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Why Are Bridges Haunted?

02/01/2013

As far as scary, awful things go, bridges have a bad rap. There are, apparently lots of things that can and have gone wrong at bridges in the United States and around the world. Besides being considered symbolic as conveyances to the netherworld after death, bridges are also places where tragic events often take place. People have dropped important things (like babies…for example at Cry Baby Bridge locations across the United States), hung themselves, fallen, driven over the side, and had a variety of other just plain bad things happen at bridges. Why? Maybe it’s because bridges are easier to locate than oddly shaped trees or piles of rocks in a forest. Maybe it’s because they make good hiding places for people doing illicit things. It’s hard to tell and it’s likely that the reason is different depending on the situation.

A lot of haunted bridges in the United States are places where people have congregated to do scary things like satanic rituals (Broussard, LA Mary Jane’s Bridge). Sometimes people murder and then bury the remains underneath bridges. Cry Baby Bridge legends regularly reiterate the tale of a shamed mother who tosses her baby over the edge of a bridge in order to cleanse her own reputation. In Xenia, Ohio, a fisherman is said to have pulled a baby’s skeletal remains out of a river near one of these bridges.  

Car accidents and apparently wagon and sleighing accidents have also been common at bridges. Ghost Bridge in Kilbourne, LAis said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who died in an accident at the bridge. The Everett Historic District, OH Everett Covered Bridge is the site of a sleighing tragedy that ended in a man’s death. Tales of school children traveling by bus plunging over the side of bridges to their untimely deaths are also common. Viola, Railroad accidents at train bridges have also been common over the years. For example, the Saraland, AL Cry Baby Bridge may have been inspired by one such accident even though it occurred some distance away from the purportedly haunted site. At the Liberty Township, OH Screaming Bridge of Maud Hughes Road, two train engineers were scalded to death by an explosion as they passed over the bridge.

And don’t forget gravity hills. Some haunted bridges create awesome optical illusions and creepy, otherworldly effects. The Union, SC Cry Baby Bridge is a good example of a haunted bridge that is also a gravity hill though there are a number of them throughout the United States.





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