Fascinating Friday: Pope lick monster

For a great deal of my live, I have hold a fascination for local stories in which a person or animal plays a role that is somewhat scary, but where evidence for the person of animal is scarce. Such animals / persons have a mythical element, not only because of their shape or appearance, or their rare sightings, but also because of the aural nature of these stories and the lack of clear other, mainly visual, proof.

The likes of Bigfoot and Nessie (the creature that supposed to live in Loch Ness, Scotland) are pretty well known, and altough it’s hard to believe they are real, they constitute an important aspect of us humans: we want to hear stories. Those legends, if you can call them that, contain – in general – messages and specific morals. Archetypes, if you will. A lot of these legends are a little frightening, we don’t understand these stories completely, and more over, we want them to be ‘real’. Real here means ‘a magical touch’. We humans apparently need that kind of stories.

One of these stories – I don’t like the term urban legend, because most of these persons or anmimals are not urban, but rural – is the Pope Lick Monster. This animal is a part-man, part-goat creature that lives near a train track in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Here is one of those vague photo’s of the creature:


Is it real? That is not the issue. Important is what we want to see, what we want to believe. And since the evidence is not conclusive, even in these times of technical progress, there is still room voor Pope Lick Monsters. Bigfoot. Nessie. God.

Or whatever creature. Because every country or even province or state has its fair share of rural legends. Take for instance this overview of United States:

Monsters in the us

If you want to read more about the Pope Lick Monster, there is wikipedia and an article about a woman killed on the train track (but not by the monster…).

© Rick Ruhland 2018


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