Crybaby Bridge is a nickname given to some bridges in the United States. The name often reflects an urban legend that the sound of a baby can be, or has been, heard from the bridge. Many are also accompanied by an urban legend of a baby or young child/children being killed nearby, or thrown from the bridge into the river or creek below.
There is an alleged "Crybaby" bridge in Columbus, Georgia. The story goes that some children died around the bridge (accounts vary as to whether their death was accidental or intentional), and that at night their cries can be heard and a woman can be seen walking along the edge of the woods. Other phenomenon reported include footsteps and the feeling of an 'evil presence.' It is also alleged that if a car is stopped on the bridge and baby powder is poured on the hood, baby footprints may appear in the powder.
Illinois is home to several crybaby bridges, most notably one outside of Monmouth, Illinois. Many stories surrounding this bridge are similar to the folklore motif, although one tale particular to this location involves a speeding car full of impetuous youths who struck and killed a fisherman as he cast a line into the creek. Another popular story is that an elementary school bus plunged off the side of this bridge during a flood.
Multiple crybaby bridges exist in Columbus, Wilkinson, and Bargersville. Many follow the path of Route 40. There are legends that a baby died in a car crash on the one in Wilkinson, others says an upset mother killed her baby on the bridge.
The Airport Road Crybaby Bridge, located near Blue Clay Falls close to Richmond and Centerville, has been home to many strange happenings such as a knocking coming from either side of the bridge, foul odors, hand prints on cars, lights in the woods, and even the cry of a baby and the call of her mother.
The most well known Hoosier crybaby bridge is in Azalia. There is a story that in the 1800s, a woman murdered her baby when she was disowned by her parents for getting pregnant from a man not her husband.
One of many purported crybaby bridges is located near Doylestown, Ohio, in an area known as Rogue's Hollow. This bridge is located on Galehouse Road, between Rogue Hollow Road and Hametown Road. The bridge spans Silver Creek. Deep in Rogue's Hollow, this road previously led from the bottom of the hollow (Hametown Rd.) to the top (Rogue Hollow Rd.). The bridge is only approachable from Hametown Rd. from October to May, as the steeper portion of the road is seasonally closed to prevent accidents. The bridge is property of the Rogue's Hollow historical society, which also owns the adjacent Chidester Mill.
Rogue's Hollow Historical Society "Map to the Mill" link refers to the bridge; road and creek are visible in "Chidester Hill" photo.
The Screaming Bridge of Maud Hughes Road
Maud Hughes Road is located in Liberty Township, Butler County, Ohio. It is reputed to have been the site of many terrible accidents and suicides. Railroad tracks lie 25 feet below the bridge, and at least 36 people are said to have been reported dead on or around the Maud Hughes Road Bridge. Ghostly figures, mists, and lights have been reported, as well as black hooded figures and a phantom train. The legend says that a car carrying a man and a woman stalled on top of the bridge. The man got out to get help while the girl stayed. When the man returned, the girl was hanging on the bridge above the tracks. The man then supposedly perished with unexplained causes. To this day, many people have reported hearing the ghosts' conversations, then a woman's scream followed by a man's scream. A second story is that a woman was being chased down the road and when she got to the bridge she did not know the area and thought that there was a river underneath, so she jumped over the bridge and when she saw the train tracks screamed all the way down to her death. They say that to this day on certain nights you can still hear her screaming. Another popular and typical Crybaby Bridge story says that a woman once threw her baby off the bridge and hanged herself afterwards. Map:
Egypt Road, Salem
Although the bridge is off of Egypt Road near Salem, Ohio, it is actually on what used to be West Pine Lake Rd., which now dead-ends to the east of the bridge. Legends attribute the crying baby to one that fell in and accidentally drowned. There is also a rumor that there is a cult of some sort in the woods surrounding the bridge. In 2010, there was a murder of an elderly woman that was found, strangled to death and burned just off the bridge. The closed road remains as an access way to high-voltage utility lines. The "baby cries" can be heard at night or during the day.
