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20 February 2018


J Nathan Couch  

Virginia Minotaur Runs Amok  

17 Jun 2017, 4:21 pm

The Driftless Region has me back at work, digging through dusty old books, yellowed newsletters, and obscure websites in search of information on the stranger Fortean topics, so I figured, in an attempt to be more outgoing with my work-in-progress, I’d share one with you. The following is an excerpt from the December 18th, 1868 Petersburgh [Virginia] Daily Index. To my knowledge this bizarre story was first unearthed by Jerome Clark, who, in my opinion, sets the golden standard for Fortean writing. He transcribed the story in his book Unnatural Phenomena: A Guide to the Bizarre Wonders of North America (2005). This may or may not end up being referenced in one of my many unfinished manuscripts.

“For the past few weeks visions of an alarming character have been seen in the neighboring forest,  but more peculiarly in the copse adjacent to Mr. Brown’s barn and stable. At numbers of times has an immense figure been seen passing to and fro near the barn, with large horns and terrible claws, which it contracts to a sort of hoof, and has assaulted Mr. Brown, when he attempted after dark to feed his horses and stock, in such a manner and with such violence that he has been compelled to flee to his house for safety. The figure, to the best of Mr. Brown’s recollection, seemed about three times as large as a man in the front, and having a back converging from it’s neck, and shoulders horizontally to the distance of some six to eight feet, and supplied on each side with huge and tremendous arms. It is of a pale blueish [sic] color when first seen, but upon being irritated by the near approach of any person becomes a deadly white, and issues from its surface a small volume of smoke, accompanied by a sickening smell.

“The ghoul or unnatural and horrible animal or demon, has been seen as often as four times near Mr. Brown’s stable, and when seen it has lingered till its deadly effluvia has completely impregnated the atmosphere.”

The article continues, describing other witnesses reaction to this possibly fictitious, but thoroughly fascinating creature. This is part of one of many completely baffling incidents Clark collects from 49 out of 50 states. It’s highly recommended reading, if you can manage getting a copy of this out-of-print treasure.


All Things Come to an End  

4 May 2017, 7:58 am

All beginnings have an end, but this knowledge does nothing to ease me in writing this message.

In 2011 I was in the process of finishing my first book, Washington County Paranormal, and I was in dire need of money to get the book published. I got a crazy idea and took a chance—I’d start a Ghost Walk in Downtown West Bend as a fundraiser. After a couple of initial hiccups, my tours started in late April of that year and it’s been a tremendous time. Needless to say, the tours were successful that year, and for each year thereafter.

Each and every tour was enriching to me as not only a Fortean author, but also as a paranormal enthusiast. I don’t think a single night went by when someone didn’t share fascinating, and often times, extremely personal, unexplainable encounters. That’s what makes this so difficult. But I might as well say it.

The Downtown West Bend Ghost Walk will not be returning in 2017. It isn’t because of lack of interest, oh no. I’ve been getting inquiries about tours all spring. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, Washington Countians are avid about their haunted history. No, the reason the tour is being discontinued, is what makes this message bittersweet, as opposed to simply sad.

Both my wife and I have been given some wonderful opportunities to enrich and challenge ourselves in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin (our new address will be roughly two a half hours from our current address in West Bend). Her career is moving ahead, and hopefully, I’ll actually be motivated to finish one of the numerous manuscripts that I’ve been neglecting for going on two years now. The only draw back is, it won’t be economically feasible to continue the tours.

But despite my lack of written output in recent years, I wouldn’t be calling myself an author were it not for the communities of Washington County. Everyone from Kewaskum on down to Germantown opened up and shared with me with paranormal experiences, and the urban folklore they’d grown up with. To everyone who supported my books and my tours, thank you.

I’d like to thank the Washington County Writer’s Club for their help in showing me what works in a manuscript, and what doesn’t. Despite the fact I haven’t attended a meeting in years, I’d of never been able to write readable manuscript without them.

