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According to urban legend, the Goatman is an axe-wielding half-animal, half-man creature that was once a scientist who worked in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The tale holds that he was experimenting on goats, the experiment went awry, and he began attacking cars with an axe, roaming the back roads of Beltsville, Maryland. A variation of the legend tells of Goatman as an old hermit who lives in the woods, seen walking alone at night along Fletchertown Road.
The story seems to originate with an alleged sighting in 1957. The Goatman is also said to have murdered a number of hikers in 1962.
One version has it that the Goatman was the result of a (very early) DNA experiment conducted by a scientist called Stephen Fletcher, though other versions suggest a more supernatural origin involving the Devil.
Folklorist at the University of Maryland Barry Lee Pearson said modern examples of folk legends like Goatman are most commonly generated by teenagers, and the stories end up stirring interest in sites like Fletchertown Road.
The Maryland goatman has many similarities to the goatman of Oregon, the only difference being that the goatman of Oregon has significantly smaller horns, such of that of a baby goat, though the Oregon goatman is fully-grown,
- Aratani, Lori (October 26, 2008). "The Keeper of Local Haunted Lore". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
- Reel, Monte (Nov 8, 2000). "Famed Goatman Forever Held In Dusty Room". The Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2011.