For years, many people have reported seeing the creature that many now refer to as the Pope Lick Monster on the trestles over Pope Lick Creek. It is said to be half human and half Capra Aegagrus Hircus, in layman’s terms, goat. The encounter with it is so startling that anyone daring to brave the walk across the trestle would rather fall the 100 foot drop to the paved road below than to stay in its presence a second longer.
The stories and legends behind the Goatman origins are as varied as the sightings of the creature itself. It is said that the monster was the offspring of a farmer who had unnatural relations with his animals. Another legend states that the Goatman was a farmer who practiced Satanism and would sacrifice his goats for power, when he was close to death he swore to live again. He was then resurrected as a half-man, half-goat being, which is fated to walk the trestles.
The final legend seems to have the most realism and the most detail.
Interestingly it combines the Goatman story, with another tale synonymous with the trestle, the "Ghost Train" that is also rumored to appear on the tracks. A sudden flurry of motion as a train passes overhead along the trestles rails, but yet makes no sound of approach or passage. In the late 1800's there were rumors of a wild animal roaming the Canadian wilderness abounding. The creature's presence caught the attention of a circus owner by the name of Silus Garner. He offered a substantial reward for the creatures capture. Having finally had someone track and capture the beast he began to exhibit the Goat monster in his freak show. From town to town they went, the monster being one of his star attractions. Until one fateful night while bound for Louisville, lightening struck the track derailing the train and killing all passengers aboard except for one....the Goatman.
This seems to be one of the most well known of all of the legends associated with Louisville and Jefferson County, as with any area that has it's fair share of scary tales. In 1984, a low budget movie featuring the Goatman story was produced and filmed on location near Pope Lick. It received mixed reviews. Younger people were ecstatic that one of their favorite urban legends had been brought to life, so to speak. Older adults were worried that interest in the movie would lead people to venture out onto the trestle and risk their lives in pursuit of nothing but a good scare….