The PigMan of Bonnie Brae Bridge

Posted: October 1, 2011 in Denton History, Haunted Happenings

Although far less well-known today as the Old Alton Bridge’s “GoatMan,” Denton has it’s own ghoul haunting the West Denton bridges of Bonnie Brae known as the “PigMan”. The earliest recorded accounts of the PigMan are from the Rockin’ 50s, an era of hot rods and leather-jacket Greasers memorialized in Happy Days or American Graffiti, when young high school flames would return from the secluded make-out spots in West Denton’s farming country with terrified stories of a grunting, rock-throwing, grotesquely deformed Pig Man. Denton’s newspaper relayed a warning from police to teens and their parents to avoid these spots after numerous reports of vandalism to parked cars and parking couples, but word-of-mouth stories circulated about the malevolently grotesque PigMan that terrified young lovers and unwary travelers who ventured into these rural regions known as “Hog Valley.” Teens breathlessly told of a grunting figure who scurried in the shadows of the creekbed and pelted parked cars with stones, and others told of a man-like creature with glowing red eyes who traveled the roadside with an aggressive pack of grunting wild hogs. The most obvious explanations are that these are pranks played on skittish classmates, or imaginative stories used by clever parents themselves to deter the amorous activities of teens freed by automobiles to find remote spots for discrete experimentation. The stories themselves, however, are revealing for other reasons.

Two versions exist about the origins for the PigMan of Bonnie Brae bridge, one rather traditional and the other far more ominous.  The first origin tells of a drifter who was attacked by wild boar as he attempted a shortcut across a farmer’s land. Similar to Werewolf folklore, the bites of cursed or rabid boar then transformed the hapless wanderer into a mad half-man, half-pig creature doomed to roam the creekbeds of Hog Valley, ravenously searching for easy prey like unsuspecting paramours parking on the rural roads outside of town.

The second version instead relates an incident tied to local legends of the “Cowboy Mafia” underworld.  In this more sinister account, the remote areas of Hog Valley may have concealed sites of illegal drug activities guarded by patrols of motorcycle gangs employed by the infamous Rex Cauble‘s “Cowboy Mafia” of the 60s and 70s. During unknown circumstances that interviewees are reluctant to clarify, a leather-jacketed greaser is said to have been brutally beaten by a biker gang after having his nose cut off and a ‘Glasgow grin’ carved into his face (like the Joker)… a gangland sign that someone has been ‘nosy’ and talking or ‘squealing’ to police. Horribly disfigured and unable to function in polite society, this “PigMan” was forced to roam the rural countryside foraging for food, sometimes raiding hog slop or taking shelter in barns, sheds, and under bridges in anonymity except for an occasional frightening encounter. A far more tragic figure than the more fantastic version, this PigMan story is also clearly a cautionary tale for Dentonites who might cross paths with the very real and infamously ruthless Cowboy Mafia of North Texas. Like other variations of this urban legend, PigMan embodies and literalizes actual community anxieties or dangers. More chilling details from oral testimonies will be revealed during the DENTON HAUNTS GHOST TOUR!

  1. sherri says:

    love , love , love this story ! i played around in hog valley many late nights in the early 80’s and had been scared off plenty times !

  2. Rob says:

    Although I myself do paranormal investigations, I am a full believer in these types of legends. However, I just can’t help wondering to myself if this picture isn’t anything more than a bobcat which are prevalent in Texas. Not saying it isn’t this “Pig Man”. Just giving a possible explanation.

  3. Coeli says:

    I went to the Dark Path Haunt on October 20, 2017 at 8:15 PM and was sexually harassed. Halfway through the attraction I came across an actor in a pig mask. I was in a group of three and he was doing the best he could to block us from walking down the path. He was flailing around in our faces and succeeded in allowing the only male (my husband) to walk forward. My female friend and I were stuck behind the pig mask actor. I assumed he wanted us to go individually so I tried to move forward. As I began to move, he got right in front of me and stopped. He put his hands as close to my chest as he could without touching me, and made a squeezing motion and a honking noise before he stepped aside.

    He let me pass but I turned around and told him that what he did was inappropriate and made me extremely uncomfortable. I told him I was going to complain. I tried to keep walking but he pushed past my friend, who was behind me, and pushed his fake snout into my arm and kept saying “PINK PIGGY, PINK PIGGY.” I told him to stop and to get away from me but he continued until we had moved on to the next section of the attraction.

    He completely ruined the rest of the experience for me and my group. Once we exited, I went to the entrance and spoke to the people in the office. I told them what happened and how uncomfortable it had made me. Their response? “But did he touch you?” I said, “No but he got as close as he could. And it doesn’t matter. TO me, that was sexual harassment.” They apologized and said they would speak to him. I told them that wasn’t good enough and I wanted a refund. The lady said, “Well how many people are in your group? Do you want a refund for everyone? We don’t give refunds. Sorry.” I was so appalled at her indifference that I asked for a refund anyway. She gave me my money back but not my two companions.

    I could have supported this attraction despite the actions of one very lonely miscreant but the attitude of staff spoke volumes about where this attraction’s loyalties lie – and it is not with its guests. We came hoping to have an enjoyable time through a unique experience yet we left feeling completely taken advantage of. I will be posting this review to every possible internet site that is in anyway connected to The Dark Path Haunt. I will also be seeking the contact information for management. This place is despicable and I will not allow them to treat anyone else in this manner.

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