Goat Man of White Rock Lake

In northeast Dallas, Texas is the beautiful, suburban White Rock Lake. The north part of the lake is a state park and in the southern part are expansive waterfront estates. Surrounded by a 9 mile jogging trail and bike path, the park is an idyllic urban oasis visited by thousands of people every day. Fishing, jogging, biking, families having picnics, sailors piloting their sailboats, lovers stealing kisses under a shady oak tree, boys and young men playing football and small children feeding the ducks present a picturesque, idyllic, Norman Rockwell slice of Americana.


Creepy, haunted Cox Cemetery by
White Rock Lake.
All, however, may not be as it seems, for White Rock Lake has its dark stories. There is the creepy cemetery dating from the mid-1800's which is rumored to be haunted. There are the deaths by drowning in the lake with some of the bodies having never been found. At least one person has committed suicide at the lake by hanging himself from a limb of a large tree by the water's edge. The drowning in a boating accident in 1927 of beautiful 19-year-old Hallie Gaston led to the story of the Lady of the Lake. In 1934, a small plane crashed into the lake, killing every passenger. In 1941, 27-year-old John Howard, a world record holder for underwater swimming inexplicably drowned in the lake. Is it any wonder there have been numerous reportings of strange goings on in the area?

Runners talk of strange "cold spots" frequently encountered near the area where J.C. Hacker drowned in 1938. He was one of the victims whose body has never been recovered. Even in the hot Dallas summer months, there is one particular spot that always feels coolish. Perhaps though, the strangest story of them all is of the Goat Man of White Rock Lake.

In the 1960's, I was busy growing up in Garland, a town "just down the road a piece" from the lake. I went to a church located 2 miles from the lake. I heard all of the ghost stories and I heard about the Goat Man. My teenage friends and I spent many Friday and Saturday nights slowly cruising around the lake. A couple of times I somehow even convinced a girl to spend some time with me parked in a dark corner of the park steaming up the car windows. I never saw the Lady of the Lake and I never saw the Goat Man, but a couple of times I did see and have a nice conversation with Officer Daley of the Dallas Police Department. He told me to button up my shirt, get my butt out of the park and take the girl home. My side of the conversation consisted of, "Yes sir." I may never have had an encounter of the supernatural kind at White Rock, but to this day, the stories persist with a few more people over the years giving eye-witness accounts of encounters with the Goat Man.

The last reported sighting of Goat Man
was on this spooky road.
According to these accounts, the poor creature is half-man, half-goat. He is about 7 feet tall when standing and is covered from head to hoof in coarse, brown hair. He has 2 horn-like protrusions coming out of his head, his feet are hoofs like a goat and he has the body and face of a man. It's skin has a jaundiced appearance and he has long, gnarled fingers with grotesque fingernails.

Most often he is seen early in the morning when he comes running out of the woods toward an individual jogger or biker. He sometimes throws trash or even muddy tires at the person. With a fierce look on his face (some have reported his eyes to be red), he turns and seems to vanish into thin air. He doesn't seem to have ever physically hurt anyone, but the fright he gives has made more than one person swear off White Rock Lake forever.