Nightmare at Lake Worth: Uncovering Texas’ Most Nefarious Monster

What’s lurking behind the shadows in Lake Worth, Texas? Possibly something between a half-man and half-goat with super strength and the ability to shake up an entire community.



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Bryan Adams and the Lake Worth Monster

It was the summer of ’69. School was out until the fall semester, so children were out laying poolside at the local parks, and teens were enjoying the peak of their summer romance. No curfews, no homework, and no deadlines. Honestly, it was some of the best days of their lives. But just like the lyrics in Bryan Adams’ hit song, I guess nothing can last forever. What started as a peaceful summer vacation quickly turned into a community-wide manhunt, or shall I say, monster hunt, that turned Forth Worth, Texas upside down. 

The Lake Worth Monster Attacks

On July 9th, 1969, John Reichart was joined by his wife and two other couples as they were hanging out by Greer Island at about midnight. As they exchanged their weekend plans and discussed their work week, all was calm on the water’s edge. After recognizing how late it was getting, they started their cars back up and just about pulled away from the shoreline when a prominent, dark figure leaped from a tree onto the hood of John’s car. In an attempt to grab his wife, he pulled the car in reverse and sped off with only a moment to spare. 

Panicking, John drove to the nearby police station and shared what he and his friends had just witnessed. John described the creature as “part man and part goat” and “covered with fur and scales.” As the police escorted John and his wife back to the scene, John showed the police officers an 18-inch scratch down the side of his car that was supposedly made with the creature’s “claw-like” hands. 

The only problem is that when several police officers showed up and quickly scanned the vicinity with their flashlights, they couldn’t identify any creature remotely, as John had described. No footprints, no trace.

An officer on the scene, James S. McGee, would later go on to say, “We did make a serious investigation because those people were really scared.” He also theorized that the couples were probably just victims of a cruel prank. One where someone may have thrown a dummy on top of their car or had dressed in an ape costume to scare them off. He also warned that if it was a prank, it was a very dangerous way to pull a prank. In his words, “Someone is liable to get themselves shot.” 

That morning, John and his wife’s story immediately hit the press with the headline, Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth. Shortly after the townsfolk got wind of the supposed monster terrorizing their city, men quickly grabbed their guns and hopped in their pickup trucks to try and catch it. According to the director of the Greer Island Nature Center, Rick Pratt, he remembers folks coming out in droves bringing their wine, whiskey, and beer as they went on the hunt for this mysterious monster. In his words, “Here was a Sasquatch, our very own. It was a party; what the hell, let’s go.” 

But there’s one interesting thing to note. One of the local police dispatchers at the time had shared that this wasn’t the first call he had received. In fact, several people had shared their concerns about an unknown creature stalking their backyards. 

Lake Worth Monster Description

In their descriptions, some believed that the monster had a short, humanlike body with the head of a dog. Others believed it was a goat with a single horn protruding from the middle of its head. They called it the Lake Worth Monster or, in some cases, the Goat-Man. 

(Before I continue, I’d like to quickly pause and note that this isn’t the same goat-man found throughout cryptozoology. Like Sasquatch, the Goat-Man has many names and legends we’ll have to save for a future episode. So for the sake of confusion, I will keep the Lake Worth title. Now, back to the story.)

Others claimed that this creature wasn’t a small being but stood roughly 6 or 7 feet tall, weighing about 300 pounds, and had a long, slender neck covered in either white hair or even scales, depending on who you talked to. But when Forth Worth Telegram asked the dispatcher about the monster, he stated, “We’ve had reports about this thing for two months, but we’ve always laughed them off as pranks.” 


But this may not have been a prank after all. Because that very next night, on July 10th, many of the townsfolk were off wandering in the same area John had been the night before when the creature made yet another alarming appearance with its “pitiful cry.” Only this time, his hulk-like temper only magnified as he hurled a car tire straight toward the group of people about 500 feet away. Once this happened, everyone scrambled in fear, hopped in their trucks, and got out of dodge.

Amongst the curious onlookers was an aspiring writer and private investigator named Sallie Ann Clarke. With these mysterious appearances, she quickly got to work and began interviewing anyone who would share their experiences with her. Later, she would collect these accounts in her self-published book, The Lake Worth Monster of Greer Island, which debuted just a couple of months later in September of ’69. 

Interestingly enough, Sallie would go on to share that at the time of her book’s release, she hadn’t seen the creature herself. However, several years later, she said she had witnessed the monster on three different occasions. In 1989, she told Star-Telegram, “If I’d seen it before the book, the book would have been quite a lot different. It wouldn’t have been semi-fiction. It would have been like a history”. 

Unfortunately, if you were to ask her about her Lake Worth Monster experiences today, she wouldn’t be able to conjure them up because, according to NBCDFW, Sallie has since “suffered a series of strokes that greatly damaged her memory and her health.” 

But while she may not be able to relay the monster in her own words, I should point out that after the tire-throwing incident in ’69, police phone lines stayed busy for the following weeks. Many witnesses had claimed to see the creature lurking through their backyard, while others claimed to have found large footprints they couldn’t quite determine. And even a few select individuals would report that their sheep had been mysteriously slaughtered overnight. 

