton Bridge is actually listed on the National Register of Historical Places under it’s original name…but the locals know it as Goatman’s Bridge.
In the early 1900’s, goat breeder, Oscar Washburn, decided to refer to himself as ‘The Goatman’ due to the success he had seen throughout his career.
He eventually decided to use the Old Alton Bridge as an advertising platform for his business – maybe he could see even more success this way?
He created a large sign which read “This Way to the Goatman” and hung it from the bridge.
At the time the Klu Klux Klan were extremely powerful in this area…and they did not take to this sign one little bit.
In August 1938, a group of Klan members abducted Washburn and hung him from the bridge.
After a few moments of watching the rope struggle they decided to peer over the bridge and make sure the goat breeder was dead.
Unfortunately they could not see the goat breeder’s body.
In a fit of rage they decided to return to Washburn’s home and finish off the rest of his family.
The Spirit of The Goatman
Ever since this horrible incident took place there have been numerous reports of paranormal activity on the bridge.
People often come across abandoned cars on the bridge that mysteriously disappear when approached.
The figure of Oscar Washburn himself is often spotted, leading his ghostly flock across the bridge.
These sightings have inevitably lead to the birth of local urban legends.
A common legend before the bridge closure in 2001 involved people driving across the bridge with their lights off.
When you turned you headlights back on you would be confronted by the figure of The Goatman.
Another variation claims that if you visit the bridge on Halloween and beep your horn twice you will witness The Goatman’s eyes, staring back at you through the darkness.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Goatman and Alton Bridge, please leave them in the comment section below.