This crybaby bridge is in the area of the melon heads. The bridge is on Wisner Road in Chardon Township, Geauga County, Ohio, just north of Kirtland Chardon Rd. A large section of the road is permanently closed; the bridge lies just before the south end of the closed section.
The bridge as well as the melon head homestead is torn down now, as of 2013.
In Alderson, near McAlester, the bridge is located at the end of Alderson Road and has been known to legends of a woman who was raped by her father several times and would throw her unwanted infants off the bridge. Local residents have reported sounds of babies crying underneath the bridge late at night and also the glowing image of the woman has been seen numerous times floating over the rocky bed of North Boggy Creek.
In Moore, approximately 2 miles east of Sooner Rd. on 134th St. there is a collapsed and abandoned bridge. Legend of a woman and infant in their vehicle falling through the wood of the bridge during late-night hours, a few days later the vehicle and remains were discovered by law enforcement patrolling the area. As for the bridge, it was never repaired and the road was therefore deemed unsafe and was closed off to vehicles, the cry of the baby is rumored to be heard during overnight hours.
In Kellyville, approximately 1.63 miles east of the Slick/Kellyville Road on West 181st street on the north side, there is the original bridge abutments off of the new road. Legend of a woman and her infant child driving down the road trying to escape her husband. The woman's car ran off the bridge and the baby was never found. Legend continues that if the bridge is visited at midnight the baby's cry can be heard and sometimes accompanied by a strange blue light .
There is a purported "Crybaby Bridge" off Beaver Dam Road in Beltsville, near the Department of Agriculture's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. It is in or near the areas where the legendary goatman has reported to have been seen.
There is another on Governor's Bridge Road, in Bowie. This bridge is a late 19th/early 20th century steel truss bridge; legend states that a woman and her baby were murdered in the 1930s. It is also said that in the early 20th century, a young woman was impregnated, but not married. In order to avoid judgment by family and peers, she drowned her baby in the river. Purportedly, if one parks one's car at or near this bridge, a baby can be heard crying; sometimes a ghost car will creep up from behind, but disappear when the driver or passenger turns around to see it.[unreliable source?]
In Weird Maryland: Your Travel Guide to Maryland's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets, authors Matt Lake, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman include three first-person narratives of crybaby bridge experiences in Maryland. The locations mentioned are the Governor's Bridge Road bridge discussed above, one on Lottsford Vista Road and a third unspecified, but possibly described the Lottsford Vista Road bridge as well. The latter narratives make mention of purported Satanic churches near the bridge and appearance of the Goatman.
There is also a Crybaby Bridge in Millington, Maryland on Walnut Tree Road. Many travelers mistakenly refer to this bridge as the "Smyrna Crybaby Bridge", due to its proximity to Smyrna, Delaware. The coordinates for this bridge are 39.288538, -75.791095.
Yet another is located in Gaithersburg off Game Preserve Rd under a one lane bridge.
There is a "Crybaby Bridge" on High Shoals Rd, just south of Anderson, South Carolina. The bridge in South Carolina was built in Virginia in 1919, brought to Charleston, South Carolina to connect two counties together. In 1952 it was brought to Anderson, South Carolina. The new bridge replaced the older bridge that had been there. It is about 194 feet long and about 17 feet wide. Shortly later locals called it Cry Baby Bridge.
An old Grist mill sat below the bridge along the Rocky River in 1840, and ran until about 1900s.
In 1894 a electrical plant was built there by W. C. Whitner. It gave the Anderson County the nickname The Electric City. One of the generators from the electric mill is still on display in Anderson County.
The bridge has many changes through the times, from no bridge, to wooden bridge, to the well known Iron Railed Bridge called Cry Baby Bridge to now modern cement bridge that now runs beside Cry Baby Bridge, it still remains a part of Anderson County's history and a famous landmark.
