Goat-Man's Bridge

Submitted into Contest #209 in response to: Write a story about someone going on a life-changing journey.... view prompt


High School Horror

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

A/N: Trigger warning. This story contains character deaths.

When you leave this campfire tonight, don’t take Goat-Man’s Bridge on your way home.

Four teenagers found this out the hard way. They were out, bored with all their usual activities, and one of them dared the others to drive to Goat-Man’s Bridge so that the two couples could make out and lure the Goat-Man out of hiding. Legend has it that Goat-Man attacks couples that kiss on his bridge and shine a flashlight.

Even people who haven’t seen Goat-Man have heard his scream on the bridge at night, a scream that can turn your blood to water. He doesn’t “baaa, baaa,” he screams. Everyone who lives near Goat Man Bridge knows to lock their doors when that scream echoes in the night. No one dares flash a flashlight three times on the bridge, because the Goat-Man will appear. I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

Supposedly dark cults used the bridge for their secret ceremonies and somehow called up the Goat-Man. He’s been around a long time. Goat-Man has been sighted throughout the United States. Everyplace has a version of the story.

It doesn't matter where our story takes place. Details aren't important. The story is universal. The journey from "On a dark and spooky night" to "The end" is as life-changing for the hearer as the people in the story.

The four teenagers in our story, in Anytown, USA, scoffed at the legend they'd heard all their lives, and decided to go to the bridge after dark.

The drive felt like a party in itself. They were going to do something countless people had done, but no one had done and lived to tell about it.

They turned off the car just before they got to the bridge. They figured that at ten o'clock at night no one would be driving over it.

They walked from their car through the dark onto the bridge, their shoes making loud noises on the wooden beams.

It was a still, windless night on the bridge, with no motor noises from passing cars, not even a dog barking or an owl hooting. The two couples kissed and held each other to ward off the fear, but nothing unusual happened on the bridge.

Nothing happened for many minutes.

There was lots of kissing, and giggling, and talking. At one point one of the teenagers, Holly, turned on her music on her phone, but her boyfriend George had her turn it off. "This only works in complete silence," he said.

"Then we shouldn't talk," Mike. the second boy, said.

Scratch. Scratch. Thump.

"Mike, stop," Alison, the instigator, hissed.

"My shoes are killing me," he groaned. Thump. "Ahhhh."

"Anyone else need to go barefoot?" George quipped.

Holly shook her head. "I already am."

They sat in complete silence.

Thump. Thump.

"MIKE," everyone yelled.

"Wasn't me," Mike snapped, his voice quivering.

Frightened, Alison said, “Let’s leave now.”

"Oh, great plan, everyone will know we chickened out," Holly said.

"None of you are posting this or livestreaming it, right?" George asked." 'Cause we all made a pact."

"Uh-uh," everyone said.

"Technically we haven't started yet, we could leave," Mike said.

Holly raised her chin and took a sip of water. "I'm not backing out."

"I got my flashlight all ready and fired up," George said.

Mike raised a hand. "I'm game."

Alison seemed to draw strength from the peer pressure. "Okay. George, light it up."

They walked a little further before George found the perfect spot and switched on his flashlight once.


He turned it off, then on again.

Still nothing.

A third time the light flashed off, then on.

They walked past the center of the bridge, going toward the other side. Mike's attempt to hum the theme from "The Twilight Zone" got stopped in a hurry.

A thick fog appeared on the bridge. The flashlight went out. 

Clomp, clomp. The clatter of two hooves on the bridge, pitched squeals and grunting laughter made the teenagers freeze on the spot. Out of the fog and the dark loomed something…horns, vicious teeth in a smile. A goat’s head. A man’s naked hairy chest. Burning red eyes.

Then, he screamed. An inhuman scream. A scream that could kill plants.

Three of the teenagers knocked into each other and tripped over each other as they sprinted across the bridge. Alison, who suggested the eerie ordeal, stood hypnotized as the creature came closer.

Gallantly, George with the flashlight charged back, his feet creaking the bridge boards.

The fog jutted out and vanished the girl and boy in front of their friends’ eyes. A scraping sound made the two that were left retreat. 

Concerned for their friends, they turned back to see the fog had disappeared, and so had the couple on the bridge. Only the flashlight remained, its light revealing the young couple hanging from the side of the bridge – or rather, what was left of the pair.

The bodies scratched and scraped the metal sides of the bridge as they swung from one of the struts. The teenagers who were still alive screamed. 

Their screams attracted a passing police car, because someone had called in the unusual activity on the bridge. An anonymous citizen, a Good Samaritan. Someone who hung up without identifying themselves.

The local police found Mike and Holly in hysterics. To this day, Mike and Holly have never spoken about that night. They moved from the town shortly after that fateful night, and some say that they mysteriously died as well, because the Goat-Man followed them.

Adding to the fear after that night, the police never caught the attacker, since they believed the teenagers died accidentally by slipping off the old bridge. After that night, the teenagers never spoke of their friends. Some passers-by in the weeks and months afterward changed their routes because of scraping noises outside and the ghostly outline of bodies hanging from the bridge. Then there was the clomp of those hooves…

Wait. I think I hear them now.

July 29, 2023 20:02

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Debbie Dupey
17:28 Aug 10, 2023

Well paced and suspenseful. A creative retelling of a classic horror setup.


Kristin Johnson
18:19 Aug 10, 2023

Thank you! I have to credit a friend who loves creepypastas and horror legends for prompting this...


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Kevin Logue
18:24 Aug 08, 2023

The voice of this story was so strong, a brilliantly told, creepy horror. I wasn't reading it, I was being read to. So good. Well done Kristin!


Kristin Johnson
01:19 Aug 09, 2023

Thank you! That was definitely the idea...to make you feel like you were sitting around a campfire listening to a spooky story. Is there anything better?


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Herman W Clarke
09:15 Aug 06, 2023

I loved this! Very creepy.


Kristin Johnson
18:49 Aug 06, 2023

Thank you!


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10:40 Jul 31, 2023

This is fun! Love an old-school horror tale! thanks for sharing


Kristin Johnson
18:26 Jul 31, 2023

I love those too! I wrote it years ago. It's a real legend--the Goat-Man has been covered on paranormal TV shows.


18:28 Jul 31, 2023

Oh Interesting. I haven't heard of him! Thought I knew them all 😂


Kristin Johnson
18:29 Jul 31, 2023

There's a ton out there (do a search online for the Goatman and you'll find a lot). It seems to be related to the satyrs of Ancient Greece. Thanks for your comment and congrats on your recent win!


18:38 Jul 31, 2023

Thanks Kristin! I'll check it out!


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