By: Sarah McCosham …..
The Bluegrass State is big on history, with plenty of local lore and legends mixed in for good measure, too. One of the most infamous and chilling legends in Kentucky that’s been passed down in hushed whispers around campfires is that of the Pope Lick Monster. The Pope Lick Monster — or “Goat Man,” as he’s colloquially referred — is a beast that’s part man, part goat, and part sheep. He’s reported to live beneath a railroad trestle bridge over Kentucky’s Pope Lick Creek, a location that’s seen more than its fair share of tragedy and sorrow throughout the years.
Lore and legends abound in the Bluegrass State, with none quite as chilling as the legend of the Pope Lick Monster, a story that’s inextricably linked to its surroundings.
Just outside of Louisville, in eastern Jefferson County, the Norfolk Southern Railroad runs right through the Parklands of Floyds Fork — and it’s within this particular stretch of trestle that the Pope Lick Monster is said to reside. Part man, part goat, and part sheep, rumors of a hideous beast roaming around the Pope Lick Trestle have been swirling for quite some time.
The most well-known version of the story is that a goat-man hybrid who lives on top of the trestle, using hypnosis or voice mimicry to lure victims to the top. Some people say a train then comes and strikes the victim, while others suggest that the sight of the monster is so disturbing that they are driven to jump off the 100-foot trestle… to their deaths.
There is a misconception that the Pope Lick Trestle is abandoned and no longer in use; however, in reality, the bridge carries a major rail artery into Louisville. Heavy freight trains cross the bridge several times daily, making it all too easy for someone to get caught atop it while an oncoming train barrels down on them — a tragedy that’s sadly happened before. In fact, the Norfolk Southern Railway has urged citizens not to climb the trestle; threatening arrest for intrepid trespassers.
A street runs underneath the bridge, too, and another version of this story has the monster pouncing on passing cars. The Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky is one of the best-known legends in the state, and also one of the most dangerous.
While it’s fascinating to talk about, we absolutely do not recommend putting yourself in danger to see for yourself if this legend is true.
If you’re curious to learn more, check out this drone video by YouTube user MosierWorks: