The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Goatman is largely considered to be an urban legend by nearly everyone except those who’ve actually encountered the creature, largely because he’s usually alleged to live near Lovers’ Lanes all around America. Folklorists are generally of the opinion that the Goatman is merely a “Lovers’ Lane Legend” such as Hook Man. You know the story: two lovers are going at it when they hear an announcement over the radio that a lunatic with a hook for a hand has escaped the local hospital.

All such Lovers’ Lane legends are believe to have been inspired by a very real serial killer known only as The Phantom. The Phantom went on a sexual killing spree in 1940s Texarakana, almost always preying on couples in parked cars. The Phantom was never apprehended. In 1976 Texas director Charles B. Pierce released a film called The Town That Dreaded Sundown. While most of the film is largely fiction, certain portions of the film are true. Do you think this killer really did conjure up Goatman in the imaginations of Americans?

By the way monster buffs, if the name Charles B. Pierce sounds familiar, its because he was involved in The Legend of Boggy Creek, the classic documentary about a Bigfoot-like creature that roamed Arkansas during the 1970s.

Finalized Goatman Cover

Greetings everyone! It seems that Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? is nearly complete. I just got the finalized exterior files in my email. Below is the front cover. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? book cover
Finalized Goatman front cover.

I have to say this cover looks better than I could have ever imagined. The goat-man on this cover is, in my humble opinion, not only the creepiest Goatman ever rendered, but the most adorable. There’s something innocent and inquisitive behind those black, dark pools he has for eyes. Only the amazing Eau Claire artist Amber Michelle Russell could have achieved such a feat! I want to cuddle the guy, but I know he’ll just murder me and leave me stuffed in a hollow tree somewhere for my trouble.

The logo and exterior design (you know, all the heavy lifting) is by Mental Shed Studios, who designed my previous book, Washington County Paranormal. Mental Shed specializes in horror-oriented design work. They also operate a few swell websites like, and

I know you’ll all be pleased with the visuals of this book once you get a copy in your hands! It looks so good that my only concern at this point is, will my humble words do the exterior justice?

Baraboo’s Mysterious Man Mound

Around 500 B.C., effigy mounds of various shapes and sizes began to dot the landscape of Wisconsin and several surrounding Midwestern states. The people who built these mounds remain mysterious.

Known only as the Mound Builders, it’s now largely accepted that they are the ancestors of present day Native American tribes such as the Potawatomi or Winnebago, but long ago this wasn’t the case. Since the native population had forgotten both the purpose of the mounds as well as the identity of their architects by the time European settlers arrived, early European Americans began to theorize that a Lost Race was been responsible. Dubious theories regarding these people’s identities ranged from the lost tribe of Israel to refugees from Atlantis.

While it is exceedingly unlikely that Atlanteans or Israelis built these mounds, they are wondrous. Many mounds are simple linear and conical shapes, while others resemble birds, turtles, or large cats. Some of the mounds were used for burial, while others severed a purpose that is yet unclear. The most intriguing of all these earthworks are known as “the man mounds,” the majority of which were located in southwestern Wisconsin, in what is modern-day Richland, Dane, and Sauk Counties. Five out of seven of these huge mounds resembled men with huge horns protruding from their head.

Nearly all of these amazing manlike earthworks have been destroyed, with the most notable exception being a particularly huge formation in Man Mound County Park in Sauk County. Before its lower legs were destroyed by road construction at the dawn of the twentieth century, it was 218 feet in length.

Man Mound
Arial view of Man Mound County Park. Photo courtesy of

It’s generally accepted that these works could represent effigies of shamans, who in more modern times often wore bison headdresses, or a Winnebago hero-god named Red Horn who was sent to earth to battle giants and evil spirits. All are highly plausible theories, but since we neither know if the Mound Builders wore bison headdresses or if they knew the tale of Red Horn, the man mounds remain a fascinating mystery.For more information on the history of Man Mound County Park visit

Me, I’ve done nothing but research satyrs, goat-men, and Sheepsquatch for the last two years. To my eyes, the long fellow at Man Mound looks a LOT like Goatman.

Artwork by winddragon24. Click this image for more great artwork.
Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?

Goatman: Flesh or Folklore?
New Book Available October 2014!

Big News! I’m hard at work writing my second book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? ! The book will delve into legends and sightings of this bizarre Satyr-like beast from all across the United States! The Goatman has many names: Lake Worth Monster, Pope Lick Monster, Sheepman, Sheepsquatch, Old Foamy, and of course, some just call him the Devil! The book hopes to provide a state-to-state history of Goatman, while trying to determine the animal/legend’s origins along the way! The Goatman’s presence in pop culture will also be examined!

I’ve put up a bare-bones page about the book on my website. Right now the page is just a graphic with links to various social networking sites, but the page will evolve along with the project. You can keep up-to-date with the project via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, and a new Mailchimp e-mail list specifically for the new book!

Please spread the word about the project! My first book Washington County Paranormal was successful because of amazing readers like you telling your friends! The book will be available to purchase by October, 2014!

Amber Michelle Russel
Amber Michelle Russel

Amber Michelle Russel to Paint Cover!

Eau Claire, Wisconsin Artist Amber Michelle Russel has agreed to design and paint the cover to the book. Amber, besides being an absolutely gorgeous and amazing person, is also a self-taught, prolific artist. Amber’s work has been featured in galleries across the country and one of her paintings was recently used on the cover of the Thomas M. Malafarina edited book “Undead Living.” Hopefully my content can measure up to her artwork! Visit Amber’s website to sample her amazing art (FYI, she does custom work).