Theorosa's Bridge

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Theorosa's Bridge
Location Sedgwick County, Kansas
Nearest city Wichita, Kansas
Coordinates 37°52′59.18″N 97°22′26.55″W / 37.8831056°N 97.3740417°W / 37.8831056; -97.3740417Coordinates: 37°52′59.18″N 97°22′26.55″W / 37.8831056°N 97.3740417°W / 37.8831056; -97.3740417

Theorosa's Bridge is located just outside the town of Valley Center in Kansas, United States. [1] Over the years, it has burned down and been rebuilt. There are several versions of the urban legend, but none have been confirmed historically or otherwise.[2]

The first and oldest version is set in the late 19th century when settlers were traveling through the area. According to this story, a wagon train was passing through when a group of Native Americans, attacked and a settler's baby, named Theorosa, was stolen. Her mother, grief-stricken and sick with worry, left the wagon train to search for her daughter. Legend has it that her apparition still roams the creek near the site of the bridge, her mournful voice still crying out "Theorosa", forever searching for her lost child, never to be seen by her again. [3]

Another version goes like this: Theorosa is a young Native American woman who has an illegitimate baby with a white settler and to hide her shame, she throws the baby into a nearby river and drowns it. Then, overwhelmed by grief, she also hurls herself into the water. In another close version, Theorosa is standing on the banks of the creek when she is stabbed in the back by the baby's father. The baby falls into the water and is carried away and Theorosa dies a short time later, only to haunt the creek, searching for the lost child.[4]

A more modern version of the story has Theorosa as a local farm wife who has an illegitimate child with a hired hand. To hide her guilt, she throws the baby from the bridge. She jumps in after the child into the river and then returns to haunt the place. The story also maintains that those who stand on the bridge and speak aloud that they are Theorosa's child will be attacked by the specter as she rushes up from the river and tries to throw the person into the water below.[4]

Another modern variation involves a mother and her family living near the creek. The mother has three children: two sons and a daughter named Theorosa. She, her husband, and sons all have blonde hair, but her daughter's hair is brown. Her husband suspects her of cheating with their neighbor and drowns Theorosa in the creek. When she asks her husband where Theorosa is, he confesses that he killed her; the mother searches day after day for her baby. While she searches, her husband takes the two sons and abandons her. She ends up farming and living on her own until she dies of natural causes; but every day of her life, she returns to the spot that her husband described, "down the creek at the end of the bridge." To this day, she still visits the very same spot. If someone recites a chant about having her child, she will try to hurt them.[4]

Over the years, there have been many reports of strange lights, and even the ghostly figure of a woman. There are claims of cold breezes, as well as the sounds of mornful sobbing and of a baby crying. Also, cars stalling mysteriously while crossing the bridge has been reported.[3]

The original iron and wood bridge was burned down in 1974. It was repaired, but burned again, and the road remained closed until the current concrete bridge opened in 1991. The new bridge and all the signs by it are covered in graffiti. The bridge is located at 109th street N. and Meridian.[3][4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ My First Pocket Guide about Kansas Carole Marsh. Gallopade International, 2000, p 76.
  2. ^ Haunted Kansas:Ghost Stories and Other Eerie Tales Lisa Hefner Heitz, University Press of Kansas, 1997. pp 120,124, 196.
  3. ^ a b c Weiser, Kathy (May 2010). "Ghostly Theorosa Bridge". Legends of America. 
  4. ^ a b c d Taylor, Troy. "Theorosa's Bridge". prairieghosts.com.