The Creepy Maryland Goatman and Crybaby Bridge Urban Legends

Statue of a Faun
Statue of a Faun | Source
A Faun or possibly Statue of Pan
A Faun or possibly Statue of Pan | Source
Property off of Lovers' Lane.
Property off of Lovers' Lane.

The Goatman

I grew up hearing terrifying tales about a goatman that haunted a few key areas in the Southern Maryland region. My mother and a family friend told me a story when I was about thirteen that kept me extremely frightened to go near or over this one particular one-lane bridge off of Acton Lane in Charles County, MD. They called it "Goatman Bridge" because the stories claim that a woman wrecked her car off of this bridge one snowy winter's night, and she was carried away by the goatman...who left bloody goat tracks as evidence in the snow. Supposedly her body had disappeared and the police could find no human footprints around or near the wreckage.

Who is this goatman creature? The sightings of eyewitnesses state that he is a half goat/half man creature. The top half of him resembles that of a man but he sports a beard and horns...and the bottom half of him is like that of a goat...with the cloven hooves and all. As a child and a teenager, this creepy image haunted my dreams. Now that I am an adult, this image reminds me of an older mythical creature called a faun (an example of a faun - Mr.Tumnus in the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe written by C.S. Lewis) and even of the Pagan god, Pan. These same characteristics could be related to the Christian enemy image of Lucifer, more commonly known as "the devil" or "Satan". Nevertheless, I do not plan on hanging out around the Acton Lane bridge at any time of the day.

The goatman creature has been spotted in other areas in Maryland, more notably in Prince George's County near Beltsville. The first sighting happened in the year of 1957, and many more were to take place after this. The most infamous of local goatman stories tell of a group of teenagers that went hiking through the woods in 1970, only to run into the goatman who chopped them to pieces with an axe and then ate most of their remains. Supposedly one of the teenagers escaped and tried to tell the police...but there is no substantial police evidence that this ever occurred...but to this day locals swear that it did happen. There have been other tales told of this mutant goat creature, including stories of the goatman breaking into houses and killing family pets.

The goatman is also associated with a road in Prince George's County, MD known as "Lover's Lane". This is a road in which adolescents park their cars and do whatever it is that teenagers do...but for the past ten years most teenagers do not dare to visit Lover's Lane at night. The reason? Goatman is said to appear if a date leaves the parked vehicle to pop a squat in the nearby bushes...but in this legend, instead of wielding a bloody axe, he carries a hook with him and slices up the unsuspecting horny teenager and leaves hook marks on the lovers' car. Obviously this urban legend has been told in other ways before...not having anything to do with goatman, but mainly telling of a psychotic murderer with a hook that slices up teenagers caught doing the hippity dippity in the woods.

There are various theories on how goatman came into existence. The main and most well known theory is that goatman was a by-product of human/animal experimentation. Apparently some "mad scientist" fiddled with science in ways that he should not have been and created this murderous monster from his idiotic lab partner and an innocent goat. Other goatman creation theories include local Satanic churches summoning the devil (the goatman being the devil himself or Satan's worker) and also that goatman could be an ancient Pagan being like that of a satyr or faun. However he was created, the legends in Maryland are all too real to many people who have sighted this beast...and the fear of the goatman will live on for many years to come.

In addition to the legends of the Goatman haunting Lover's Lane in Maryland, there is also another legend that sort of goes hand-in-hand with the goatman legend - the tale of Crybaby Bridge.

Historic Governor's Bridge, "Crybaby Bridge"
Historic Governor's Bridge, "Crybaby Bridge"

Maryland's Crybaby Bridge

Crybaby Bridge has now turned into an American urban legend that is told in Maryland and various other states, including South Carolina and Oklahoma. The Crybaby Bridge in Maryland is a one-lane bridge in Prince George's County and is said to be in one of the same areas where the goatman has been spotted. The bridge crosses over a branch of the Patuxent River...the same river that reportedly served as a watery grave for an innocent baby back in the 1950s.

