Most residents of Denton are familiar with the tale of Goatman’s Bridge. But if you aren’t, legend says a group of Klansmen murdered a beloved black goat farmer on Old Alton Bridge in 1938. The black goat farmer was endearingly called Goatman by residents of Denton. The Klansmen crossed the bridge with their headlights off and lynched the Goatman off the side of the bridge. Eventually, the Klansmen decided to go back and kill the Goatman’s family.
Legend has it that the Goatman’s spirit lingers in the woods surrounding the bridge and those who turn off their headlights while crossing the bridge will see the Goatman on the other side. I put this test to theory myself and attempted the urban legend with a friend of mine on a Friday night. Besides a chill going through our bodies at the possibility of seeing the Goatman on the other side of the bridge, we ultimately saw nothing. However, you can go at your own risk. Maybe you’ll find the Goatman on the other side.
Sitting across the UNT Music Building, Bruce Hall is the oldest residence hall on campus. Residents of Bruce Hall claim that there is the ghost of a woman named Wanda who haunts the pool hall. There are two different stories of how Wanda met her demise in the attic, located on the fourth floor. She either died after an abortion went terribly wrong or was accidentally locked in the attic after a failed suicide attempt.
After going to Bruce Hall myself, I could see why people believe Bruce Hall is haunted. I swear I felt cold spots in the practice rooms or it was a figment of my imagination. The atmosphere feels tense. It doesn’t surprise me to hear that Bruce Hall has hosted haunted houses at the end of October in the past.
This is located on 800 North Loop 288. Supposedly, there are secret underground tunnels that are around six feet deep. Some residents believe that the FEMA Denton location breeds and mutates animals. According to research, the truth is a lot more anti-climactic. The Denton FEMA location was actually a Civil Defense location at some point called the Federal Center. This place serves to be a hub of conspiracy theories rather than it being a reportedly haunted location but it felt right being included on this list as no one knows what goes on behind the scenes, adding to the creep factor.
Located on the Square, the Campus Theater is known to inhabit the spirit of a former manager named J.P. Harrison. Ghostly footsteps are heard around the halls of the theater by performers and patrons. Sometimes lights are flickered during rehearsals and objects are moved around. In his life, Harrison was known for being a mischievous man. He went out of his way to prank employees and that spirit seems to not have left him even in death. Interestingly enough, it’s considered back luck to production not to be visited by Harrison’s ghost.
Denton County Courthouse
Built in 1896, the courthouse on the square is said to be haunted as there have been several murders inside. The basement of the courthouse used to serve as holding cells for prisoners. Residents have also claimed to have seen a shadow figure moving around in the highest windows of the building or peering down at the square. With a long history and having housed violent criminals, it’s safe to assume the possibility of a haunting at the Denton County Courthouse is pretty high.
Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon