A dark bridge. A screaming baby. Apparitions in the night. The country is full of “crybaby bridge” legends, but is there any truth to the disturbing tales?
Depending on where you live, the crybaby bridge legend goes something like this: A woman is traveling with her baby (or small child) when disaster strikes. Perhaps it’s a tragic accident that results in mother and child plummeting over the side of the bridge. Perhaps the mother is angry or distraught and hurls her baby into the creek below. Perhaps there’s more than one child. Perhaps there’s a murderous father. Though multiple versions of the legend exist, they all agree on one thing: a baby dies near a bridge and its ghostly wails now haunt the tragic site. At times, the mother’s grieving ghost appears in the woods nearby, sobbing and calling out for her lost child.
So are the stories true? Probably not. Like many well-known ghost tales, there’s little-to-no evidence to support the tragic back story. Many of the murders or accidents are said to have happened at indeterminate times to unknown people. However, if an event so shocking as a woman throwing her baby off a bridge or a horrific accident had truly happened, there would almost certainly be an official record. Yet there are none (that I know of). The lack of evidence and ubiquitous nature of the stories suggest that the crybaby bridge accounts are nothing more than urban legends.
While the traditional crybaby bridge legends lack historical evidence, there are modern reports of parents throwing their children from bridges. In 2011, a New Jersey man tossed his 2-year-old daughter into a creek while she was still strapped in her car seat. In 2015, a father in Florida threw his 5-year-old daughter from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. In 2014, a woman in Oregon hurled her autistic son off a bridge. And of course, there have been tragic bridge accidents involving mother and child. Early last year, a frantic voice led emergency officials to a vehicle partially submerged in a Utah river. When rescuers searched the wreckage, they found an unconscious 18-month-old girl and her deceased mother. The mother had been dead for several hours, so it’s not clear who, or what, called for help.
What do you make of the crybaby bridge tales, truth or legend? Share your thoughts below.