Stories, tales, lies, musings and daily life in the mountains of central Appalachia. Dedicated to the education of the American public on the unique culture of Appalachia.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Germany Valley view from Rt. 33 North Mountain. My family were the original settlers of Germany Valley.
You will probably recollect me talking about the North Mountain Rocks in a recent post. This got me to thinkin’ of another story concerning the Rocks, and it involves a creature known as the goat man My Grandmaw Mary told us tales of the goat man who was said to live up on rock cliffs, she said the goat man would lure children up to the rocks by humming a song of enchantment. When the children got up to the steepest cliffs, the goat man would shove them off. Grandmaw said he had the lower body of a goat but walked upright like a man and he had curly horns on his head. He was certainly a creature not to be trifled with. His name was Old Fon. A view of North Moutain Rocks, looks like prime Fon habitat.
Grandmaw Mary said when she was a girl that she had heard the music made by the goat man, she said it sounded real pretty. She immediately recognized from tales she had heard what it was and from whom it was coming from so she said she put her hands over her ears and ran home. Grandmaw Mary said her mother called all the kids into the house and wouldn’t let them outside for the rest of the day. Grandmaw said that the family dog, which wasn’t afraid of anything, laid outside the front door and whined, so whatever was out there, the old dog was afraid of. Another view of North Mountain Rocks, home of Old Fon!
Grandmaw Mary said that once you were under the spell of the goat man, the only way to get away from him was to call him by his name and tell him to his face, “Leave me alone, Old Fon.” Upon hearing that, the goat man would run screaming into a cave in the cliffs and leave you alone.
I now know that many of the tales and legends of my childhood are of German origin and were brought this country by my ancestors. My brother, who is a buff for supernatural beings and spirits, told me that the Old Fon that Grandmaw told us about as kids is actually a fairly well known mythological creature that is known as “Faun” or "Pan".
Old Fon lives here.
Such tales made for lively times growing up on the mountain, nothing is more fun for a child than to know that a little danger & magic exists in your world.