The reason this bridge is referred to commonly as "Crybaby Bridge" is because the cry of this dead baby has been heard by locals on various nights, while crossing the creepy, rusty one-lane bridge. There are different theories as to how the baby was drowned in the Patuxent, including a story about a young mother who was running out to the road to meet her husband who was driving home after being gone for months. The young mother was tragically struck by her husband's car, as he did not see her in the fog that was covering the bridge that night. She dropped the baby and it fell into the waters below...crying. Other stories just say that the mother purposely threw the baby over, as she was too young and did not want to deal with the struggles of raising a child. One recent theory I found on a haunted places website stated that the area was thickly inhabited by the KKK back in the early 20th century and supposedly these vicious men would throw little African American babies off the side of the bridge to drown and kill them.

Whatever the horrible theory, I can attest to hearing this baby's (or babies') cries. When I was thirteen years old, my Aunt told my cousins and I the sad and scary story of Crybaby Bridge and we laughed it off...just thinking that she was trying to scare us. To prove the story, my Aunt took us down to the bridge in the middle of the night and parked. She turned off the headlights and killed the engine, totally. My cousins and I were frightened, being silly thirteen year old girls but we did not think in a million years that we would actually hear the horrifying wail of a newborn...just outside the truck's windows. It seemed to be coming from underneath the vehicle...under the bridge. My Aunt even seemed terrified herself, and we ended up quickly turning around and driving home...the four of us literally shaking and barely saying a word.

Maybe it is not actually a ghost baby crying in the waters below Crybaby Bridge...maybe it is some sort of wind tunnel that gives the illusional sound of a crying baby...maybe there is some scientific explanation to the creepy wailing that can be heard at Crybaby Bridge. Or maybe there isn't a logical reason...we will probably never know.

The goatman and Crybaby Bridge are recorded in many Maryland Urban Legend books and many videos can be found on youtube describing different witnesses' accounts of these legends. You can watch a couple of these videos below.

Written and copyright © by Kitty the Dreamer (May Canfield), 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments 47 comments

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Tomins - Yes, that's where I mean. Ohhh...the last time I was there it was forested...that was back in 1998-99, somewhere in that time period. I can believe it's probably lost it's appeal if it's built up now. I'm actually sorry to hear that. Thanks for reading, though! :)

Tomins 3 years ago

Joined this site because of this post. I actually live right off of acton lane and have never heard of the goat man in this area. Do you mean the end of acton lane where it turns into Gardner rd going into PG county? It is pretty intriguing to hear all of the stories though. How long ago was this? this area is rather developed now, it used to be mostly forested area.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

BiggerChuck - I have never heard of him, but it sounds very intriguing. Thanks!

BiggerChuck 3 years ago

Another forgotten Maryland legend: Karl Atticus, a local filmmaker who was accused of robbing graves and using human body parts in his movies. He was from Baltimore, died by his own hand sometime in the mid 1970s if I remember correctly. But the urban legend that surrounds him and his films have become widely known, though probably nobody outside of Maryland could tell you his name. Eerie story... the cops refused to even describe what they found in his house.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 3 years ago from the Ether Author

Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

cbl12 3 years ago

This reminds me also of two movies I saw recently, one about the New Jersey Devil, and the other the next night was called It Waits, about a creature terrrorising a U.S. Park Ranger, but I cannot recall where. She battles it alone in the end, and it is to do with a Native American Indian legend, but I am not sure if either story is true. We have Maori legends here in New Zealand of monsters referred to as Taniwha, which can be good or bad, but one of the more interesting things is whether the supposedly extinct rattite bird known as the Moa is still around, but hidden, since twenty years ago a man not far from my area claimed to see one - they resemeble emus, but are more related to the still living Kiwi. In addition, there is an idea there may still be massive moose or elks in the Fiordland area, southwest South Island, and a reward is offered for proof. I also recall seeing the American story on the Hogzilla a man claimed to have killed, so that sometimes the more natural can be just as mysterious and intriguing.

gump 3 years ago

I live in Bowie. Cry baby bridge and goatman are legends that I grew up with. Everybody knows them, especially on the other side of the bridge towards edge water and riva. Honestly, I heard the stories at such a young age I can't remember who told me or when I first heard it. There are other stories about Goatman such as he lived near glenn dale golf course. Or that he lived in the woods near the bridge or at patuxent wildlife reserve. There's a story that he escaped from the federal research facility for the department of agriculture, which is 5 miles down the road from my house. They are said to do experiments there on farm animals. There are also stories about dead people being on the bridge, I guess they would be ghosts, or people hanging from the top of the bridge by their neck and then they will disappear.

