Having addressed the weird phenomenon of strange creatures seen at railroads in my previous article, today I’m going to focus on the equally curious issue of monsters hanging around at bridges. We’ll begin with the saga of the Man-Monkey of the Shropshire Union Canal, England. The story is a very strange one, the origins of which date back to January 21, 1879. On the night in question, a man crossing the bridge with his cart and horse had the fright of his life: a semi-spectral chimpanzee-like animal raced across the bridge, terrifying both the man and his horse – and which suddenly vanished into the woods. Several other sightings were made in the days and weeks that followed. Although the original case is still well-known in the area, far less is known about some of the more recent encounters with the ghostly beast. Of course, the fact that the Man-Monkey has been seen for more than 100 years – and is spectral, rather than fully flesh and blood – suggests that it’s no normal animal. Now and again, sightings of the clearly supernatural thing still surface.
Now, let’s take a look at the diabolical Goat-Man of Denton, Texas. It, too, has a tie to a certain bridge. The Old Alton Bridge, in the Texan town of Denton – which is about an hour’s drive from where I live – has a very strange legend attached to it. It concerns nothing less than a monstrous Goat-Man, of the type that have been reported from a whole variety of other locations across the U.S. Probably the most infamous of all Goat-Men is that which allegedly surfaced in and around Lake Worth, Texas in 1969. But, what of its nearby cousin in Denton? Well, on several occasions now I’ve been to the bridge that the Goat-Man is said to haunt, and the story surrounding it is intriguing. As for the stories, one legend says that, many years ago, wannabe devil-worshipers in the area inadvertently opened up a portal to some hellish realm that allowed the vile beast open access to our world. And now, today, and as a direct result of this reckless action, the Goat Man has no intention at all of returning to the twilight zone from which he appeared; hence his deep desire to forever haunt the old steel-and-wood bridge at Denton. An even weirder story maintains that the Denton Goat Man’s origins can be traced back to a resident of the town who, decades ago, slaughtered his entire family, and was quickly hanged as a punishment for his terrible crime. As the local legend tells it, at the moment he was hung, the man’s head was torn from his body by the weight of his blubbery form; and, for months afterwards, his spectral body returned to the world of the living with only one goal in mind: to find itself a brand new head – which it supposedly did by wrenching off the head of an innocent goat that had the great misfortune to be in the area at the time.
And, of course, there is one of the world’s most famous monsters: the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. There can be few people reading this who have not at least heard of the legendary Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, who so terrorized the town and the surrounding area between November 1966 and December 1967, and whose diabolical exploits were chronicled in the 2002 hit Hollywood movie starring Richard Gere: The Mothman Prophecies, so named after the book of the same title written by Mothman authority John Keel. A devil-like, winged monster with glowing, red eyes, Mothman’s appearance came quite literally out of nowhere and, some say, culminated in high tragedy and death. Indeed, in the weeks and months that followed, further encounters with the bizarre beast were reported; however, they were overshadowed by a tragic event that occurred on December 15, 1967. It was on that day that Point Pleasant’’s Silver Bridge (so named after its aluminum paint) that spanned the Ohio River and connected Point Pleasant to Gallipolis, Ohio, collapsed into the river, tragically claiming forty-six lives. Interestingly, after the disaster at the Silver Bridge, encounters with the Mothman largely came to a grinding halt. And while a down-to-earth explanation most certainly circulated – namely, that a fatal flaw in a single eye-bar in a suspension chain was the chief culprit – many saw, and still continue to see to this very day, the cause as being directly linked with the ominous and brooding presence of the accursed Mothman.
Three examples of literally dozens: is all of this just a coincidence? Or, does this relate to those Liminal Zones I’ve discussed over the last few days amd in those recent articles? I say the latter.