Central Texans have heard dozens of variations on the Goat Man folktale, but have you ever heard of the Donkey Lady who haunts a bridge near San Antonio?

Haunted Hooves

Growing up in Troy, I was in the Boy Scouts. I never made Eagle because I'm an underachiever, but that's a whole other story.

What I did do was go on plenty of camping trips, including to Camp Tahuaya in Belton, where I first heard of the Goat Man. He reportedly lived in a cave by the lake, and would emerge at night to feed on human flesh - the younger the better.

I recently learned that there's a Goat Man legend around the Maxdale Bridge in Killeen as well, so I'm sure there are other variations across Texas that I'm not even aware of.

Now I'm learning that there's supposedly a Donkey Lady stalking a bridge in San Antonio, and honestly...it's a lot creepier than Goat Man in my book.

The Tragedy of the Donkey Lady

So far I've come across different versions of the story from Texas Hill Country, the San Antonio Report, and KSAT-TV, and those are just three sources that are top of mind. Like any good ghost story, there are as many versions as there are believers.

The gist of it is this: A poor woman was badly burned and left with a face melted and elongated so that she resembled a donkey, and to make matters worse, the flesh of her fingers melted and melded into hard, hoof-like appendages.

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Multiple Choice

Depending on which version of the story you believe, the woman was either the survivor of a husband gone mad who set fire to the family farmhouse intending to kill everyone inside, himself included, or her entire family were victims of a stranger out to burn and kill.

There's even a version in which she wasn't burned at all, but pushed off a bridge along with her donkey, after which she took the form of the donkey to terrorize and scare anyone crossing the bridge.

Be Careful On Applewhite Road

As best as I can tell, the bridge in question is along Applewhite Road just southwest of San Antonio.

There are stories of people seeing a half-human, half-donkey creature on or near the bridge at night.

That would be creepy enough, but things just get worse from there. Some say the figure screamed at them in what sounded like the hellish blending of a woman's cries of anguish and a donkey's HEE-HAW braying.

I don't know about you, but that would make my blood curdle.

Some people have even said they've been attacked by the figure, or felt it run by and brush them. When they returned during daylight hours to survey the scene, all they saw were hoofprints.

Childhood Trauma

There are two reasons this story really gets under my skin.

First and foremost, I remember seeing Disney's Pinocchio as a kid and being absolutely terrified by the scene in which the main character and his delinquent friend, Lampwick, turn into donkeys. Well, Pinocchio starts to turn, but is saved by Jiminy Cricket. Poor Lampwick, though. Ugh, as a kid, I was horrified at the thought of turning into a brainless animal and never seeing my mom again.

Second, there's something so disturbing about the idea of a person being melted into the shape of a terrifying creature. You know that repulsive thrill you get from watching a David Cronenberg movie like The Fly or Videodrome? That's what happens to me when I think about poor Donkey Lady.

You Can Actually Call The Donkey Lady!

Believe it or not, there's a Donkey Lady hotline. I tested it, and yes, this is a real thing, but something tells me this ain't the real Donkey Lady.

If you call (210) 960-3826, you'll hear a witchy woman who sounds like she's trying to put a wicked spell on you. To be honest, I can barely make out what she's saying half the time, but I'm pretty sure she mentions fried chicken.

Give it a call next time you're bored, but don't let the real Donkey Lady find out. She may not be too happy with someone getting laughs off of her tragedy.

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