Over the past few decades, an urban legend has circulated in Louisville, Kentucky about a hideous goat-headed humanoid known as The Pope Lick Monster, whose unusual name is taken from Pope Lick Creek in the neighborhood of Fisherville, the site of a huge railroad trestle on which the creature is said to dwell.
Still from "The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster" (1988)
Most accounts of the monster describe it as a nightmarish cross between man and goat (or sheep), with pale skin, ram's horns and thick, matted hair. But from there, the stories start to diverge – especially when it comes to the creature's method of attacking intruders. Some say it leaps from the trestle to pounce on people below; others claim it uses vampire-like hypnosis to lure victims onto the tracks; some tales even suggest it takes down its prey with a handy axe.
As with most urban myths, the monster's backstory changes depending on who's spinning the tale: origin stories describe it as a runaway circus freak, the product of a human-goat union, or even the result of a Satanic conjuration.
As you might imagine, the legends have drawn a fair share of monster hunters to the region, despite the real-life dangers involved. As it turns out, multiple deaths have actually taken place in the area around Pope Lick Creek; none were explicitly linked to the creature, but mainly involved thrill-seekers killed by oncoming trains after climbing onto the tracks.
While the beast has been the subject of many paranormal investigations in the area, a short film by director Ron Schildknecht titled The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster has garnered the most media attention, especially from authorities who are concerned that viewers might try to imitate the film's young protagonist, who at one point hangs precariously from the trestle while a train passes. Safety officials warn that trying this in real life could almost certainly result in severe injury or death.
Here's a short scene from Schildknecht's film: