DFW Ghost Stories: Does the ‘Goatman’ Haunt Argyle’s Old Alton Bridge?

ARGYLE, TX — For over a hundred years, the Old Alton Bridge served as a main road for Denton County, but even though it’s since been bypassed by new highways, something may still be traveling over it.

Ghostly stories surround this structure and have led to its bizarre nickname: The Goatman’s Bridge.

The legend goes back to 1938. A black man named Oscar Washburn raised goats and was nicknamed “The Goatman.” He was too successful for the local farmers, though.

“A group of men came out here in the dead of night, They parked their car, turned off the lights, put on their hoods and crossed the bridge with a rope,” Shelly Tucker of Ghost of Denton said of the legend. “And they ambushed Oscar Washburn, dragged him to the bridge, with the noose around his neck they threw him over the side of the bridge. They looked over to see their handiwork only to see that the noose dangled above the water, empty.

“Alright now this is going to be enough to make a ghost get angry and come back. If it’s true… but’s not.”

Yeah, the famous legend doesn’t match up with any historical records in the area. The whole story about Oscar Washburn and the KKK is a complete internet-age fabrication!

But here’s the catch:

“That doesn’t mean that this place isn’t haunted,” says Tucker.

Ghostly encounters of all kinds still surround this area, and one man’s story still stands out to Shelly Tucker.

"He said he had come out one night with a friend… now just as this young man stepped on the bridge he heard a deep voice growl at him and say ‘get off the bridge’,” recounted Tucker. “And he turned and ran back several paces, turned around and looked and he saw his friend fly up in the air and land flat on his back. And then as if unseen hands had grabbed his friend’s legs his friend started getting dragged backwards. And the his friend flipped over and went through these railings into the water below. The takeaway from this story is if you hear a voice say get off the bridge, do just that.”

So surrounded in myth and mystery, the Goatman’s bridge holds over a century’s worth of secrets… that we may never truly uncover.