I’d like to thank the History Center of Washington County for giving me the tools I needed to research my various projects. I can guarantee there wouldn’t have been a book nor a tour without the tools and support they gave me. It really, really stinks that Washington County politicians want to take their money away and send them out into the cold (as well as severely cut the budgets of all quality of life services in the county–parks, libraries, senior services, et al. I suppose a community’s history doesn’t matter if someone can save a taxpayer $20 a year on property taxes. If you appreciate your community’s history, please contact your county representative and tell them. Explain to them you WANT a museum and a historical society. Click here, before you lose your history.

This is starting to sound like a retirement speech, but it isn’t. This is not the end for me, far from it. Though I’ll be far away from the community that got me started down the path to Fortean writing, I feel rejuvenated, and excited about the future.

More books are coming. It made me smile to write that.

Farewell for now Washington County, may all your Eves be Hallowed.


LouisvilleHalloween.com Interview  

13 Mar 2017, 8:34 am

I recently had the pleasure to be interviewed by the amazing folks at LouisvilleHalloween.com. We discuss Goatman, Ches McCarthy, and Waverly Hills Sanatorium. CLICK HERE to read it.

LouisvilleHalloween.com, in addition to having a wonderful website, also manages a Goatman related haunted attraction. If you  plan to be in the Louisville Area (or if you’re as big a Halloween freak as I am and like to road trip), consider visiting the Legend at Pope Lick Haunted Attraction.



The Creeping Silence  

23 Nov 2016, 7:32 pm

“Creeping Silence” would have been a corker of a 1950s sci-fi-horror, wouldn’t it? But Alas, it wasn’t. It is however, a creative way to draw you into this blog about why I’ve been so quiet lately, both here, and on social media. Sure, I crawled out of my hole for a shortened season of Downtown West Bend Ghost Walks, and an speaking here or there, but that’s about it.

The truth be told, I’ve not really been fit to be around people, in my opinion. Oh, I’m physically healthy, as far as I know, but emotionally, not so much. You can call it depression, or you can call it whatever you like, but basically, I’ve been unhappy due to lots of personal and professional reasons, and it’s kept me even more introverted than usual. In fact, it’s kept me so introverted, I haven’t worked on either of my manuscripts in months.

But I don’t want this little post of mine to be all doom and gloom. I’m writing this because I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel that I might soon begin writing again. I don’t know that that information will necessarily excite anyone, but I am putting it out there for those  of you who’ve wondered what I’ve been up to.

I’d also like to thank everyone who’s continued to support me through the years, buying my books, and attending my tours and presentations. This past Halloween season was particularly great, as I met many wonderful, enthusiastic people who’s love for the unexplained has helped reinvigorate my interest in research once more.

With all that said, I hope you all have an amazing holiday season. Hopefully you’ll hear from me again much sooner. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.



October 28th Ghost Walk Cancelled–October 29th Added!  

4 Oct 2016, 8:02 pm

Heads up! Due to a Scheduling conflict, the Friday, October 28th Downtown West Ghost Walk is cancelled. To make up for it, we have added an additional walk on Saturday, October 29th! Visit this link for a complete listing of dates. Apologies for any difficulties this has caused.


The Thanksgiving Goatman Trend Debunked  

2 Dec 2015, 10:27 pm

So, unless you were completely offline for Thanksgiving weekend, you probably noticed that Goatman was all over the Internet, even becoming a top trend on Facebook and Twitter for the duration of the weekend. Within a few hours many of the articles about my favorite caprine cryptid were claiming that there was an outbreak of sightings in three different states! Not quite.

I followed this all VERY closely (hey, I had a 4 day weekend, and it’s rare Goaty gets this much publicity) so I can map this whole thing out for you with a good deal of accuracy.

The whole mess started when, for no apparent reason, MoviePilot.com posted an article on November 27th suggesting that someone should make a horror film based on the monster (oblivious to the fact that several have already been made). That article linked to a CultOfWeird.com article about my 2014 book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore, which stated that the creature has been historically seen in Kentucky, Texas, and Wisconsin.

