"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

via Newspapers.com


There have been numerous reports of animal ghosts of various types, but this is the first time I can recall goats getting in on the fun. The Davenport, Iowa "Daily Times," May 12, 1896, carrying a reprint from the New Albany (Mississippi) "Gazette":
Three miles west of New Albany the Rocky ford road crosses a creek which was originally named Big creek, but was more appropriately named Hell creek by persons who have been compelled to cross the adjacent bottom in recent years. Just beyond this is another run called Mud creek, which stream is grown up with thick and heavy underbrush, and on cloudy nights the blackness that surrounds the traveler could be sliced into chunks and sold for ink. The bottom or lowland adjacent to the stream is of unusual width for one so small, and at the best is exceedingly uninviting.

Some years ago a gentleman passing through the bottom at night was almost thrown by his horse shying to one side, and when he looked ahead was confronted by a monster goat of white color rearing upon his hind feet as if to annihilate the animal and rider. One look was sufficient, and, making a sudden turn, he galloped out of the bottom at the risk of his life, swearing that he would drink no more New Albany blind tiger liquor. Not. wishing to put himself up as a target for the jeers of a suspicious public, he held his counsel and heard or saw nothing more of the weird apparition for some time.

About a year later his goatship was again on the warpath and confronted a gentleman of known sobriety, who, not daunted, urged his animal forward despite the warlike attitude of the ghostly visitor. The goat kept in the middle of the road, and when the small bridge was reached disappeared as mysteriously as he had appeared.

The gentleman related his experience, which became noised abroad and gave courage to the man who had first sighted the vapory animal to relate his experience, and the two coincided so well that the people began to give them credit for having seen something to disturb their piece of mind. The story was given enough credence to cause an uneasy feeling to enter the mind of the traveler who crossed the bottom at night, and cause a chill to ramble up and down his spinal column as he passed the spot where the ghost had been seen.

Last year Mr.___, who is not a believer in things uncanny at all, and has a supreme contempt for a man who has seen spooks, had been beyond the creek harvesting hay, and was detained until after nightfall on his return home. The night was intensely dark and a slight rain was falling. As he drove through the impenetrable gloom, trusting to the instinct of the mules that drew the rake which he was astride to find the road, the misty and uncertain form of the giant goat suddenly appeared in the road ahead of him. The mules reared and plunged, very nearly upsetting the rake. Leaping to the ground he grasped the bits and was gratified to see the phantom recede as the team moved forward. The mules, trembling in every nerve, carried him along, and when the bridge was reached he disappeared as on former occasions, much to the relief of the gentleman who did not believe in spirits or unnatural apparitions.

Since that time a number of thoroughly reliable witnesses have been placed in positions to vouch for the truthfulness of the existence of the phantom goat. Persons who travel that road to and from town make their arrangements to pass that spot before nightfall, and very few have the temerity to invade the territory of his goatship after darkness has fallen.
An unsettling thing to see during your travels, to be sure. However, from what I know of goats, they're much safer in spirit form than in the flesh any day.

2 comments:

  1. Firstly, I should like to comment on the thorough lack of imagination to be found among the residents of the district of 'Big Creek' and 'Mud Creek'. I guess 'Water Creek' was taken.

    Secondly, I should point out that goats and bridges have an association in folklore. I wonder if the goat's name was 'Gruff'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was disappointed they had omitted "Wet Creek."

      Delete

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