My family used to live in an old trailer out in the woods in Southern Missouri. We never had much money, but we did the best we could. Honestly, though, I hated living out there. The place was run down before we even got it, trash in the yard that wasn’t ours (mostly) and leaky pipes that ended up rotting out a few spots in the walls of the place. It always smelled of mildew, and the nearest neighbor was about three miles down the road.
So, I guess the only good part about the place was how quiet it was.
Don’t get me wrong – I am very grateful to my parents. They did the very best they could with the money they made. Even after the struggling finances and shotty living situation, my family had the most miserable time at that trailer. And I believe it was because of the Goat man.
Now, hear me out. So many different events occurred that both terrified and traumatized my family that seemed to have no explanation. But after reading so much about this Goat Man on the internet, despite how unbelievable it sounds, I believe I may have found the answer to what haunted us so many years ago.
The following experiences happened from 1991 to 1995 In 1991 I was 11 years old.
At the time, we had just moved in. Unemptied boxes littered the place, and a feeling of excitement and anxiety was shared amongst my parents, my sister and me. The place was a downgrade – My father had been laid off, and we were forced to move. So, when we weren’t a bit excited about being out in the country for the first time in our lives, there was tension about bills or groceries and mortgage.
All in all, I was happy with the move. I was just a kid – If there were trees to climb, I was fine. And the woods around the place were abundant with trees ripe for the climbing.
I remember the day the assigned me a chore list. I thought for sure it was one of those things they tried to enforce that never held up like no more fast food, no more soda, no more staying up past 10. With that assumption I was completely wrong.
One of my new chores was simply taking out the trash to a makeshift, wire bin about twenty yards from the front of the house. Easy peasy, right? Well, I’ve always been a bit of a procrastinator. What I should’ve done during the day I ended up doing just before bed. I don’t think most people understand just how dark it gets out there away from the city. Especially during a new moon. Good luck seeing just a few inches in front of your face.
I stepped slowly off the rotting wood porch, massive trash bag sloshing along slowly behind me. The fear hadn’t hit all at once. It had been with me all day – This was my problem. If only I had taken it out earlier.
Without hesitation or looking behind me, I ran toward the makeshift dumpster.
Every step of my own sounded far too loud, and for a faint moment I thought I heard another pair of footsteps stomping the ground with my own.
I assumed it was merely my active imagination, my fear running wild. But the first clomp of a footstep that was out of sync with my frantic pace confirmed that I was not alone out there, and that I was not the only thing running.
I was already too close to turn back. The trash bin was so close – Going back now would result in me getting chewed out for being lazy or afraid of the dark – Apparently bad reasons for not being able to do my chores. The clomping sounded closer. God, I could feel a presence just behind me it sounded so close.
The bin was close enough. I threw the bag in, hoping that it landed inside the wide opening at the top. It hit an edge of wire, ripping the bag in tween and spilling its contents, thankfully, into the bin.
Somehow not thinking about the presence behind me, I turned to run back to safety. I regret that quick, unintelligent decision every day of my life. I wish I had circled back, taken the long way to the back door. But no, I turned around to retrace those very same steps that had been followed by something.
There in front of me, literally only inches from my face, was a creature about twice my height. It was covered in long, coarse hair that smelled of urine and soil. When I had turned around, the thing pulled it’s hand away – The hand itself had been reaching toward me. I did see five fingers and dirty, black nails on the tips.
I stumbled backward immediately, falling on my ass and crawling away backward, never breaking eye contact with the creature before me. It shifted, its dirty fur coat ruffling as it did. That’s when I noticed the curled horns atop its head.
Before I could scream, the thing turned toward the forest’s edge and bounded away. In my fear, my anxiety, I assumed this was a run-in with some sort of weird bigfoot. But the sight of it’s inversely jointed legs and cloven hooves assured me that this was something different. Something worse.
Oddly enough, eyes wide open staring into those woods, I could only walk back inside the house, shutting and locking the door. Maybe I was in shock. I mean, I’ve heard, read and seen people’s supposed accounts of some strange beast walking across the road as they were driving. But jesus christ, something twice my size and probably four times my weight had reached out to me, try to reach out and touch me.
Sleep was something I could not achieve for a while after that. I tried to catch up on my sleep at school whenever possible. Needless to say it definitely affected my grades.
My parents never knew about it, as far as I know. I didn’t bother to tell them. They’d probably just laugh anyway.
I wish I was joking. I wish it was the only encounter with that thing that I had.
About three months after that, which was plenty of time for me to forget that incident and to convince myself that it had been a terrible, realistic dream, my parents decided to go out one night for a date night. I was pretty excited. I loved being home alone. Nobody around to stop me from doing whatever stupid thing I decided to do – Which ended up just being me playing gameboy on the couch.
They said their goodbyes, I love yous and don’t go in our bedroom unless you want to be scarred for life – You know, the usual parent stuff. The moment they shut that door, I grabbed my gameboy and started blasting blocks on Tetris.
Eventually, I fell asleep, gameboy in my lap and the TV still quietly playing in the background.
It sounded like something big had just shattered into pieces. I jumped up, hazy and half asleep. It was silent. I’ve had dreams before that jerked me to life after a sudden loud THUD in my head. At first, I thought this was what I had just heard. I’ve never heard it as a shattering noise though. I sat there, motionless, staring into the hallway just beyond the open kitchen.
It stayed quiet for several moments later. After a while, I decided that it was nothing and started to close my eyes. I jumped up the moment I heard my parents’ bedroom door opening. The door itself was beyond the hallway which was behind another door. So, I knew something was coming – I just couldn’t see them. Not until that hallway door opened. I knew better than to wait for that to happen.
Whatever it was came quickly. I didn’t have time to think – I ran to the sink, opened the cabinet below it, and hid. I barely fit, but luckily I was able to shut the doors. To see the intruder, I left a crack in the cabinet doors. Not too much though that it looked obvious that someone was in there.
I heard the hallway door open. My heart ached with every beat – Never before have I felt so terrified. Someone was in the house with me. Some burglar or thief had broken in through the large window in my parents’ room.
Clomp. Clomp. Clomp.
The sound was heavy and close. Those footsteps did not sound like the boots of a thief. In fact, they sounded familiar.
Before I could connect that sound to where I had once heard it, the sight of tall, hairy legs stepping onto the linoleum took my breath away.
That creature from before… It was inside my home.
For far too long those legs did not move. It was right in front of the sink, just standing and waiting as if it knew where I was. Finally, the thing did move. It stepped heavily toward the living room where only seconds ago I had been asleep. I tried not to think about what might have happened had I been asleep still.
I could hear it breathing, sniffing the air. How could it not know I was there?! Surely it could smell me. It just kept sniffing and walking around the living room. Now, I could only listen. My vision was exclusive to the kitchen directly ahead. All I could make out were a few legs of the kitchen table. The feeling of hearing and not seeing was torture.
The steps were coming again. Loud. Calm. Everything I wasn’t at that moment. It took every ounce of my strength just to hold back from screaming. For another treacherous moment, those demonic legs stood in front of me. This time, though, they stepped away quickly. Soon, those heavy steps faded away.
I had no idea if that thing was out of the house, but I had to do something. I crawled out from under the sink and raced toward the hallway. I reached to close the door, and the moment I did, that thing’s face, horns and all, emerged from the darkness of the room across the way.
Slamming the door shut, I grabbed the kitchen chair next to me and lodged it under the doorknob. It didn’t hold like they show in the movies – The moment that creature hit the door from the other side, the chair slid forward until friction finally worked its magic.
Through the small gap in the partially opened door, I could see nothing but the darkness of my parents’ open bedroom door. Suddenly, all was calm. Quiet. Yet I was more scared than before. I backed up to the end of the living room where my bedroom door was. I couldn’t move beyond there – I had to make sure that thing couldn’t escape. If it did, I made sure I had enough time to escape into my room and lock the door.
Hopefully the lock holds.
Still, though, the door didn’t shake, move, jounce. The thing that had hit the door – It was as if it was no longer there. I waited for painful ages.
I slid down to the floor, weak and sore from adrenaline. I forced myself not to blink. I stared at that door.
“Daniel.” My mother’s voice rang softly from the hallway.
My back grew rigid, my mouth hung agape.
“Daniel, come here. Open this door, please.”
That . . . That wasn’t my mother. It couldn’t have been my mother. Had my parents returned home and crawled through the broken window into their room? It didn’t make any sense.
Maybe I was going crazy.
“Open the door. Open it now. Open it. Open it. Open it. DANIEL, open it, NOW.”
