Goatman of Prince George's County

The goatman is a creature with the form of half man and half goat, and it is as much a part of urban legend at Prince George’s County, Maryland, as the woods and fields in which it is said to cavort. The tale holds that he was experimenting on goats, the experiment went astray, and he began attacking cars with an axe, roaming the back roads of Beltsville, MD. Its story began in the late 1700s when wealthy Marylander Thomas Snowden bought 9,000 acres northeast of Washington, D.C., and with the help of a large staff of slaves made it a prosperous tobacco plantation. When Snowden’s daughter, Mary, wed, he gave her 475 acres as a wedding present. It was this little corner of Snowden’s plantation that the U.S. government purchased in 1910 as the start of its main farm and agricultural research center, which now covers 6,700 acres.

 The Devil illustration with the form of half man-half goat from Waite-Smith Tarot cards

The Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) became known for its pioneering research in genetics. Its Web site says that it has received awards for its discoveries of new forms of life.

Many area residents tell the story of a BARC scientist who was said to be working on a genetic experiment on a herd of goats in the 1970s. Unfortunately, one of the genetically altered goats bit the scientist, and its mutated saliva worked a sudden transformation upon the man. As he watched the lower half of his body change into that of a goat and felt horns curl over his forehead, brown fur sprouted on his chest and arms. He leaped in panic from the goat pen into the surrounding fields and made his way to the woods. Ever since, he has wreaked havoc on local people, pets, and livestock, often venting his madness by tearing animals’ heads from their bodies.

The goatman is especially fond of searching lonely roads for parked cars occupied by teenage lovers. In one oft-repeated tale a young teen was busy fending off her love-struck prom date when they heard curious noises coming from under the car. The young man climbed out to investigate. As the girl looked out the window, she saw a six-foot-tall creature, part man and part goat, with glowing green eyes. Her date was later found torn limb from limb.

One area writer, Mark Opsasnick, investigated the goatman and included what he found in a book titled Horror on Fletchertown Road: the Goatman of Prince George’s County, Maryland. Opsasnick interviewed farm families around the town of Bowie, which lies a few miles east of Beltsville. He discovered that some of them had used the story of the goatman as a “bogeyman” tale to keep youngsters in line for many decades. Opsasnick deduced that the story spread into area schools from the offspring of these farmers, and speedily mutated into an urban legend. However, unexplained, hairy creatures on two feet are still occasionally sighted in the area to this day, according to the book, Weird Maryland.

Sources:
Mysteries, Legend, and Unexplained Phenomena: “Mythical Creatures” by Linda S. Godfrey;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goatman_%28Maryland%29 

Pic Source:
Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena: “Alchemy” by Robert M. Place page 112
Goatman of Prince George's County Goatman of Prince George's County Reviewed by Tripzibit on 05:38 Rating: 5

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