Have you ever been crossing over a bridge on a moonlit night only to be terrified by the mysterious sound of a crying baby or a laughing child? If so, you may have crossed over one of the United States’ bizarre “Crybaby Bridges.” This terrifying phenomenon is a pervasive urban legend in the US, with individual tales being passed down through the generations in almost a dozen states.
The chilling backstories typically start with a baby or child being killed in a gruesome manner along the path of the bridge. In some cases, the stories feature a defenseless infant being drown in the waters below the bridge. In other cases, rowdy teenagers meet their ends by being careless and taking a terrifying tumble. The exact origins of the Crybaby Bridge vary from town to town, but every story is uniquely terrifying.
Below, read about six of the most disturbing Crybaby Bridge legends from around the United States.
6. Crybaby Bridge – Sarah Jane Road in Port Neches, Texas
Unlike most of the bizarre Crybaby Bridge stories that have circulated around the United States for decades, this urban legend from Port Neches, Texas gives its victim a name: Sarah Jane. However, as with many of these chilling legends, the story of Sarah Jane doesn’t have a clear origin.
According to some, Sarah Jane is the name of a young woman who was hanged from a cypress tree near the center of the bridge. Most likely, this woman was executed for the crime of killing her own children. Proponents of this story believe that the woman’s cries and screams can be heard by anyone crossing over the bridge.
Others believe that Sarah Jane was a different kind of victim. In this version of the story, Sarah Jane had gained the attention of a ruthless young man who wanted desperately to be with her. When she rejected his advances, he murdered her by cutting off her head in her own home. Then, he turned his murderous attentions on her infant daughter, also named Sarah Jane. He kidnapped the child and tossed her into the alligator-infested waters beneath the bridge that now bears her name. Those who believe in this version of the story insist that on hot summer nights, those standing on the bridge can hear the baby’s tragic cries. Others also claim that the headless ghost of the murdered mother can be spotted roaming the nearby woods with a lantern in her hand as she searches for her lost baby. If you listen closely, you can hear her desperately whisper of the name “Sarah Jane” as she cries out for her murdered child.
5. Beaver Dam Bridge in Beltsville, Maryland
In the small town of Beltsville, Maryland, a Crybaby Bridge legend exists that has been a source of heated controversy among the locals. Everyone agrees that crossing the bridge late at night is a surefire way to hear the horrifying screams of numerous young children whose spirits haunt the area. However, what the locals can’t agree on is why the souls of these children are haunting the Beaver Dam Bridge.
The controversy stems from another local urban legend: the Goatman of Maryland. Some believe that the Goatman prefers to hang out at the Governor’s Bridge in Bowie, MA or the Lottsford Vista Bridge, but many residents of Beltsville believe that the Beaver Dam Bridge is his favorite haunt. According to these believers, the woods near the bridge have long been the site of occult satanic rituals, which have led the evil Goatman to make his home there. They insist that the children often heard screaming on the bridge are the souls of youths who have been killed as a bloody sacrifice to the Goatman, forever trapped in the spot where they met their ends.
Others seem to prefer not to believe that the Goatman is stalking the woods near their homes, but they offer no other explanation for the screaming children that seem to be haunting the bridge. Perhaps it was an accident that took numerous innocent lives? Maybe a grisly murder? No one knows for sure, but everyone agrees that this Crybaby Bridge is the real deal.
4. Spook Bridge in Houston, Texas
Late one night in Houston, Texas, a young mother was behind the wheel of her car, rushing home to prepare dinner for her husband. According to some, she was just a devoted wife who wanted to please her husband. However, others claim that the woman was terrified of her husband and was rushing home to avoid displeasing him and becoming the target of his nasty temper.
The woman was the mother of young triplets, and the three children were in the car with her. As the young mother rushed toward home, she lost control of the car. She and her three infants were sent careening over the side of the bridge and into the water below where all four tragically lost their lives.
For decades, Houston locals have been experiencing bizarre events on their local Crybaby Bridge. According to the stories, if you park your car on the bridge late at night, turn off your headlights, and honk your horn three times, you will be sure to hear the terrified cries of the deceased triplets. Other visitors to the bridge claim to have seen an eerie figure made of clay (which exists in abundance beneath the bridge) who they believe to be the long-dead mother.
3. Crybaby Bridge – US 67-N in Monmouth, Illinois
On a rural part of the US 67-N highway near Monmouth, Illinois, there is a bridge that echoes with the cries of a child who met their end under truly tragic circumstances. According to the tales about this particular Crybaby Bridge, the story begins with a young woman in love. The lady and her suitor often met in secret, attempting to keep the affair hidden from the judging eyes of their families and neighbors. Things took a turn for the worse when the woman discovered that she was pregnant.
In desperation, she begged her lover to marry her quickly to preserve her honor. He refused. The scorned woman hid her pregnancy by whatever means she could and eventually delivered the baby in secret. Desperate to avoid the scorn and pain that life as an unwed mother would bring, the woman took her child to the river that ran below the bridge. There, she dropped the baby in to the water and drown it.
Today, anyone who passes over the bridge is horrified to hear the spirit of the murdered child fill their ears with its tragic cries. According to those who have heard it, the spine-chilling cries at the bridge sound like those of an infant struggling to breathe, suggesting that the child’s spirit is eternally reliving its final moments in the icy water.
2. Adams Mill Road / Roop’s Mill Road in Westminster, Maryland
In Westminster, Maryland, where Adams Mill Road and Roop’s Mill Road intersect, there is a small bridge spanning Little Pipe Creek. Anyone who crosses over this bridge during the day would see it as a lovely, tranquil spot surrounded by beautiful trees. However, those crossing at night have a completely different experience when the cries of long-dead infants shatter the tranquil night.
The stories surrounding this Crybaby Bridge are varied. Some believe that the creek beneath the bridge was a common spot for unwed mothers to murder their unwanted children. Others site the story of a local slave owner who took a slave as his mistress. When the girl conceived a child, he took the baby away and tossed it over the side of the bridge. Others believe that the girl killed the infant herself, fearful to tell her parents that she had given birth to the owner’s child.
Another, even more disturbing story about the bridge centers on local hate groups who tormented the area for years. According to this version of the story, members of the group started a campaign in the 1800s to kidnap the children of local families and drown them in the creek beneath the bridge in an attempt to purge the town of non-white citizens. According to this story, it is the cries of these tragically murdered children that often ring across the bridge.
1. Crybaby Bridge – Wisner Road Bridge in Chardon Township, Ohio
In Kirkland, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland, there was once an orphanage operated by a mysterious man known as Dr. Crow. According to the legends, the doctor was known to perform cruel and strange experiments on the children unfortunate enough to be placed in his care. The experiments caused the children to become extremely malformed, often developing large, hairless heads.
One day, the children joined together to rebel against the evil doctor. They killed him, set fire to the orphanage, and ran out into the surrounding forest. There, the semi-feral children lived for years, allegedly feeding on babies they kidnapped. Many believe that to this day, the cries of these murdered children can be heard by those crossing over the bridge late at night.
However, some locals tell a different version of the story. They claim that the orphaned children never escaped the building after setting it ablaze. They assert that the cries heard on the bridge are those of, what the locals call, the Melon Head children as they horrifically burned alive in the fire.
Although the locals don’t agree on whether the children in this story are the victims or the villains, one thing is clear: crossing the Wisner Road Bridge at night is not for the faint of heart.