Crybaby bridges across America are said to be haunted by the newborns who were supposedly murdered there.
In rural areas across the United States, spooky sites known as “crybaby bridges” draw curious locals and countless tourists fascinated by the supernatural.
Named for the local legends of ghostly cries supposedly heard near the bridge, these sites are said to be haunted by the spirits of babies whose mothers tossed them off the bridge or else drowned them in the waters below. Today, it is said that travelers crossing a crybaby bridge at night can still hear the wails of the traumatized child.
But what spawned these legends? And how much truth is there to them, really?
Here’s everything you need to know about crybaby bridges and the chilling stories surrounding them.
A crybaby bridge legend typically consists of three key ingredients: a historical bridge over a river or creek, a baby, and someone — usually the baby’s mother — responsible for that baby’s demise.
In most stories, the mother, in some state of distress, decides to throw her baby from the bridge, either because the child is unwanted or deformed or because she’s unable to care for it. Locals claim you can still hear the baby’s cries at night to this day, and according to some stories, you can also hear the distraught mother crying out in agony as she looks for her lost child.
One of the most infamous crybaby bridges sits in Monmouth, Illinois. The original bridge, which reportedly was made of wood, stood for about 75 years before being moved from its original location in the 1930s.
Today, the new single-lane bridge is made of steel and stands above Cedar Creek, about four miles outside of Monmouth. But even after this location change, local youth have kept the crybaby legend alive.
For whatever reason, the state of Ohio appears to be a particular crybaby bridge hotbed, boasting several of these legends in towns across the state.
Eerie Legends Of Haunted Bridges Across Texas
Texas, too, is home to a number of crybaby bridge legends. Lore about one bridge just outside of De Kalb says a mother once dove her car off of the bridge into the creek, causing her baby to plunge into the water and drown.
Lufkin has a similar story, and according to Texas Escapes, one visitor who drove through the bridge claimed to have found a baby’s handprint on her car window afterward.
Then there’s the “Sarah Jane Bridge” in Port Neches, Texas, which is supposedly named for a murder there.
The story goes that a man murdered a woman, then threw the infant into the alligator-infested waters below. In some stories, the baby was named Sarah Jane, and the ghost of a woman still searches for her child, calling out to “Sarah Jane.” And in others, the mother herself is Sarah Jane.
In reality, according to the Midcounty Chronicle, the bridge was named after Sarah Jane Sweeney Block, who died at the age of 99 and whose children survived into adulthood.
Yet again there are similar stories all over the country and other countries that involve haunted bridges for numerous reasons. Haunted roads that cross railroad tracks. It is a curiosity to that they are all so similar.