The search for a fabled "goatman" said to prowl an active 19th-century train trestle in Louisville, Ky., has led to tragedy. Roquel Bain, 26, who was visiting from Ohio, planned to go on a "haunted" tour of Louisville's former tuberculosis clinic with her boyfriend Saturday when the pair heard a local legend about the Pope Lick Monster, a half-man, half-goat creature said to appear to those who climb the trestle across Pope Lick Creek and cross its 772-foot length, per WTOL. They decided to attempt the crossing, but a train suddenly appeared blaring its horn, reports the Washington Post. Bain's boyfriend hung off the side of the trestle as the train passed, but Bain couldn't get out of the way in time. She was hit by the train about 40 feet from the trestle's end, per the Louisville Courier-Journal. Her body was found some 100 feet below.
"It's just so sad—a very pretty young girl who had her life in front of her. It's just so preventable," a coroner says. "I see a train pass every 30 minutes or so," adds a local. "It's shocking, people hear about so many deaths and they still take the risk." The Parklands notes at least three teens have died from trips to the trestle. It isn't clear where the fable first originated, but it's been around for three generations. A local historian cites a story about a man who tortured a herd of goats for Satan. Others say the monster was a circus freak who escaped the circus train. The legend picked up followers in the 1980s with a short film. The "goatman" with furry goat legs and horns is said to mimic familiar voices to get his victims to the trestle and finishes off those who avoid a train with a rusty axe. (This urban legend inspired a stabbing.)