One of the more intriguing legends of the Massachusetts Seacoast area around New Bedford is that of the mysterious creature known only as the “Beast of Brooklawn Park.”

According to the reports, the beast is a hairy creature that appears to be a half-man, half goat-like animal with long, skinny legs and cloven hooves.

The reports of the beast seem relegated to a few years in the late 1960s. According to the legend, the creature would be seen running across the park on its two goat legs, letting out a high-pitched screech as it moved about. If it encountered a person, it would stop and stare at them before moving on, screeching away.

It seems as though the beast dropped off the face of the earth – or at least moved on from New Bedford – before the 1970s. There haven’t been any reports that we’re aware of since the sightings in the 60s, although there are still people coming forward to this day recounting what they experienced in the park back then.

So what could the Beast of Brooklawn Park have been?

Some feel the beast could be a similar legend to that of Spring-Heeled Jack, a “demonic” figure who terrorized London in the Victorian age. Descriptions of Jack varied, but some described him as being more beast than man. However, Jack was known for his leaping ability, and most of the reports about the Brooklawn Park beast suggest he’s more of a runner than a jumper.

Another possibility is that it was a real person, acting strangely and the people who encountered him were misinterpreting their experiences into something far more dastardly than it actually was, especially if they’re recounting it decades later. It’s easy to see how it could have changed into something sinister in their foggy recollection.

Most likely, though, it was some kind of a hoax that some put on for a few years before growing bored with it and moving on to something else.

Still, if you see cloven hoofprints around the park, maybe wait until another day to take that walk.

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