The Curse of the Billy Goat

Main Piece:

“So, it started when this guy named William was going to go to game 4 of the 1945 Baseball World Series in Chicago. He was going to bring his goat, Murphy. The goat had its own ticket. Anyway, the goat was pretty smelly so they would not let it in the game, so then our good friend William said, “You are going to lose this world series and you are never going to win another World Series”. So then after that, the curse was placed. Even though the Cubs were up two games in that World Series, they ended up losing. And the Cubs didn’t end up winning a World Series for 108 years. But yeah, that’s the curse of the Billy Goat. I guess it ended in 2016.


My informant is a 19-year-old female who attends the University of Southern California and is currently living in Los Angeles. However, she is from Chicago, IL and lived there for the first 18 years of her life. She first heard this story when the Cubs were playing for the World Series in 2016, where they finally broke the curse. She heard it from her father, as many around were nervous of whether the curse would allow the Cubs to win. She believed in the curse due to extreme dry-spell that the Cubs went through in terms of winning the World Series and also because they came very close to winning in that time but would lose because of odd circumstances.


The informant is one of my college roommates, who I asked to relate any folk beliefs or legends she had for the purpose of a project.

My Thoughts:

I enjoy this curse, I think that it is less relevant now considering it was eventually broken in 2016 after over half a century but it still is a good story. While I do not know whether the events of the story are true, I think that the story was likely in some way, a coping mechanism for the city of Chicago, who could not deal with holding the longest record for not winning the World Series and wanted some way to explain it. This curse is well known around Chicago and is representative of the embarrassment that they great city felt about their baseball team. I wonder if there was any event that triggered the curse being broken, like a new goat allowed into the stadium or William’s spirit somehow being appeased.