A popular destination for paranormal enthusiasts just south of Pageland, South Carolina is one of the oldest "cry baby" bridges. Locally known as "Cry Baby Creek", the bridge spanning Flat Creek has been closed off to auto traffic since the late 50's, but is accessible by foot via a short walk through what is now a nature reserve. The story of Cry Baby Creek tells of a young mother who loses her baby in the slow moving waters after a late night accident on the bridge. Unlike the most other crybaby legends, the sounds coming from the creek are not limited to hearing a baby cry while standing on the bridge; many legends refer to witnesses actually seeing the mother search for her baby up and down the creek.
Jack Creek, a stream west of Lufkin, Texas, has for years been known as Cry Baby Creek, supposedly because a woman and a baby died when their auto veered off a wooden bridge and fell into the steep creek. Annette Sawyer of Lufkin said visitors who come to the site at night claim they have heard sounds resembling a baby crying. One visitor supposedly found the imprint of a baby’s hand on her auto window after returning from the bridge.
"Sarah Jane Bridge" on East Port Neches Avenue in Port Neches, Texas is said to be the bridge from which a baby of the same name was thrown into the alligator-infested water by a man who had murdered the child's mother. It is said Sarah Jane can be heard crying from the water when one stands on the bridge on hot summer nights. The child's mother, a headless ghost wandering the woods nearby, can also be heard whispering "Sarah Jane" as she searches the forest with a lantern. The legendary Sarah Jane is Sarah Jane Block, who lost no children and lived to the age of 99.
Locals from the small town of Bear River City, Utah claim that many years ago a mother drove off the bridge with her two children in the car, killing the three of them. It is said that honking the horn three times will elicit a response from the ghostly children. Some claim to have heard a child's voice saying "Don't do it, Mother!"
In 1999, Maryland folklorist Jesse Glass presented a case against several crybaby bridges being genuine folklore, contending that they were instead fakelore that was knowingly being propagated through the internet.
Among Glass' examples was the story of a bridge located in Westminister, Maryland, which concerned the murder of escaped slaves and African American children. It's located specifically on Rockland Road, just off of Uniontown Road outside of Westminster's city limits past Rt. 31. In the 1800s, the story held, unwanted black babies were drowned by being thrown off this bridge. Regional newspapers, such as the American Sentinel and the Democratic Advocate, which usually covered racially motivated murders of the period, make no mention of the events described online.
However, in their book Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets, authors Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman relate the story of a purported crybaby bridge on Lottsford Vista Road between Bowie and Upper Marlboro, asserting that this bridge has "made believers out of many skeptics." The text included from their informant makes no mention of escaped slaves but does repeat a familiar component of such legends: an out-of-wedlock birth.
- Urban legend
- La Llorona
- Ode to Billy Joe (film)
- Westminster, Maryland
- Limbo of Infants
- ""Crybaby" Bridge".
- Mark Moran and Mark Scuerman (2006). Weird Georgia. Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 1-4027-3388-7.
- Crybaby Bridge at the Legends and Lore of Illinois
- Willis, James A. Haunted Indiana: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Hoosier State page 38
- Crybaby Bridges
- The Screaming Bridge of Maud Hughes Road
- The Shadowlands Maryland Crybaby Bridge Entries
- Matt Lake, Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman: Weird Maryland: Your Travel Guide to Maryland's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets Page 178 Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., ISBN 1-4027-3906-0 Accessed via Google Books August 17, 2008
- Bowman, Bob. "Lufkin Landmarks and Attractions". Best of East Texas.
- Cunningham, Carl (1998-10-28). "Spooky legend lives on". The Mid County Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- Sanders, Ashley (2007-10-30). "The many legends of Sara Jane Road". Port Arthur News. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupid?key=olbp37916 The University of Pennsylvania Online Books Page for The Witness; Slavery in Nineteenth Century Carroll County, Maryland.
- Moran; Sceurman, p.22