Background: My informant was a American who has lived across the country and has learned a lot of stories about other people through her travels.She is currently a student at the University of Southern California studying game design.
Main Piece: My informant told me a story known as the “Anasi Goat Man”. It is a very long form “creepy pasta” (internet horror story) about a group of young teenagers who go out campiong in the woods of Alabama. Throughout the story, the children encounter the smell of ozone, a copper-like smell, that indicates that the Anasi Goat Man is in their presence. At first, the kids are unaware of the creature and search their RV for an electrical malfunction. One of the kids owns a cabin in that area as well where they also own some pigs. They find that the pigs have been ripped up and eaten, which freaks out and scares all of the group. They also see the visage of a man in the woods, although they only see his back. They also begin to hear a “gibbering” from the woods that changes in volume and comes from all around throughout most of the rest of the story. They discover that he is a man with the head of a goat, who gets into groups by disguising itself like a Wendigo, before hunting the group members. The original group started out as 12, but the number dwindles down to 8. Towards the end of the story, they bar themselves into a larger cabin owned by one of the friends cousin. There they barricade themselves in and arm themselves with weapons and wait out the night. Throughout the night, something keeps approaching the door screaming to be let in, banging on the door. Meanwhile the gibbering continues to fade in and out throughout the rest of the night and the smell of copper turns to the smell of blood. Morning comes and the children leave the place. The storyteller who is recounting the tale, however, ends the story by talking about one of the friends who came to them two days after the event. Two days after the strange event in the woods, one of the friends had been nodding off to sleep, when he caught one girl walking out of the bathroom and begin sleeping in the middle of the room as everyone else was. Out of curiosity, he counted the members of the room, and there were one too many. The rest of the night he could not sleep and watched this one girl, even as they left. He was too scared to act against her because he thought the creature might kill all of them, or in their fear, they might use the guns on one another. As he kept his eye on her as they left the campsite, at one point, she slipped away and went into the forest.
It’s supposedly from an account from an actual person, but the informant says that it probably is just because people want to be scared or want to feel like they have had some sort of supernatural event. It doesn’t seem to be much more than an urban legend to her. She doesn’t buy into most urban legends or ghost “crap”.
Performance Context: According to the informant, she read it in an old book before she looked it up online.
My Thoughts: I think it is interesting because it is an example of a much longer form narrative that forms a series of internet ghost stories. There is also special attention made towards making it seem as if an actual account, to not only immerse the reader in its possibility, but also I believe to fall into the recent trend of stories that are from first person youth perspectives such as Cloverfield and other such “found footage” stories.