Every culture in the world has tales of mischief-making spirits. In some places they are goblins, in others pixies, brownies, trolls, gremlins, imps, etc. These little spirits live in the nooks and crannies of one home, stealing left socks, moving objects, flicking lights on and off when the home’s occupant isn’t paying attention, and generally making the inhabitants of the home they are terrorizing question their own sanity. They are subtle, agile, and rarely seen. They are so prominent in some cultures that homeowners will leave small snacks or knickknacks to appease the little troublemakers.
The popular image of goblins is of moldy-skinned, pointy-nosed, mean-spirited little hunchbacks who live to be mean and nasty to people, hassling travelers and raiding small farmhouses. But even then, goblins are only really seen in video games, fairytales, movies, and other fantasy-related things. Nobody truly believes in these little devils anymore, right?
About half a century ago, 1955, in the small hamlet of Kelly, located in the state of Kentucky, we were reminded why we once feared and abhorred the small creatures. The Hopkinsville Goblins, as they are now known to be called, appeared out of nowhere and terrorized several families. They were given the name “goblins” because of their appearance: green-gray with round faces, pointed ears, and long arms tipped by sharp, pointed fingers, but the fact is, these goblins are very different from what the classic goblin folklore describes.
For starters, these creatures came to the little hamlet on a spaceship. Yes, a spaceship. The Hopkinsville Goblins are actually aliens. The first one to spot them was a man by the name of Billy Ray Taylor. He was visiting his friends, the Suttons, owners of the house and surrounding land, and when he went outside to get a drink of water from their water pump he saw a large, saucer-shaped object pass overhead. What he first noticed was all the blinking, shimmering lights on the thing, stating later that it had lights of all colors of the rainbow. He ran back in to tell his friends what he saw, but, of course, everyone laughed and no one truly believed him, thinking it to be a prank. Billy was discouraged, of course, but before the night was out he would be proven quite right.
At around 8:00 pm, the Sutton family dog started barking and howling wildly. It showed extreme signs of distress before taking cover under the porch, where it would stay for the rest of the night and the following morning. Alert now, Billy and his friend, Elmer Sutton, nicknamed Lucky, grabbed their guns, a shotgun and a .22 rifle respectively, and marched out to investigate. They were greeted with a strange little creature emerging from the tree line. It stood at about three-and-a-half feet tall and regarded them with glowing eyes, completely unafraid. The two men shot at it simultaneously. It did a backflip and skittered off into the woods. They described the sound of the bullets hitting it as “like buckshot hitting a metal bucket”, but they didn’t stick around to see if it was actually injured, retreating to the house to recount the story to the other family members waiting anxiously inside.
As the men were explaining what was going on, the face of a second goblin appeared in the window, leering at them. They shot out at it, putting holes in the walls, and ran out to the porch to investigate, but were astonished to find no body or any sign of blood. The creatures continued to plague them throughout the whole night, clambering all over the roof and peering into the windows, prompting several more gunshots and many fresh holes in the walls.
It was around 11:00 pm when the Suttons and their guest decided that enough was enough. Everyone made a dash for the automobiles and hightailed it to the police station in Hopkinsville. Though their story raised many eyebrows, nobody could deny that the poor people had seen something that had deeply disturbed and frightened them. Their panic was genuine, and the cops responded accordingly, sending twenty officers to comb the property.
While they did not find anything resembling goblins or aliens, the police did discover a green, glowing patch of ground, which was where Lucky claimed to have hit one of the creatures with a shot from his gun. Pictures were taken of the goop, but, unfortunately, no samples. The officers focused instead on asking around the neighboring estates, which ultimately confirmed that something incredibly strange was going on out there. Neighbors reported seeing lights in the sky, eerie tapping on the windows and doors, as well as the occasional glimpse of funny-looking little men darting through the trees. Unable to actually find any of the odd beings, however, the police investigation was eventually called off and the Sutton’s were left in their bullet-hole ridden home to get some sleep at 2:15 am.
The Suttons’ torment did not end after this, however, as they would later claim that nearly as soon as the police were gone, the little devils began their hijinks anew. They kept it up, although not nearly as bad as before the Suttons went for help, until around 4:45 in the morning, when the sounds suddenly ceased altogether and the goblins disappeared into the ether.
The ensuing, local controversy was quite taxing on the family. Many believed that the Suttons were only doing it for the publicity, for several of the family members worked at a carnival, but the Suttons and Mr. Taylor firmly stuck to their guns whenever they were questioned, and they soon grew weary of the nosy visitors eager to examine their property and search for evidence themselves. In order to discourage these kinds of people, they began to ask an admission price for those curious about the event and the property, which only cemented in the skeptics’ minds that the Suttons were guilty of falsifying this story for the purpose of monetary gain. After so much of this, they closed the property off altogether and drove off any visitors ferociously, determined to go back to living normal lives. They rarely speak of the event now, those who were alive at the time completely refusing to discuss it with journalists or anybody representing the media.
Outside of the Sutton’s experience, no one else has publicly come forward, though the neighbors and even a state trooper, who was several miles away, all reported strange lights in the sky and forest. They were not seen again after this night… but the Hopkinsville Goblins might not entirely be gone…
In 2014, a group of paranormal investigators received an email from a desperate man, who’s identity they withheld for security reasons. In the email, this man states that he lives in a rural home near the border of Kentucky and West Virginia. He tells the team that after moving in, his family was plagued every single night by a group of creatures that sound strikingly similar to the ones that terrorized the Suttons. He described them as being no bigger than a child, with large eyes and lipless mouths. They would scratch at his windows and doors, much the same way as the goblins, and they kidnapped his dog. He mentioned that the police would not help him, nor would his friends, but he thought that he had traced the source of them to an abandoned mine shaft located on the edge of his property. The outcome of his endeavor is unknown, and the credibility is questionable, although one who was turned down by the police might truly have nowhere to turn aside from those who might believe him: paranormal investigators, the pursuers of proof.
What became of this is unknown, but if it is to be believed, the residents of rural Kentucky should be very cautious… and perhaps invest in home security.