I don’t know where else to share my story, so I’ve just come to the first website that pops up when you search “Goatman”. I don't really care where I post it; the only thing that matters is that it is posted. My name is Richard, but if you don't mind me doing so I'd prefer to skip the pleasantries and proceed with my story.
I first came to know the tale of this frightful creature around a year ago during a School expedition that took us hiking through some desolate forests somewhere in rural England. The trip was actually completely normal and nothing disturbing happened whatsoever, but as we sat down at the campfire one night, one of the students, whose name I didn’t know, suggested that we tell some scary stories around the campfire. As cliché as it sounded, we all agreed and decided to take it in turns. The student who came up with the idea stated that they would go first, as they had a pretty good story saved up for a moment such as this. They told the tale of a humanoid creature that, for the most part, possessed the body of a human, but that it had the head and legs of a Goat. Naturally, it was labelled as the Goatman, and the student went on to speak of the creature and its endeavours into the awful.
This story is the only one I remember from that night, with the rest of the stories all being based around the same generic plot concerning a bloodthirsty creature who was on the hunt for human flesh. Easily forgettable, to say the least. What scared me about the story of the Goatman and successfully imprinted it into my memory was that it supposedly didn’t kill people, or rather it didn’t kill them straight away. The Goatman could shapeshift into any creature; be that a person or an animal. It didn’t even need something ritualistic such as a drop of their blood, it could just transform at will. I vividly remember the student ending his tale by reminding us once more that the Goatman preferred to mentally exhaust its prey before ending their lives in a variety of unimaginably gruesome ways. Although it would very rarely show itself in its true form, the student said, victims would typically see it take dozens of appearances throughout very short time periods.
This tale was slowly but surely pushed to the back of my mind over the next couple months, with me sitting important exams and entering a transition period where many students would leave my school in order to pursue their studies elsewhere, being replaced by a more optimistic bunch who were so happy throughout their first few days at the school that it made the rest of us uncomfortable. You can relax though; they weren't brain-eating aliens sent from another planet to destroy the human race and their blissful mood soon vanished, being replaced with a harsher, more realistic one that suited the repetitive nature of school life. During this transitionary period a number of people I knew left the school, with some of my close friends throwing goodbye parties whilst other people, such as the student who first introduced me to the tale of the Goatman, practically vanishing.
The story of the Goatman was forcefully reintroduced to me today during a trip I made to the National Art Gallery with a small group consisting of my two closest friends. We made our way through the various sections of the gallery over the course of a couple hours, but weird and seemingly unexplainable things would occasionally happen to the group of us. The most alarming of these things was most certainly when I witnessed firsthand my friend James exiting the room containing Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" through a door located on the right side of the room before reappearing through the door on the opposite side of the room moments later. This feat was clearly impossible due to the way the building was laid out, but when the remaining two of us started walking towards James and questioning how he'd just done that, he quickly backed out of the door without uttering a word. We concluded this was a practical joke, but before we could exit the room after James, he shouted to us from the right-hand-side of the room that he had initially exited out of. He yelled, "You guys coming or not?" and was seemingly clueless when we caught up to him and questioned him about the events that had just transpired. I was somewhat shaken by this initially, but refused to accept that it could've been anything but a practical joke.
Whilst this was the only largely creepy thing that occurred within the gallery, with the only other noticeable occurrences being a few people smiling at us in creepy ways and one woman who supposedly walked up to my friend Charlotte and began talking to her in a language Charlotte could only describe as "cryptic," things only got worse once we decided to depart. As we drove back to our town, I stared out of the window and dozed off, suddenly awaking out of nowhere as the car stood stationary at some traffic lights. Rubbing my eyes, I gazed out of the window once again, but was jolted awake when I saw the kid who had first told me the story of the Goatman all those months ago staring at me from the other side of the road. He had an eerie grin on his face, but in true horror-movie fashion I did the stupidest thing imaginable and opened the car door before running up to him smiling back, fully prepared to catch up with him and ask where he'd been. I hadn't thought about the Goatman so far that day up until I saw the boy from the hiking trip standing there, and looking back on it I'm pretty sure that the Goatman knew this too. He wasn't willing to let me forget.
Just before I made it to the other side of the road, a car came speeding out of nowhere and passed right in front of me, missing me by mere inches. I flinched and impulsively clenched my eyes shut, only opening them when I sensed the danger had passed. I almost jumped out of my skin when I focused on where the boy whose name I didn't know had been standing only to come face-to-face with an elderly man, who, despite his drastically changed features, wore the same creepy smile on his face.
I turned and sprinted back to the car, where my three friends had observed the entire event from. I knew I couldn't have been hallucinating when I saw the looks of abject terror etched across their faces. I jumped in, closed the door behind me and James slammed his foot down on the gas. The four of us sat in silence, with the only conservation we had occurring when James attempted to pull into his driveway before Charlotte shouted at him to turn the car around and head towards the nearest police station. He began to question her, but she cut him off and the desperation in her voice told us that something was very wrong.