cbl12 profile image

cbl12 4 years ago

I understand someone else already has that in mind. Trust me, I know very little about him compared to such an expert. I am sure he will do a good job. As an aside, and related to a discussion I had with that person, I watched last night a thing on the Loch Ness Monster, and it showed all the fakes , mistakes and genuinely believed sightings, and scientific efforts to find him or her, and I thought that yes, we do need mysteries, and it would seem a shame to have them debunked. Imagine the number of intelligent people who have devoted lives and fortunes, having nothing to do once the true identity of Jack the Ripper is revealed incontravertibly ! My choice is the evil Dr Twomelty, who looks good for these five or more murders, but who knows ? Chris Lilly.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

cbl12 - You should really write a hub on Spring Heeled Jack, my friend. Guarantee it would be really interesting and draw traffic. :) Thanks!

cbl12 profile image

cbl12 4 years ago

Greetings. I had a request from others to detail more about Spring Heeled Jack. From the Reader's Digest publication ( ca 1990 ), Strange Stories and Amazing Facts, around page 350 or so, it is said Jack first appeared around 1837, and could aim fire and such from his eyes and spit flames at people. He attacked two ladies in separate incidents, and over the following years the legend grew up, and authorities were determined to get him. The last known sighting of that age was in 1904, although he has been reported as seen in 1986 and Febuary this year. See also the Wikipedia Article.

lifetips123 profile image

lifetips123 4 years ago from Trivandrum

good one

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

bishopkmb - I lived in MD for almost 19 years and I bet a lot of people haven't heard of these places. Thanks for reading and be careful out there ghost hunting! :)

bishopkmb profile image

bishopkmb 4 years ago from Maryland

I have lived in MD almost my entire life and have never heard any of these stories! I even lived in PG for eight years. I am going to have to check these places out because I have been trying to find creepy/haunted places to visit. Thank you for sharing!

manthy profile image

manthy 4 years ago from Alabama,USA

voted up & interesting - we have a crybaby bridge in Florence,Alabama too....... but no Goatman ;0)

IOwn profile image

IOwn 4 years ago from My laptop in the UK

What a great read :-)

jhorar profile image

jhorar 4 years ago

I also have a desire,

Prolong human life and wants to go over. It is everyone's desire. Looking to live long lives together. Who ever gets it at some point. Without turning if you get lucky. I want to prolong my life partner and I have also Talas. With my luck is not yet the case. My Talas continues. Definitely my choice of my world for me to find a partner. I've been there all the time looking for partners. Hu also working hard day and night. I will partner the day, the day will be the best day of my life

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Thank you, anspattal!

anspattal profile image

anspattal 4 years ago from Pakistan

Awesome sharing. Such posts are really good for us so that we can know about the world,s conditions at present.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

cbl12 - I have heard of Spring Heeled Jack but not of the New Zealand tales. Awesome and intriguing stories. Thanks for sharing!

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

ITcoach - No problem! Thanks for reading.

cbl12 profile image

cbl12 4 years ago

Your Legend reminds me of Spring Heeled Jack, who terrorised parts of the U.K. in the 19th to early 20th centuries, where he would come from nowhere, attack people and have the ability according to witnesses to escape along rooftops, and was never caught. Here in Christchurch New Zealand we have the legend of the bloody handprint on the grave of a serving girl murdered in 1871 by a fellow servant, who is said to have yelled out curses upon his death sentence, before being hanged over in Lyttelton. It is believed the handprint appeared on the grave from the 1920s. My mother recalls knowing the story when as a teenager in the early sixties she had to bike past the Barbadoes Street Cemetery at Night after work to get home. The grave has since been moved.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Thanks, everyone!

mvillecat profile image

mvillecat 4 years ago from Milledgeville, Georgia

Getting ready for Halloween I see! Great hub. I voted up. I love a great ghost story.

JohnsonJohn profile image

JohnsonJohn 4 years ago

I love stories like this. Thanks for the great hub.You ever think about calling Josh Gates from " Destination Truth" to investigate this.

Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

I lived in penn. and I heard the stories of the goatman. I never heard of crybaby bridge though. I found your article fascinating from beginning to end!

mythbuster profile image

mythbuster 4 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

Hey kittythedreamer! I've enjoyed this hub a lot. klarawieck's story makes the hair on my neck stand up lol. In the video you placed on the hub, I'm trying to figure out some of the objects shown... is that a statue of Black Agnes from 52 seconds to 1:14? I'm wondering if you've looked into the migration details of this legend. I have a hub on goatman, too, but in researching origins, the trail goes cold in Maryland around 1957 - however - there are versions of this legend now in Canada (Ontario locations) and in Texas...strange. I cant understand the migration to Canada but not Texas - any insights? I've been tryin' to figure out this one for a few years.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Klara - Wow! That is pretty creepy, my friend. I would've called the cops...and then they would have committed ME! LOL. Thanks for sharing. You truly are clairvoyant.

klarawieck 4 years ago

Kitty, we've got a blue moon coming! Yay!!!

Anyway, I thought I'd share my most frightening ghost sighting with you. I was driving on the expressway with my husband and as we passed an entrance that's in the district where all the main hospitals are, I saw a woman with messy, long, black hair, wearing a hospital gown. She was entering the expressway through this entrance. It was late at night. I became alarmed. Seeing that there were no cars behind me, I slowed down, told my husband to call 911 thinking that it was a patient that had escaped from one of the hospitals. My husband turns to look and sees nothing there, but I could see her perfectly clear, walking, minding her own business. Had I been alone, I would have called the cops to try to save the woman. Good thing my husband was there to stop me! Can you imagine?

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether Author

Thanks for helping her out, ButcherBoy!

TheButcherBoy profile image

TheButcherBoy 4 years ago

RoseMary - take the Beltway to Rte. 50 East towards Annapolis. Take the 301 South exit in Bowie (Sign will say Crofton/Richmond- stay to your right). You'll need to get over to the left lane. Take the left at that 1st light; Governor Bridge Road. Cry Baby Bridge is about a mile down the road from the light..

rosemary 4 years ago

anybody know how to get to cry baby bridge in prince georges md. coming from stafforf va

ackman1465 profile image

ackman1465 4 years ago from Cape Coral, Florida

This post reminded me of the "Blair Witch Project" (movie), which, allegedly, took place in Maryland.... AND, the far-more-believeable "Blair Thumb Project," a follow-up movie that showed us just how creepy ARE the environs on Maryland.... After all... how many cities have had their NFL football team DISAPPEAR in the middle of the night?????

VendettaVixen profile image

VendettaVixen 4 years ago from Ireland

Wow, this really was my kind of hub. I can't get enough of the creepy stuff.

Thanks - I really enjoyed it. You've got me thinking that maybe I should research urban legends in my area.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

SG Hupp - I agree, it is a very prevalent ghost story in many states...particularly on the east coast. Thanks for pointing that out.

S G Hupp profile image

S G Hupp 5 years ago from United States

I wonder what it is about the crybaby bridge legend that makes it so prevalent--and persistent. I've heard the legend so many times in various states but I've never really thought about why. Maybe the fact that just about every rural community is going to have a creepy old bridge somewhere nearby makes it a really portable ghost story.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Nick - Wow! You've totally stunned me, my friend. You know your sh*t when it comes to paranormal and mythological lore. I have to agree that the goatman is much different from a haunting such as the crybaby bridge haunting in that he is most likely an organic based being...very good point there. And no, I'm not sure that he is an embodiment of the devil or satan, but I can't be sure...the theory of the goatman being a satyr or faun of some type might be worth looking into further. That theory has been around for awhile and probably makes the most sense.

As for hauntings and "ghost tours", I never thought about it like that. We are sort of making fun out of a very sad circumstance in that someone lost their lives tragically and is lost in the afterlife...we should be trying to help them...not be entertained by their misery. Thanks and loved your really got me thinking!

Nick Malizia profile image

Nick Malizia 5 years ago from USA

Voted up and gave + to everything but "funny" (lol)

I knew I would like your hubs when I was just skimming through them originally. I love this kind of stuff.

I just took little notes as an addendum for other fans of weirdness, not to be misconstrued as "editing."---

Related to legends:

1. The legend about the hikers reminded me of speculation somewhere that "Ambrosia" and "Nectar" in

Greek myths was actually code that the new Gods,Zeus and the others, were 'people-eaters.'