By the time Uproxx.com posted about it on the morning of November 28th, various websites with little-to-no journalistic integrity had worded their MoviePilot.com plagiarisms to make it all sound as if a sudden outbreak of sightings had just occurred in three different states within a short amount of time, completely misrepresenting the situation. With each new article, the phrasing changed ever so slightly until it seemed as if a heard of man-goats were roaming America’s heartland! This is no slight against Uproxx, mind you. Their article was the best out of the whole bunch, and provided a nice snapshot of Goatman-mania as it swept the Internet.

Not a single article provided any information about these apparently fictitious sightings. No times, dates, locations, or witnesses. As best as I can tell, there has not been one new sighting. At least none that have been reported, anyways. The most recent sighting I’m aware of took place in September, 2014, and this photograph of a strange hoof print from Oak Creek, Wisconsin, was just sent to WPI Hunts the Truth.

Strange hoof print located in Oak Creek

Strange hoof print located in Oak Creek

Of course, what truly caused all this trending was  that MoviePilot.com introduced a new, strange concept to what I can only call the main stream, people whose only normal exposure to unexplainable phenomena is seeing a cardboard Bigfoot at a gas station beef jerky display. Most only shared the story because of how odd it was, or to mock the very idea of these legitimate, but puzzling encounters. None of them stopped to look and see if anything was actually happening. Please people, question everything. Don’t just assume something happened because you read a news story about it. Especially on the Internet.

But should any of you actually encounter Goatman. I’m right here waiting to hear from you.



Breaking News: Fortean Times likes Goatman  

23 Nov 2015, 3:38 pm

So i just discovered this week, rather by accident, that London’s famous magazine, the Fortean Times, gave my book Goatman: Flesh or Folklore? a stellar two page review in their October, 2015 issue.

“Couch is no slouch… Goatman: Flesh or Folklore should become a template on how to investigate reports of cryptids, and every fortean should read it.”

This is no longer the current issue of Fortean Times, but digital copies are available to purchase all around the Internet.

Fortean Times, October 2015

Fortean Times, October 2015


The Next Book  

21 Nov 2015, 4:09 pm

I write books about monsters. I lead walking tours past, and occasionally into, locations said to be haunted. If someone calls me or the rest of the Paranormal Investigation and Research Society (PIRS), claiming a malevolent shadow person terrorizes the hallways of their home, I grab my gear and charge half-cocked into an unfamiliar and potentially dangerous situation. I do not write under any pseudonym. The name on the cover of this book you’re holding is who I am. To borrow a Jimi Hendrix lyric, “I wave my freak flag high.” I chose said lyric, because often a freak is exactly what some people think I am, in more conventional social circles. In a way, perhaps they’re right. After all, it takes a certain sort to do the things I do.

But no matter what sort of societal situation I’m in, be it a dinner party with the stuffiest of stuffed shirts, or a paranormal convention in a cheap hotel bar surrounded by my fellow Fortean enthusiasts I’m always asked the exact same question when they learn of my unconventional vocation—“have you ever had any paranormal experiences?”—and each and every time I struggle for an adequate answer.

That tidbit of information speaks volumes about my lifelong inability to prepare for even the most anticipated of chitchat, but it is the truth. I will stutter, and stammer, and then I will draw a complete and total blank. When this happens, I quickly blurt out something to the effect of “Oh, I’ve seen a shadow or two out of the corner of my eye, but nothing terribly dramatic.”

One of two things invariably will occur. Either the person will crush me with a groundswell of disinterest and wander away to find the crab dip, or they’ll enthusiastically tell me about some unexplainable episode from their own lives, ever so pleased to find out that a Fortean author and ghost hunter has somehow managed to lead such a thoroughly unremarkable life compared to their own.

