In April 2016, an incoming train hits and kills an Ohio woman searching for the fabled Kentucky Goat Man on the Pope Lick trestle bridge in Louisville, KY.
David Knee (41) and his girlfriend Roquel Bain (26) originally traveled to Louisville to visit the haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Bain caught news of the Pope Lick Goat legend and decided to check out the bridge shortly before their asylum tour. Even though the bridge was on private property, the couple moved forward for exploration until danger approached.
“I didn’t think I would die,” Knee tells the Courier-Journal. “ I thought I was going to get out of the way. And I was hoping she was going to be OK.”
To avoid the incoming train and falling 80ft off from the bridge, quick-thinking Knee held on to the edge of the train rails as the train passed. Bain was about to do the same until it was too late.
“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her body flying.”
The train hit Bain, knocking her off the bridge. Knee wasn’t the same after witnessing his girlfriend’s death.
Bain wasn’t the only Pope Lick bridge victim. Recently in 2019, 15-year-old Savanna Bright was killed in a train accident on the bridge. Her friend, Kaylee, survived from her injuries. Way back in 1988, a Spalding University student was killed on the bridge.
Is this bridge cursed or the deaths only part of a series of unfortunate events? Who the heck is the Pope Lick Monster anyway?
The Pope Lick Monster
Some say the half-man, half-goat beast is a runaway carnival attraction from Canada. Others say he is a demon summoned by a farmer who sacrificed his goats to the Devil. Whatever this creature is, it’s something you wouldn’t want to see on an old train track in the middle of the night.
The Goat Man wields an ax and can mimic people’s voices. You’d think you’re hearing a crying infant on the bridge only to discover it’s the Goat Man leading you to your death. It is also said he hypnotizes people so they’ll be struck by trains. Any survivors would meet the monster’s ax.
Movie director Ron Schildknecht brought the Goat Man to life in his movie The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster (1988).
The film angered locals, believing it would only encourage more people to visit the bridge where the monster haunted.
You can look at the Pope Lick bridge from afar, drive underneath it, and take pictures. That’s all good and dandy!
Ignoring the warning signs and walking on an active train bridge is not so cool. Fire chief Sean Driesbach warns the public:
“A train comes with little to no warning, you have nowhere to go once you are on the trestle other than to outrun the train. And when you see or hear that train, it’s too late.”
Respect the “no trespassing” signs. Don’t even tempt to trek the bridge, especially at night. The Pope Lick monster doesn’t have to show up. Curiosity alone brings legend-trippers to their end.
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