Goatman's Bridge – Denton, Texas - Atlas Obscura
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Denton, Texas

Goatman's Bridge

A registered historic landmark shrouded in unsettling local legends. 

Goatman’s Bridge is the common nickname for what’s formally called Old Alton Bridge, an iron-truss span that once connected Denton, Texas, to Copper Canyon. Many who have crossed at night have claimed to have seen the demonic figure of a man with a goat’s head waiting for them at the other side.

The bridge got its nickname from a popular local ghost story. The legend concerns a successful African American goat farmer who, in 1938, is said to have been murdered on the bridge at the hands of local members of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s said that the Klansmen lynched the goat farmer, hanging him with a noose over the side of the bridge, but when they went down below to confirm the goat farmer was dead, his body had disappeared.

Alternate versions of the ghost story have also circulated, including one that suggests the bridge is actually haunted by the Goatman’s wife. Another story blames the work of Satanists. Most versions of the tale tend to include a warning that knocking three times on the trusses of the bridge runs the risk of bringing out the Goatman. 

Over the decades there have been numerous alleged sightings of a ghost-like apparition with a goat head haunting the area. Some locals have claimed to see glowing eyes staring at them on the bridge, while others have claimed to hear splashing in the creek directly below, followed by unsettling laughter. In 2017, Buzzfeed Unsolved: Supernatural investigated some of these claims. 

Naturally, none of the ghost stories surrounding the bridge are based on any specific historical facts. Today the bridge is only used for foot traffic, since a replacement bridge was constructed nearby. 

Know Before You Go

The bridge is on Old Alton Road, not to be confused with the neighborhood road less than a mile away called Old Alton Drive.