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  • Writer's pictureKrum Library

Mason’s Musings October 20th, 2023

Halloween is fast approaching, and so to set the mood for the upcoming holiday I’d like to share with you some local ghost stories and eerie hauntings in the surrounding Denton County area. Despite my exhaustive research I could not find much of any definitive ghost sightings or hauntings here in Krum. However, what I do know is Krum has a long and rich history with many an old building still standing to this day. Take for instance the old flour mill which actually burned down around 1915 but its grain elevator still stands as one of Krum’s most distinguished landmarks. Of course, there’s also the iconic strip of buildings lining West McCart Street which have retained much of their original design from when the town was first founded (save for the renovations of City Hall).

Krum Circa 1909:

Krum April 2023:

If you’d like to learn more about the history of Krum and the people who built it we have five wonderful books filled with descriptions and pictures from the time when Krum was founded.

Now that we’ve taken a look back at a small piece of Krum’s extensive history let’s turn our gaze to Denton’s haunted and spooky past. There are several places I could talk about when it comes to Denton ghost sightings and haunts but the one I’m sure you’ve all heard of is the haunting of the Old Alton Bridge. More commonly known as “Goatman’s Bridge” the area has gained quite a reputation for itself as a supposed “portal to hell”.

People have stated seeing visions of fire and brimstone when walking across the bridge at 3:00 AM. Some unlucky visitors may even come face to face with the terrifying Goatman that haunts the bridge. Those who have seen the Goatman describe him as a towering beast with the body of a man, hooved legs, and the head of a goat.

He is said to sleep under the bridge and only comes out to stalk prey or when he is awoken by meddling passersby. Taunting the Goatman while he sleeps is ill-advised as he is said to swiftly dispose of any who awake him. There have been many stories throughout the years explaining who or what the Goatman is and why he haunts the Old Alton Bridge.

The most accepted version of the Goatman’s story involves the violent death of Oscar Washburn. Oscar was a goat farmer, who over the years gained the trust of his community and which affably nicknamed him “The Goatman”. Unfortunately for Oscar he was a black man who had drawn the ire of the Klan.

One day Oscar put up a sign on the Old Alton Bridge which beckoned, “This way to the Goatmans”. The Klan members, who worked with the local police, drafted a law that prohibited any solicitation on the Old Alton Bridge. The Klansmen then decided to take the law into their own hands and assembled a violent mob, dragging Oscar out of his home and to the bridge. A noose was forced around Oscar’s neck, and he was thrown over the bridge by the vicious gang. When they looked over the side to confirm his death Oscar was nowhere to be seen. Panicked, the mob fled. As the years passed the Old Alton Bridge became colloquially known as Goatmans Bridge as a way to honor Oscar Washburn.

Whether the bridge is haunted by the scorned ghost of Oscar Washburn–or something more sinister, it’s hard to say. However, it’s hard to deny the numerous accounts of haunted occurrences, especially given its storied past.

Thank you for tuning in to this spooky history edition of Mason’s Musings. A reminder to all parents with young children, our annual Halloween Carnival is just around the corner. On October 28th from 3:00-5:00 PM come join us for some Halloween themed fun! Recommended for pre-k through second grade children’s entry fee is five dollars and accompanying adults enter for FREE. The entry fee covers refreshments, games and prizes. Costumes are of course encouraged for this event. We hope to see many of you at the Carnival as all the funds raised go directly to help fund the library! Wishing you all a great rest of your week, and I’ll see you next week.

Library Events 10/20-10/27:

Friday October 20th – Friday Free Play! Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come to the library for a free play time every Friday 11 AM to Noon! Toys are changed out monthly.

Wednesday October 25th – Children’s Hour with Ms. Katie! Bring the little ones for story time with Ms. Katie. Stories, songs, activities, and crafts are all part of the fun. Children’s Hour starts at 10:00 AM and occurs every Wednesday of each month (excluding January and August).

Friday October 27th – Friday Free Play! Preschoolers and their adults are invited to come to the library for a free play time every Friday 11 AM to Noon! Toys are changed out monthly.

Friday October 28th – From 3:00-5:00 PM bring your children down for the library’s annual Halloween Carnival! Children’s entry fee is $5 each and adults enter for free, refreshments are provided with purchase of a ticket. Enjoy all of our fun games and earn chances to win prizes! Costumes are encouraged for this night of spooky fun.

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