After such occasions, I find myself lying in bed hours later, replaying the interaction in my head unceasingly. Because mere moments after such conversations conclude, my mind is flooded by a torrent of thrilling and unexplainable personal experiences. Then I get out of bed, unable to sleep, and in disgust, order pizza. Yes, I have problems. This new book will chronicle my various personal experiences, including but not limited to:

  • A pack of terrifying, and potentially spectral black dogs that chased my friends and I away from a haunted country lane in Cleveland, Georgia.
  • A Germantown, Wisconsin investigation where I captured an audio recording of a ghost chastising my fellow investigator for talking during an EVP session.
  • The large scratches I found on my shoulder after getting ill during a tour of Louisville’s Waverly Hills Sanatorium.
  • The time a sepia tone woman’s face materialized right in front of me in Mammoth Cave National Park.
  • Phantom footsteps following me in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. The site of the infamous John Brown insurrection that was meant to end slavery, but instead ended in slaughter.

I intend to post regular updates regarding my progress on this as yet unnamed book, both to keep you informed, and me motivated to continue my writing. Watch this blog, subscribe to my email list (the subscription box is to the left of this blog), or follow my Facebook Page

I’ve had many puzzling experiences that have left their mark on me. Some of which have actually showed up on camera. Now, back to work.

Scratches I seemingly received during a visit to Waverly Hills Sanitorium.

Scratches I seemingly received during a visit to Waverly Hills Sanitorium.


A Strange Hike Near Hartford, Wisconsin  

21 Nov 2015, 1:56 pm

Last Sunday I was hiking the Ice Age Trail near Hartford, when I found these peculiar marks on a tree limb. This area has a history of strange creature sightings ranging from Goatman, Bigfoot, and canine/bruin hybrids.

Strange markings in a tree along the Ice Age Trail.

Strange markings in a tree along the Ice Age Trail.

The second photograph shows how high in the tree the markings are. There were no other strange markings on or near the tree. My hand barely reaches the first marking and I’m 5’8″. And before anyone asks, the critter on my tee shirt is Mr. T (Rex). He pittys the fool.

Me with my eyes closed, attempting to demonstrate scale.

Me with my eyes closed, attempting to demonstrate scale.

Earlier in the day, a mile or two farther down the trail, I heard a repetitive tapping, it sounded like two large logs being slapped together, in a continuous, repeating pattern close to the trail, across a kettle, but I couldn’t find the source despite their being no leaves on the trees. After about two minutes the sound stopped and never returned. A peculiar day in the Kettle Moraine Forest!


11-18-15 Cryptozoology Panel on The Other Side  

18 Nov 2015, 1:21 pm

I recently participated in a round table discussion with Linda S. Godfrey (one of my all time favorite Fortean authors) and Jay of WPI Hunts the Truth. We discussed Goatman, Bigfoot, the Beast of Bray Road, Irish Tulpas, and a ghostly face I witnessed materialize in Mammoth Cave National Park. You can listen to it for free by clicking the image.



Comments for J Nathan Couch  

Comment on A Strange Creature Near Holy Hill by Christian Martin  

1 May 2017, 10:04 am

This summer I wouldn’t mind do a little investigating. I have always been interested in the “supernatural”. It truly is breathtaking.


Comment on A Strange Creature Near Holy Hill by Zach  

27 Mar 2017, 12:19 pm

In the fall of 2006 I was passenger and my dad was driving as we returned from motocross practice in eastern Wisconsin. Shortly after we crossed the St. Croix river into Afton, Minnesota my peripheral vision noticed an object about 50 yards into the farm field on our right (looking to our east) which stood about 20 yards in front of the treeline. Immediately I was shocked and knew that this was unlike any animal I had ever seen before. Standing upright, approximately 7 to 9 ft tall was what I thought at the time to be a demonic creature. It was covered in medium length dark hair, but I could not make out facial features from that distance except it appeared to have a broad face and big ears. Arms appeared to be large yet lanky, and the legs could be described like a mystical-faun in anatomy. I yelled at my dad to stop the car and once he finally did we were approximately 100 yards from the creature with poorer visibility. It was at this point that my dad also knew we were witnessing something strange indeed. We were so spoiled by this neither of us knew what to say, as the creature stood there without moving. We then decided it was best to keep moving and drove home. My dad has never spoke of it again, but I told many of my close friends and developed a genuine curiosity for what I saw.


