By: Nick Beaupre and Teddy Beamer
SILVER SPRING, Md.– Urban legends and rumors are a fundamental part of growing up. As kids from the area, we heard a lot about these from the lunch table. Now, being old enough to understand the reality behind most of the myths we heard about growing up in Maryland, we want to uncover the truth behind some of the most famous Maryland Urban Legends.
We’re Nick and Teddy, and this is the first of many investigations into the paranormal in Maryland.
In the 1980s, strange things started happening on the edge of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. A series of bizarre and grisly murders in the woods by St. Mark the Evangelist School and at the Crybaby Bridge in the woods on the grounds of the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Services kicked off a local media frenzy. It is widely believed that these killings were carried out by a creature with the body of a man but the head and animalistic instincts of a wild goat.
Legend has it that this creature was the product of a science experiment involving live animals and human DNA gone wrong at the Agricultural Research Foundation, where one of the murders took place. Many believe that the former identity of the Goatman is William Lottsford, a laboratory assistant who mysteriously went missing.
To test the validity of these claims, we decided to take a trip to this bridge on the USDA grounds. On the evening of Memorial Day, we set out to find the haunted bridge and, most importantly, the legendary Goatman of Hyattsville.
The one problem with this is that, as it turns out, there are many crybaby bridges in Maryland, where mothers supposedly drowned their children about a hundred years ago. This lead to lots of confusion in trying to find the right bridge. We found very little information regarding the right bridge or how to get there.
Undaunted, we eventually found ourselves at the gates of the Agricultural Center, surrounded by fields of crop on a hilly fog-shrouded landscape.
Soon after entering, we were approached by a security guard who gave us directions to reach the famous bridge. He pointed us directly into the forest– the same forest where some of the first murders took place. The sun setting quickly, we sped through the winding road trying to reach the bridge before night fell upon us.
We stood, looking over the bridge, listening for any sound of a murderous creature prowling in the woods.
But only the sounds of the running water and crickets chirping in the cool spring air could be heard. So far out nobody could hear our screams.
On our way out, we stopped at one of the research buildings situated at the top of a hill, hoping to gaze over the acres of rolling farmland that comprise the USDA’s testing grounds in search of clues. Goat prints, maybe. Or scattered remains of the monster’s victims.
At the very least, a good Instagram picture.
However, we’d barely made it out of our car when a large white truck pulled up. A man was leaning out of the window, a security guard dressed in black.
He beckoned us closer, then told us to get off the property. We would be prosecuted for trespassing if we stayed there any longer.
We tried to explain that we were simply enjoying the view, but the man insisted that we quit our “snooping around.”
What could he be trying to hide? Or what was he being paid to hide?
Though we saw no evidence of the existence of this mythical beast, there was a strange and mysterious feeling in the air.
Our final diagnosis is that the legendary Goatman is just that; legend.
However, just because we did not find him ourselves doesn’t mean that he isn’t still out there, lurking behind the trees, waiting to strike again. We think that, unfortunately, this mystery may remain unsolved for the rest of time.