James kept his eyes on the road as he drove towards the station, and Charlotte looked out the window as she sat next to him, occasionally catching my gaze as she glanced back in my direction, a look of unwavering concern overshadowing her usually calm demeanor. We eventually reached the police station and I got out the car. We reached the door to the station before Charlotte grabbed me and twisted me around, forcing me to look back at the car. I caught a glimpse of a figure dragging its leg behind it as it shuffled off in the other direction, features indistinguishable in the cover of the night. "What?" I asked her as I observed the figure, somewhat rationally assuming it was someone departing from the police station after having been interviewed regarding an injury to their leg. "Richard!" she whispered to me, voice evidently close to giving out and with tears in her eyes. "That thing... It was in the car with us, did you somehow not notice it? There were 3 of us in that car when we arrived at and began to leave the gallery, but a while after you got back in, I caught sight of it... It was sitting next to you in the back... I was watching it from the wing mirror of the car and it just sat there, smiling at you for the entire journey with this horrible, indescribable smile..." Her voice trailed off as she finished her sentence, and I was left more terrified than I'd ever been and ever will be in my life. There was no way I couldn't go an entire hour-long car journey without noticing somebody sitting next to me, it was impossible and I knew it. Yet it had happened. My feet gave out from the sheer panic I was experiencing and I collapsed to the floor with an audible thud. Now, my eyes were filling up with tears too, but I swear I saw the silhouette in the distance turn around to look at me one final time before shuffling off into the night.
The police heard us out, but took no action as all we really had to talk about was a couple people smiling at us creepily and an account of somebody slipping into our car, having been noticed by the person who sat in the passenger seat in front of it yet somehow evading the sight of James and myself, despite supposedly staring at me for the entire journey. I explained to them the story of my hiking trip and of the Goatman, but it was met with raised eyebrows despite my pleading and protesting. By this point, I would have started questioning my own sanity had I not been sitting next to two others who had shared this horrific experience with me. Eventually, the Police said they'd come and visit each of our houses the following morning for more information after we'd had a sleep, and that we should call them if anything else out of the ordinary happened. They escorted each of us home and we decided to reconvene the following day at James' house in order to try and piece together what had happened over the course of the day. I was the last to be dropped off, and the Policeman who was driving the squad car told me that they'd keep a unit on standby throughout the night, and that it would be dispatched to my address immediately should I dial the emergency services. He flashed me a smile as he rolled up the window of his car and I froze momentarily before shrugging it off. I was able to muster a faint laugh as I looked at my predicament, with me now being so paranoid that I was coming within inches of a heart-attack whenever somebody did so much as smile in my direction. However, my fears were very much reasonable, and maybe, just maybe, I was correct to have been scared by his smile. I dared not look back as I made the long walk up my driveway and into my house, being sure to lock and bolt the door behind me before searching the entire house for any open windows. Every window in the house was closed, but that didn't stop me from locking them too.
I tried sleeping in my room with the lights on, but I found that my mind refused to rest and instead desired to wander. I came up with endless explanations, but there was one so terrifying that I was forced to get out of my bed and roam around the house, keeping any suspicious movement going on outside. Perhaps it should have been obvious to me earlier, but I'd had so much going through my head that I'd only just come to the realisation that I'd never seen the boy who told me about the Goatman and appeared to me on the side of the road anywhere apart from on that hiking trip. Desperate to be proven incorrect, I grabbed my yearbook and began frantically tearing out the pages. Minutes later I was a sobbing mess, having gone through the entire yearbook, but not found a single person resembling him. Now, it was clear to me. The Goatman himself was the one who had told me the tale of the Goatman, and the boy he was capable of shapeshifting into must have been a past victim or something along those lines, seeing as I'd never seen him in my life before or after the night where he first told us the tale. At least, that was the case up until today.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at the table in my living room. I have all the doors locked and windows bolted, with a piece of furniture propped up against each one to prevent anyone, or anything, from entering. I also have the radio on loud to drown out all of the sounds emanating from upstairs, those being the occasional creaking of the floorboards and other noises which I cannot identify. To be fair, I do live in a very old house, so perhaps those sounds are rationalizable. I have my mobile next to me, just one tap away from calling the police.
It’s 8 PM, that means my parents should get home from their evening out in around 2 hours. I’ll just sit tight until then, staring out of the window into my garden. Thankfully, nothing can get to my house without walking up the drive and passing through the well-lit front garden first, so I’ll be able to call the police immediately if anything or anyone who I don't recognise starts approaching. My dog is lying flat on the floor a couple metres from me, staring up at me with a vacant expression. I think it can sense my fear. Nothing can get into the house without making an awful amount of noise, I know that now. I will have time to flee and call the police on my mobile before anything bad happens to me.
You see, there's just one problem that I blatantly ignored during my overanalysis of the situation. My parents took our dog with them on their trip.
Whatever is currently lying mere metres away from me on the kitchen floor knows it cannot possibly be my dog, and as it begins to convulse I fear it's realised that I've just come to the same conclusion.