Picture of the Pope Lick Monster

Pope Lick Monster – Kentucky

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The Pope Lick Monster, who is also known as the Goat Man, is an elusive Kentucky cryptid that is believed to live around Pope Lick Creek in Louisville, Kentucky. According to local stories, the Pope Lick monster lures its victims onto the trestle bridge that stretches across Pope Lick Creek where it attacks and kills them.

Cryptid Name:Pope Lick Monster
Location:Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Map of where the Pope Lick monster is found
Category:Folklore Cryptid
Description:Human-goat hybrid with goat horns on its head.
Size:Various, but often depicted as about the size of a human.
Behavior/Characteristics:Said to hypnotize victims luring them onto the trestle bridge over Pope Lick Creek.
Habitat/Environment:Associated with the Pope Lick Creek area, particularly the trestle bridge, and nearby wooded areas.
Evidence:There is no concrete scientific evidence supporting the existence of the Pope Lick Monster.
Sightings and Encounters:Reported sightings, primarily anecdotal and unverified.
Skepticism/Explanations:Widely regarded as a legend with no scientific basis, accidents and deaths on the trestle bridge are attributed to misadventures.

What Does The Pope Lick Monster Look Like?

Picture of the Pope Lick Monster
Artist’s Impression of the Pope Lick Monster

The Pope Lick Monster is most often described as a human-goat hybrid with a human-like body and the head and legs of a goat or sheep.

It is said to have horns on its head similar to typical goat horns and is covered in fur.

Most people say that the goat man is about the size of a human or slightly larger. It is also said to have fierce glowing eyes and eery facial features.

The Pope Lick Monster Legend

The legend of the Pope Lick monster can be traced back to the 1950s when stories began to emerge claiming that there was a terrifying goat man that was killing people on the railway trestle.

Stories claimed that the Pope Lick Monster was once a circus attraction where he was chained up and treated incredibly badly. One day he managed to escape but he never forgot how badly he was treated and so vowed to take revenge on anyone who crossed his path.

Another legend says that the goat man was actually a human farmer who made a deal with the devil in exchange for goat sacrifices. The farmer was transformed into a human-goat hybrid with supernatural powers.

The Pope Lick Monster is said to have the ability to lure people onto the railway trestle using hypnosis. Once on the bridge, his victims are killed by passing trains. But it isn’t just the railway trestle that is dangerous as it is also believed that the goat man will jump down from the trestle onto the roofs of cars as they drive by.

The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster – Short Film

In 1988 a short film featuring the Pope Lick Monster was made by a Louisville filmmaker by the name of Ron Schildknecht and most of the film was shot at the Pope Lick Trestle. The film is 16 minutes long and you can watch it here.

Deaths Associated With The Pope Lick Monster

Unfortunately, the legends of the Pope Lick Monster have led to many deaths and there are hundreds of stories of close calls told by locals in the area.

It must be noted that some believe that the tracks are no longer being used and many thrill seekers and cryptid hunters think that it is safe to explore the area.

However, the tracks form part of a major railway artery into Louiseville with many heavy freight trains crossing the 742 feet / 226 meter-long bridge on a daily basis. The bridge also has a 90 foot / 27 meter drop at its center so it is incredibly dangerous to go onto the tracks even without the threat of passing trains.

These are some of the recorded deaths:

2019Savanna Bright (15)Two 15-year-old girls were hit by a train with Savanna Bright losing her life.
2016Roquel Bain (26)Roquel Bain was hit by a train and fell to her death. Her boyfriend survived by hanging from the side of the trestle.
2000Nicholas Jewell (19)Nicholas Jewell falls to his death after trying to escape a train.
1994James Ratterman (35)James Ratterman was struck by a train after getting trapped underneath his overturned ATV.
1994Michael Wells (14)Managed to tuck his body under the track to avoid being hit by an oncoming train.
1993Christina Butts (19)A group of friends were trapped by an oncoming train on the trestle. All managed to survive by climbing down the metal parts of the trestle. Christina was rescued by firefighters as she was paralyzed by fear.
1992Grady (19)A Miami University student by the name of Grady was on the trestle at about 1:45 a.m. when he saw a train coming. He held onto a railroad tie but lost his grip, falling about 100 feet to the ground.
1987Jack Charles Bahm (17)Jack Bahm was killed by a train on 18 February 1987 while crossing the trestle.
1986David Wayne Bryant (19)David Bryant was severely injured when he jumped from the trestle to dodge an oncoming train. He passed away in May 1987 from his injuries.
1985John K. ListJohn List was killed on June 1, 1985, when he was struck by a train on the trestle. His friend, Randall Graves, managed to survive by hanging on a crosstie as the train passed.
1984Sean Fleischman (20)Sean Fleischman survived after falling from the railway trestle to avoid a train.
1968Charles Jack Bahm II (17)Charles Jack Balm was hit and killed by an oncoming train as he and two companions attempted to cross the trestle on a dare.

Exploring the Pope Lick Trestle in search of the Pope Lick Monster is extremely dangerous and as you can see it has a tragic history of accidents and fatalities.

As mentioned, the trestle is an active railway track and trains can approach very quickly and with little warning. And because they are as big and heavy as they are, they are unable to stop making it nearly impossible for them to avoid hitting someone. Local authorities and railroad companies have actively tried to enforce trespassing laws and hopefully, more will be done to stop people visiting the tracks.

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