The voice grew louder and louder, becoming a low, rumbling shout rather than the sweet, melodic voice of my mother.
“Daniel!” Another voice like the one before came from the front door. “Get the door, hun, we got a little too many leftovers.”
It was my parents.
I stood quickly, both thankful and afraid that my parents had finally come home. The moment I took a step toward the front door, I felt the floor tremble with impossibly heavy footsteps as the thing in the hallway ran back toward my parents’ room.
I ran to the door and opened it. There my mother and father stood with several doggy bags over each arm.
“Oh thank goodness. Now, take one of these – ” Before she could finished, I was behind them pushing them into the house. Once inside, I locked the door and reinforced the hallway door with another chair. Like it would help.
“What are you doing?” My father asked, placing the doggy bags on the table. He loved his Italian food.
“S-somebody broke in.” I stuttered a reply.
I could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t believe me – That is until he really looked at me. I was shaking, staring off into the distance, barely able to stand. He suddenly got very serious.
He grabbed the rifle from the gun rack in the living room and moved the chairs from the hallway door. My mother held onto as we both stood quietly knowing how tense the situation was. Well, they didn’t truly know. They didn’t really understand. Even when my father found long, coarse hair on the broken glass of their bedroom window.
There was no burglar, no thief, no thug. Something had broken into the house to get to me.
Years passed. I was a high schooler. Girls became more interesting than gameboys. Sooner than I ever thought, those traumatic events with that nightmarish creature disappeared from my mind. Maybe I was suppressing them to keep myself sane. Maybe I just honestly believed that that was the last of it.
God, I was naive.
My mother died 40 years young in 1995. She was a great mother, a happy woman, but a terrible eater. Heart disease was a terrible beast, especially for a short, chubby woman who refused to change her ways.
My father and I continued to live. It was a quiet life. We ate healthier, and we respected one another. The circumstances of my life made me stern and mature. A 16 year old acting like a middle-aged man.
Our only disagreements came when my father went to church. He’d go every Wednesday and Sunday, and he’d do everything in his power to try to convince me to go. I said no. I had my reasons not to believe in the God of the Christian Bible. He didn’t like it, but quietly he accepted my decision.
It was a Sunday afternoon. He was getting ready to leave for the afternoon service.
“You know, it’d make you happier believing in something.” He would always tell me. He had said that same thing that Sunday evening.
“Yeah, I know.” I replied, trying not to sound rude. “I just don’t believe in that.”
He nodded and walked out.
That evening was quiet. The fall trees reflected a gold hue through the window shades. It was nice and made the homework I was catching up on much easier to focus on.
About an hour or two after my dad left, there was a banging on the door.
I smiled. “Dad, you forget your key again?”
The knocking continued.
I got up, rolling my eyes. “I’m coming, Dad. You gotta stop taking the key off your key ri-“.
“Daniel, come here. Open the door, please.”
It was my mother’s voice, spoken the same as I had heard it so long ago. I stumbled backward, choking on air that I simply couldn’t catch.
“Daniel, open it. Open it. Open it. Open it, NOW.”
That dread from years ago flooded me deeper than before. This fucking thing using my mothers voice to get to me. Disgusting. And my father was still out there. He could be home at any second.
“Go away!” I screamed at the door. But the knocking grew louder and more rapid.
“Get the FUCK out of here! Stop it!” Without realizing, I stood up and ran at the door. I have no idea what I was thinking, what I was expecting.
I guess the idea of my mother’s sweet voice being a most terrifying, sinister noise got to me. Because, as I grabbed and began to turn the doorknob, I could feel the regret welling up inside me.
Why did I turn that knob?
In an instant, I opened the door, my heart seemed to stop, and a blinding light filled my gaze.
I flinched from the light and fell onto my knees.
“Are you okay?” My father shut the car door, the headlights flicking off. He ran toward me, the memory of that night so many days ago fresh in his eyes. He had seen me like that once before.
He picked me up and sat me on the couch. He locked all the doors and grabbed his gun.
I tried to fight that catatonic state. My heart beat wildly, slow then fast, hard then subtle.
My father spoke again. “Pack your things.”
I managed to look over at him.
“I know there was no burglar here that night.” He wiped the sweat from his brow and swallowed hard before continuing.
“You weren’t the only one who saw it.”