Now, this last tidbit sounds more like a Chupacabra type of situation. Chupacabra sightings have been rumored to be seen in Texas within the previous few decades, technically before the dawn of the Chupacabra frenzy. But, who knows, this may have pre-dated the original 1995 Puerto Rico sighting.

However, it’s worth mentioning that as the summer holidays came and went with the turn of Autumn, the once-crazed Lake Worth Monster hype slowly fizzled out. Fewer and fewer community members reported seeing mysterious figures around Lake Worth or hearing strange noises in the woods. Like all things, both good and bad, the tale of the mysterious Lake Worth Monster had to come to an end at some point. With students settling into their classes for the fall term, the rumors of the Lake Worth Monster fell flat. 

But suppose there was one more sighting that could stir up the community one last time, one that might be considered physical evidence?

One Final Lake Worth Monster Sighting

Later that fall, right around Halloween, Allen Plaster, a young Fort Worth native, and a couple of his friends had been out driving near Greer Island around 1 am. Just as they were about to head out, Allen heard a strange noise and quickly got out his camera in stunned belief. 

In front of him, Allen described “a large, white, furry shape” crouching in the tall grass. This photo seemed to have revived the legendary Lake Worth Monster momentarily. But, after about a week or so, the hype yet again seemed to dry out. Why you may ask? Individuals took the photo as being proof of just a really big white dog. Though I do have to admit, it’s hard to make out any definitive shape, dog or otherwise. I’ll let you be the judge of what this photograph entails. 

Also, a side note: the person currently possessing this elusive photo is none other than Sallie Anne Clarke. Apparently, Allan Plaster had gifted it following all the Lake Worth hype. Although interestingly enough, in an interview with Star-Telegram in 2006, Allan’s point of view had drastically shifted from his initial thoughts back in ’69. He said, “Looking back, I realized that when we drove by, it stood up. Whatever it was, it wanted to be seen. That was a prank. That was somebody out there waiting for people to drive by. I don’t think an animal would have acted that way”.


The running theory for many is that the Lake Worth Monster was just simply a dumb prank pulled by bored high schoolers looking for a bit of summertime fun. And if that’s true, their plan had worked. They were able to rile up an entire community to crusade around, looking for a mysterious monster that didn’t exist. While a few residents scoffed at the idea and went on with their lives utterly unphased by the town gossip, it’s evident that many residents took the opportunity to grab a few beers, load their shotguns, and go wild with their buddies. I guess there’s something about bragging rights when shooting strange things we know nothing about. It’s basically good Southern fun, right?

But, of course, there had to be a few locals who feared this monster. With all the hype in just two short days, many parents probably warned their kids to stay away from the lake and not stray too far from home. Sometimes it’s better to lock your doors and let the professionals handle the situation. But, for one little boy, this excitement had only been the beginning of something extraordinary, whether real or wholly made up.

Lake Worth Monster Spawns Future Cryptozoologists

If you’re a Texas Native and are equally fascinated by cryptids and their lore, you probably recognize Craig Woolheater. Now a full-time cryptozoology blogger, Craig created the Texas Bigfoot Research Center in 1999 to educate people on the Lake Worth Monster. But his love for all things cryptids started in 1969 with its original sighting. 

At nine years old, Craig was deeply fascinated with the strange and paranormal. Monsters, dinosaurs, UFOs, and Cryptids, you name it. So when the story of the Lake Worth Monster made headlines, he cut out the newspaper articles and kept them in a scrapbook. But this wouldn’t be the only thing that led him to start the research center later in ’99. 

While driving through Louisiana several years later, Craig shares that by the beam of his headlights, a strange, gray-bodied bi-pedal creature with ape-like qualities was staring right back at him. Believing that this creature couldn’t be found in school textbooks, he soon dedicated his life to researching some of our world’s most strange phenomena, posing the question if there really is such a thing as Sasquatch. And if you ask Craig his thoughts on the Lake Worth Monster, he’d tell you that he “personally think[s] it’s an undiscovered, uncatalogued primate species that walks on two legs.” 

Possible Lake Worth Monster Explanation

Before we come to a close, I have one more tidbit to share with you in case you’re on the fence about what happened late that summer night. I believe that education is power, and the more we learn about our surroundings, the better we are. I also believe there’s nothing inherently wrong with believing the strange and unusual. It can be fun believing in cryptids lurking in the shadows or theories that seem too weird to be true. I mean, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

But other times, simply knowing the truth can be a real killjoy. It stunts your imagination and can leave you feeling a little empty inside. It’s fun to believe in things like Sasquatch or Nessie. But it feels like a significant letdown when the truth emerges that many of these strange occurrences are nothing more than hoaxes to rile up a community. And this must be exactly how the town felt in 2005 when the truth finally came out. 

A reporter at the Star-Telegram received an anonymous handwritten letter stating, “One weekend, myself and two friends from North Side High School decided to go out to Lake Worth and scare people on the roads where there were always stories of monsters and creatures who would attack partners.” 

The letter also shared that they had made a homemade mask out of tinfoil to scare a truckload of girls and then went to Dairy Queen to grab some ice cream to laugh and joke about the experience. According to the anonymous writer, they state, “I had a coke float [and] the goatman had a parfait.” 

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Thanks for touring Cryptids Across the Atlas. Until next time, keep your eyes open. You never know what you might see just on the edge of the road. 

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