In my latest book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? I make note of a peculiar link between American Goatman legends, and the Hookman urban legend. In most areas where high school students tell stories of the legendary half-man, half-goat creature, a different clique of students will often claim the area is haunted by a crazed killer with a hook for a hand! This own link is apparent right here in Washington County, Wisconsin, where I first began my Goatman research. Some 1970s high schoolers say Goatman lived in a particular dilapidated house on Hogsback Road, while others said that was were the Hookman hung his hat.
While Goatman legends are an odd blend of urban legends and actual eyewitness sightings, Hookman is firmly established as a perennial Lover’s Lane urban legend. Where kids park to make out, you’ll hear stories of a crazy hook-handed killer lurking just beyond the treeline. I’d never heard from anyone who’d actually encountered Hookman, that is of course, until this past October when I received the following message from a reader here in Washington County, Wisconsin.
Back in the early 1980s we had an urban legend [on Hogsback Road] called the Hookman. Now deceased, his small cottage was at the end of a narrow gravel driveway thickly lined with trees on both sides. My friends and I were pretty freewheeling back then and loved to drive about with beer in the car. One night our friend Mark wanted to show off his new Buick so we bought a couple of six packs and the six of us decided to park the car by Hookman’s old cottage.
It was a blustery night with a full moon. Each time the wind would blow we’d lose the moonlight. We could hear the wind whistling through the trees even with window up. We were laughing and talking about nothing in particular when I heard a loud “screeee” noise scraping against the left rear window that I was sitting next to. In the light I could see a distinct 4 inch gouge in the window that was clearly visible in the moonlight. We all just totally freaked! Mark almost had an accident as his wheels spun in the gravel getting out of the place. A really strange thing about that gouge? It seemed to gradually fade out of the window the same way a scratch heals itself on someone’s arm. That was over 30 years ago and I believe it still affects me to this day.
An impressive, unsettling story! Has anyone else had an experience similar to this?