By: Hannah Katshir (Horror alum, Fall 2014)
The story of Goatman was one that I stumbled upon out of the blue on day, and something that I didn’t forget very soon after because of the unsettling feeling it leaves with the reader–making it a perfect addition to this class.
Anansi’s Goatman Story was originally posted on 4chan, a popular internet sharing site, but was eventually taken down–however, not before it was relocated onto the Creepypasta Wiki. It is told from the perspective of a 16 year old black male form Chicago, who is visiting his cousins in Alabama and going out on his first camping trip. He narrates the story as if it’s a few years down the line and he is speaking directly to the reader.
Most of the characters in the story are not very familiar with each other in the beginning, which helps to make the story even more frightening. This story was especially frightening to me because Goatman is such an enigma. He can shape shift, so no one can be sure of what he looks like, he comes with a hideous smell–with no explanation given–and above all, he has many opportunities to harm the campers, but never does. The scariest part of this is how realistic it becomes. The tone with which the narrator talks, and the way the story ends leave it up to interpretation, and make it seem as though it actually could have happened. Goatman always escapes, and he inserts himself into their group without anyone noticing time and time again. He seems like he is just lurking around and waiting for something bigger to happen. That constant threat of something bigger is always one that makes me shake.
I recommended this story not only because of how benignly scary I found it to be, but because of the dynamic between the black narrator and the white characters in the story. It is a great story to link the ever-present, mysterious, stalking terrors to real life horror. This story is brought to life through the narration, unfamiliarity of the characters, and the total mystery surround what the Goatman really is…or if this is the Goatman at all. Campers be warned, you may want to stay out of the woods for a while.