The strange, unexplained, and deadly temptation of the Pope Lick Monster

Roquel Bain and her boyfriend didn’t meet the train coming until it was too late. Bain, a 26 -year-old surgical aide from Ohio, had traveled to Louisville, Kentucky for a late-night paranormal tour of a local sanatorium. With hours to spare beforehand, they found themselves on a trestle connection practically 100 hoofs above Pope Lick Creek, analyse the lore of a half-man, half-goat ogre who lures humans to their deaths.

Many belief develops no longer run over the notorious Pope Lick bridge, but they do. Norfolk Southern Railway’s freight trains pass by several times each day, carrying coal and other cargo, and the railroad has warned monster-chasers to stay away.

So when Bain and her lover constructed it onto the connection on a Saturday night, April 23, they may not have known they were in danger. Although they had to contend with an eight-foot-tall security fencing, they surely didn’t expect to see a study reeling toward them at 32 miles an hour.

Google Maps

According to countless sources about the metropolitan lore, the Pope Lick bridge is 772 feet long and 90 paws high-pitched. Parties have committed suicide by rushing from it, and outdoing a teach to the other side is nearly impossible.

The only means of escape, as demonstrated in The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster, a black-and-white 1988 short bylocal filmmaker Ron Schildknecht, is to hang off the side of the connection while the qualify passesa stunt who are in need of great fortitude and stamina.

The Legend of the Pope Lick Monster( 1988)

It’s not clear whether the young pair had realise the movie, but they tried the same thought. Roquel Bain’s boyfriend managed to hold on. He climbed back on top of the trestle and was afterward rescued by the fire department, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal .

But Bain wasn’t as speedy. Struck by the train, she fell between 80 and 90 paws to the street below and was enunciated her dead around 8 p. m.

Jeffersontown representative coroner Jack Arnold told the Courier-Journal that, although he’s investigated demises at the connection before, Bain was officially the first to expire chasing the Pope Lick Monster.

Unofficially, the being has claimed many more victims. According to neighbourhood lore, memorialized in John E. Kleber’s Encyclopedia of Louisville, the devil use hypnosis to draw its martyrs onto the learn lines. Stupefied, they’re unable to move until they’re roused by the seem and tremor of an oncoming locomotive.

Illustration by J. Longo

The ogre has existed as a local Louisville legend since at least the 1960 s. Reports of its inceptions conflict, but two narratives predominate. In one version, the ogre is a lonely circus monstrosity, an escapee from a derailed teach who’s now bent on retaliation against mankind. In another, it was farmer who gained supernatural powersand a misshapen formafter relinquishing his goats to Satan.

Between the Pope Lick Monster and the famous haunted Waverly Hills sanatorium, Louisville is something of a hot spot for paranormal enthusiasts. Couch received from Wisconsin to watched the bridge; Bain and her boyfriend came from Dayton, Ohio.

The rise of Instagram and selfie culture have also helped to breathe new life into the old-time Pope Lick Trestle dare, for both neighbourhoods and tourists.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” #GoPro

A photo posted by Tyler Dreisbach (@ tdreeze) on May 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm PDT


The Pope Lick Monster didn’t get us, but a study almost did !

A photo posted by Sara Beth Davis (@ sarabdavis) on Jan 3, 2016 at 5:31 pm PST


No trespassing: violators will be prosecuted

A photo posted by Jordan Broomell (@ broom.broom_) on Aug 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm PDT


On the hunt #goatmanlives #ethansdead

A photo posted by @madison. layne on Jun 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm PDT


#floydsfork #louisvilleloop #notrespassing

A photo posted by Andrew Whiteman (@ and.rew.white.man) on Nov 5, 2013 at 10:37 am PST

The Visit Louisville Instagram account even posted this photo just a few months ago, telling potential tourists, “if you haven’t clambered on the Pope Lick Train Trestle, you haven’t lived! ” In retrospect, probably not the safest word to send.

The most fascinating thought about the Pope Lick Monster in 2016 is the fact that it might signal a trend of city mythologies going a second life online. There “ve always been” local tales like the Pope Lick, or even reasonably universal onesremember Bloody Mary? but creepypastais a new phenomenon straight out of Internet meaning boards.

There’s a stockpile of interesting, original repugnance story rising on Reddit and 4chan, but sometimes the gathering can take things too far. Clambering a railroad trestle seems like a mild hazard compared to taking lives in the name of the Internet ogre Slenderman, as two tween daughters reportedly attempted to do in 2014. The beginning of this year, a Wisconsin judge opted to try them as adults.

It’s hard to argue that fantastic, horrid storeys like the Pope Lick Monster are to blame for the dangerous choices people clear, but as the differences between “online” and “real life” continues to break down, more of these imaginary repugnances will find expression beyond the local high schools and 4chan boards where they were born.

After all , nothing exits viral like an city legend.