G is for the Goat Man

A to Z April Blogging Challenge

A to Z

G if for the Goat Man

Some say the Goat Man was just a legend; a story of lore, but I say he was real. I saw him with my own two eyes during the 1960’s when he was traveling in Alabama. I always thought he was a Sand Mountain man. He seemed to like the area and I was fortunate enough to see him several times during his stay in the Sand Mountain area of Alabama.
Of course, I never got to talk to him or even get close to him. Mama made me stay in the car. She said he was nasty and I might catch something. I remember one time, Daddy did get me out of the car in spite of Mama’s fussing, but we still didn’t get very close to the Goat Man or his goats.
A couple of years ago I came across an article, in a local newspaper, about the Goat Man. I recognized him immediately, but had never heard his full story.
His real name was Charles (Chas) McCartney. He was born on his family’s farm in Iowa. No one really knows the date of his birth, as even Chas himself would tell different ages and dates at different times. It is quite likely that he didn’t know himself.
Rumor has it that Chas ran away from the farm and joined a Circus at the age of 14. He worked as a target for a Spanish knife-thrower, whom he later married. She was said to be older than Chas, by 10 years. The couple settled in New York and had a son.
Reportedly, Chas moved his family back to the family farm a couple of years later. The Depression hit and Chas was no longer able to make a living on the farm. He went to work for the Works Progress Administration, cutting trees. It is unknown how long he worked for the company before his accident, but one day a tree fell on him, shattering his left side. He was pronounced dead only to awaken later on an undertaker’s table.
Chas had always been fond of goats on the farm and came up with the idea of using a goat cart to travel, with his family, and tell his story. There are several different stories on what became of Chas’s wife and son, but I will let you search them out on your own.
By the time I saw the Goat Man, he was alone with his goats; no human companions. I first saw the Goat Man at the Albertville Airport. Throughout the next 2 to 3 years, I saw him at various places along AL Hwy #75. There was always a crowd gathered to hear his tales of growing up on a farm, being in a circus, his accident, and how he came back from the dead.

The Goat Man
Goat Man www.georgiaencyclopedia.org
Photo courtesy of http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org via Yahoo Images

There are many tales of the Goat Man and I am listing several reference websites for you to visit:

14 thoughts on “G is for the Goat Man

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. I was amazed to find so much information on the internet about him. Like I said, I thought he was a Sand Mountain man. It’s funny how you find something like that from your childhood to be a country wide legend.


  1. I was just talking on the phone to an old friend from Maryville, TN and we started reminiscing about The Goat Man. My mother took me and my brothers and sisters to see him in 1966 when he was camped out along 411 south of Maryville. I was surprised as I started doing a Google search to come along your wonderful post and to see it was from the A to Z Challenge. Guess I missed this on that go around. Nice job!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

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