2.The lovers lane legend is probably related to the association of goats and Caprine beings as being lecherous or the embodiment of lust, they have gargoyles in Europe about this association.

3. Theory on Existence v. Creation: Considering the prominence in pagan artifacts, it seems much more likely IF they exist they are naturally occurring not scientifically engineered. Probably no relation to Devils, probably 'cryptozoology' or a race of humanoid beings living out of view of the human race. In forests when available, migrating to caves or derelict buildings, sewers etc if the wilderness is cleared.

Its fascinating if they did witness a coherent vision of the being meaning that the existence of what we call Satyr's is so well spread throughout the world.

If one is really searching for the truth (cue X-Files theme, lol) I think you have to disassociate "blocking words" like "devil", "demons", etc. though if there is any truth to it they definitely sound like they don't care for our humanoid race, unless there are 'initated' ones like the Maenad figures in Bacchus/Dionysian lore.---

Regarding the baby one, that's really sad. Though I think true haunting stories in general are sad.

I don't know anything about ghosts, just theories. But I guess that contrary to the goatman who seems like an organic based being that chooses his habitat, ghosts are human (and maybe other???) spirits who become trapped in an area of space-time for potentially eternity suffering from whatever tension they had at the time of passing.

It almost seems perversely cruel to think we have "Ghost Tours" and treat their condition as a game when the most humane- and truly reasonable- response would be to help them cross over. Particularly a child or infant, what could be more tragic?

Well-phew- fascinating hub. Keep 'em coming.


Robephiles profile image

Robephiles 5 years ago

I think the story is basically the same. There are probably some variety in the story but it usually always involves a baby being thrown off the bridge. A friend of mine, Jennifer Eblin, wrote a book about Haunted Places in our area and I think it is in there. I have never been there myself but I knew a bunch of people who went there in high school.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

Robephiles - Yes, I've heard of them being in the carolinas and elsewhere too. Thanks for commenting, I'd love to hear more about your crybaby bridge!

Robephiles profile image

Robephiles 5 years ago

There is a "crybaby bridge" in my area too. It is one of those common urban legends you hear all across the country. I have heard of there being versions of the story in other places as well. It is kind of like how so many lakes all around the world have their own "monster" story.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

hi, klarawieck! can i say that i adore your profile picture? beautiful! anyway, yes i have seen pan's labyrinth and i never even thought about the connection between the goatman and the creature in the movie! good catch. i kind of want to watch the movie again, just to compare.

cats are a good theory for the crybaby bridge. you are def. right about the sounds they make when they are in heat; however, i have heard a cat in heat and it didn't quite sound like the cry i heard that night...but still a very good theory. thanks for stopping by! :)

klarawieck 5 years ago

I recommend you to see the movie Pan's Labyrinth if you haven't seen it yet.

About the cries... it could be cats? maybe? They tend to sound like babies crying when they are busy doing other things! :)

Great hub!

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Loved these stories kittythedreamer. I can't get enough of creepy myths and paranormal stories. I really enjoyed the videos you added on the hub. So Cool and Creepy. I also really like your writing style and great sense of humor.

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

so am I and I would love to get you started! do you know of any spooky ones in your area or elsewhere?

the pink umbrella profile image

the pink umbrella 5 years ago from the darkened forest deep within me.

Creepy, dont get me started on ledgends and lore, im an addict when it comes to the chilly stuff!

kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 5 years ago from the Ether Author

i don't recommend anyone checking it out...real or just scientific explanation...the area where goatman is said to live and crybaby bridge is a really scary area, during the day and night. we should report it to ghost hunters, just to see what they could find. i believe that evp's have been done on crybaby bridge and got weird results. thanks for stopping by!

CARTER32071 profile image

CARTER32071 5 years ago

Very interesting and creepy story, thanks for sharing. Not sure if I would check it out or not, sounds a little to creepy and I have bad luck, so who know what would happen if i went. You should call Ghost Hunters to check it out. Take care for now, Carter

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    Author Nicole Canfield (kittythedreamer)1,887 Followers
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    Kitty has had paranormal experiences her entire life. These experiences have fueled her passion to write about all things supernatural.

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