Comment on Holy Hill Creature Update by Annette  

23 Oct 2016, 10:35 am

I experienced something in Mequon, E side of Wauwatosa Rd, between Highland and Freistadt.
This was in June, 2013, at about 3-4 a.m. It was only semi-lit by the partial moon. I was out on the patio and the cat had gone with me. Immediately, he begins that low throaty-growl as he looking out towards the right of the backyard. This area is open and not developed. I look out too, and see a void in the landscape, like there’s something there. As I’m looking, a creature makes this horrible growling sound and leaps about 4 feet to the left, about 6 times. It leaps about 4 feet off of the ground each time and when it stops, it’s directly in front of me, about 75 feet away. At this point, IDC what the hell it is, I just know that I’m grabbing the cat and heading inside.
I know this might have been a wild animal, but I never felt like it was, especially because it came closer to me vs going the other way, as an animal usually does, along with the height and manner that it lept…. it seemed quite a bit larger than a wildcat or coyote or anything that frequents the countryside.


Comment on The Goatman of Nags Head Woods by HB  

14 Oct 2016, 11:47 pm

Just FYI, it’s Kill Devil Hills.


Comment on A Strange Creature Near Holy Hill by Tiffany Pearce  

21 Jul 2016, 6:25 pm

It was a two summers ago when I saw what appeared to be a wolf which is uncommon for Pennsylvania, it was white in color and it was huge, I thought it was one of the neighbors horses that got loose, but, then I remembered they didn’t have a white horse, i saw it in a field about 15 -20 yards away from my house, it stood up on its hind legs and took off into the woods at speeds that I have never seen.


Comment on 08-13-15 Blurry Photos Interview by Jeannie  

2 May 2016, 7:05 pm

Knocked my socks off with knodeewgl!


Comment on Baraboo’s Mysterious Man Mound by Name (required)Dudley  

28 Apr 2016, 8:20 pm

What is physical address of the Man Mound park 4 my GPS?



Comment on A Strange Creature Near Holy Hill by Alyssa  

24 Feb 2016, 2:32 pm

I use to live at River-edge nature center a couple of years ago on Hawthorne before they tore down the house, iv seen so many strange things when i lived there but the one thing i will never forget is when my mom and my family saw something looking into one of the windows my step dad went out side and shot off his gun and i never felt so scared in my life as a high pitch screech echoed and was so lowed as thing ran off into the woods hearing branches crashing and breaking.


Comment on A Strange Creature Near Holy Hill by Cody Martin  

7 Feb 2016, 2:26 pm

Dear J. Nathan Couch and other Goatman eyewitnesses,

My name is Cody Martin, I am an Army Reservist and hunter. I have always been quite interested in the legend of the Goatman. I have brought together a team of hunters, trappers and other military personel who are local to the area. We are planning on investigating this legend, and possibly even hunting it. We know the Goatman has, commonly, been sighted in two areas within 30 miles. Hogsback Road, just outside of Hubertus AND South Mill Road, just outside of Kewaskum. If anyone has any other information on this creature, that can help us out, please email me at codymartin075@gmail.com. Thank you.


Comment on A Strange Creature Near Holy Hill by Michelle A  

14 Jan 2016, 8:36 pm

My son saw one similar to that last Monday! We live in San Ramon California. He was driving home from baseball lessons in a remote area on a round about to get onto the freeway. He was going pretty slow when he saw a figure run in front of his truck and stop because there was a huge concrete wall. It then stopped and looked right at my son as he went by. He had nowhere to run. He was really close and got a good look at its face, huge eyes-light colored, maybe blue, wolf shaped head and mouth, no ears, skinny, about 6′ 2 or taller, no hair, grayish white skin, legs that bend back at the knee so for sure not human, and he didn’t see his feet and doesn’t know about the arms. He said it was the freakiest thing he’s ever seen and wants no part of camping ever again with creatures like that on earth. He is 17 years old and never afraid of anything and this really is bothering him!



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