Legend of the Pope Lick Monster

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a legend that's haunted Louisville for decades. A human-goat hybrid is said to lurk near the trestle over Pope Lick Creek. 

"There's a lot of innate curiosity about the legend that's continued to this day for some reason," said filmmaker Ron Schildknecht.

It's an urban legend passed down several generations. Some accounts say goatman was in a circus freak show, and constantly ridiculed. One day the circus train crashed near the trestle, and the goatman escaped full of vengeance.

"The legend is when you're running across the trestle goatman will reach up and grab your legs and hold you down until the train comes by and that's the way he gets his revenge," said a Jeffersontown resident.

He tempted the Pope Lick Monster when he ran across the 100 foot high railroad trestle at 16-years-old.

"I just thought I could out run him, it was a little after dark and I waited forever and ever to make sure there wasn't going to be a train coming," he said.

He is one of the lucky ones who made it to the other side. But several people have tested their fate on the tracks. There have been numerous deaths and many more accidents.

Schildknecht says, "When you're a 15 or 16-years-old with a great imagination you picture all kinds of things going on out here."

Schildknecht directed a low budget short film featuring the Goatman in 1988.

"During those two years there were actually two incidents where two kids died from the trestle so when the film came out naturally the railroad was very interested in the film," he said.

The film brought the urban legend alive, and called a lot of attention to the trestle.

Locals say, "If you succeed you're just a living idiot, you dont prove any points."

We want to emphasis the danger of the trestle, the railroad is still in use. Norfolk Southern Railway urges people to stay off the trestle. It is private property and it is illegal to access the trestle and those who are caught will be arrested.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.