"Crybaby Bridge" is by far the most widespread urban legend in Ohio, easily beating out the "Bloody Marys" and "Witches' Graves."  Near as we can tell, there are no less than 24 crybaby bridges in Ohio.   With some variations, most crybaby bridge legends have this in common:  Park your car over (or under) the bridge, and you will soon hear the sounds of a person crying. 

For the most part, the person crying is a baby.  Other times, the sobs are said to come from the baby's mother.  For a few bridges, there is more than one baby crying (as in the case of Gore Orphanage).  For others, the baby doesn't just cry, but screams.  And if you're really lucky, you will leave a bridge with a special souvenir--a child's footprints (Helltown) or handprints on your car.  That is assuming that you can even leave, as several crybaby legends hold that once you park your car, you will not be able to restart it. 

Many of these bridges are associated with nearby haunted places, some of which we have investigated previously.  The bridges were not featured in previous investigations because we felt they were deserving of a place of their own.

So, we are conducting the Crybaby Bridge Tour 2003 (actually, we are looking for a good excuse to go back to some of our favorite places).  Obviously, not all 24-odd bridges are featured here all at once.  We prefer to approach this project as a LOVING WORK IN PROGRESS Bridges will be added as we move along. 

Of course, if anyone has a Crybaby Bridge tale they'd like to tell, feel free to send us an e-mail.


= New

       Rogue's Hollow
 
     Abbeyville Road       Helltown
   Newton Falls
 
  Crystal Springs
 
   Clinton
 
  Egypt Road
 
    Gore Orphanage    Wisner Road




 

 

 

Sprawled across Medina and Wayne Counties, Rogue's Hollow is famous for its classic tales and legends of mill ghosts, devils, and headless horses.  It's hardly surprising, then, that this ghost town also happens to have its own crybaby bridge.  The legend(s) can be summarized as follows:

A young woman--unmarried and jilted by her lover--threw her baby over the bridge and into the cold river below.  Go there on any given night, and you will hear the gurgling cries of the poor baby.

Another variation of the Rogue's Hollow crybaby bridge states that a newborn baby and his parents were killed after their car hit black ice and crashed into the icy river.  While the parents were killed instantly, the baby died much later, from starvation.  At midnight, you can still hear the baby, crying for his parents.

Note of Warning:  Rogue's Hollow is only open to the public during the summer season.  During off-season, it is considered private property, and several "No Trespassing" signs are clearly posted.  Please, show some respect and refrain from going into this area until it is officially opened. Check out the link below for the Rogue's Hollow historical society  for dates and times before making the trip out.

For historical information on Rogue's Hollow, check out the "official" Rogue's Hollow Historical Society Website.

For interesting tales and legends surrounding Rogue's Hollow, check out Forgotten Ohio and Creepy Cleveland's Rogue's Hollow sections.

 

 

 

Not far from the Witch's Ball, along Abbeyville Road near Medina, is this crybaby bridge, barely noticeable from the road.  Legend states that in the 1950's, a young girl, in a desperate attempt to hide her pregnancy, threw her newborn baby into the river below.

 

It is said that if you visit the bridge at night, you will soon hear the baby's gurgling cries.

 

 

Note:  Another crybaby bridge can be found in this area.  It is a railroad bridge located next to a church.  Supposedly, babies were thrown over the bridge by a "satanic cult" worshipping at the church.  It is said that that you will hear the sounds of babies crying, to warn of an approaching train.  It is also said that if you park your car under the bridge, it will not restart until it is pushed away from the bridge.  For obvious reasons, the church and bridge are not featured here.  Do not email us for directions--we prefer not to get sued.

UPDATES:

10/27/04For those curious about the "other" crybaby bridge, check out this webpage sent to us by The Goo.


 

 

 

Of course, Helltown has a crybaby bridge. The actual story is a little fuzzy on the details-- at some point in the past, a child was supposedly thrown off the bridge and died in the Cuyahoga river below.  

However, the story is not nearly as important as the experiment itself. The rules of this bridge are the most complicated.  The following steps must be followed exactly--miss one, and the experiment will fail:

1. Bring along a spare set of car keys.  2. Go there at night.  3. Park the car on the bridge.  4. Turn off the car.  5. Put your other set of car keys in your pocket.  6. Get out of the car.  7. Lock the doors.  8. Walk away from the bridge.  9. Wait "a while."  10.  Go back to your car.  

Upon returning, the car will be mysteriously running, and you will find dusty child's footprints on the outside of your car.

The bridge is located off of Riverview Road, and leads into Boston Township.  The bridge that exists there is quite new.  It was built in 1999, replacing a much-older covered bridge that was repeatedly damaged by floods and other elements.  The new bridge was constructed using the original piers and abutments, which can still be seen around the foundation.

While exploring underneath the bridge, we discovered these suspicious-looking footprints that, initially, may have solved the "mystery" of Helltown's crybaby bridge. . . .

 

. . . . but only minutes after first assigning blame to the local wild turkeys and raccoons, we came upon this weird find on the wall next to the sandy paw prints . . . .

 

 

Guess there's some truth to the legend after all.


 

Located in Trumbull county in Newton Falls, this historic covered bridge is the site of yet another horrific infanticide.  The bridge was built in 1831.  It is the second oldest covered bridge in Ohio.  It is still used today, as a one-lane access road to a trailer park on the other side.
 

As the legend goes, in the late 1800's, a young mother threw her infant over the bridge and into the Mahoning River below. Apparently, she was trying to hide her pregnancy from the community.  The river swept the baby under the bridge, where it drowned.

It is said that you can still hear the baby's cries coming from underneath the bridge.

 

 

 

 

 



 

Research failed to turn up any information regarding the death of a baby at this location in the 1800's.  The closest incident we found involved two river drownings from a car accident in the 1950's on Newton Falls Road, but not at this location.

Furthermore, it may have been a little difficult for the mother to accomplish the deed from the bridge itself, as there were no openings on either side of the bridge at that time.  She would have had to do this from the river banks.

The walkway connected to the bridge (pictured here) was not built until 1929.  Interestingly, the walkway was built to protect children from traffic.  Before then, the bridge was heavily used by both vehicles/buggies and pedestrians, making it especially dangerous for children to pass through. 

 


 



 


 

This creepy-looking iron bridge can be found just outside of Canal Fulton in the small town of Crystal Springs.  It stretches over the Tuscarawas River and lies next to railroad tracks that run alongside the river.  Originally, this was a small foot bridge that was destroyed by a flood in 1913.  Locals built a temporary swinging bridge, but that proved too dangerous for travelers. A permanent wooden bridge was then built, and the original iron grids seen below replaced the floor in the 1940's.  The bridge is now part of the "Crystal Springs Bridge Park", and is no longer accessible by vehicles. 

Interestingly, the railroad tracks have their own ghostly legend.  It is said if you drive down the road, turn onto the small access road and cross over the tracks toward the bridge, your car will stall "for no reason."
 

The legend behind this crybaby bridge is particularly horrible.  A man lured his wife and their baby onto the bridge.  He hung his wife from the bridge, took the baby down to the river below and drowned the child.  

He then hung himself from the bridge's girders.
















 

A view from the top of the bridge looking down to the muddy Tuscarawas River.



 

A view from below the bridge, where the father supposedly killed his baby and then hung himself.

 


 

 

The dust orbs that pepper the photos taken at this site scream "ghosties."  O.k., maybe not.  But they seem appropriately symbolic of the notoriety of this crybaby bridge.  Even though this bridge is located on Cleveland-Massillon Road, it is out in the sticks (Clinton) and was particularly difficult to verify prior to making the trip.  After all, there were many bridges in the area and the directions volunteered by our helpful readers were somewhat vague.  However, once we arrived at Norton, and then Barberton, and checked around, the kind local folks proudly led us to this historic landmark.  As we arrived and pulled into the parking lot of the abandoned building next to the bridge, it was dusk and bats were flying around.  But we were not afraid--in fact, that was a positive sign.  The swarms of mosquitoes, however, were not.  West Nile virus is not an acceptable job hazard, so we kept our exploration to a minimum. 

 

The main legend of this crybaby bridge seems pretty unbelievable, for obvious reasons.  Supposedly, during the civil war, slaves threw their children from this bridge to save them from capture by Southern rebels and/or bounty hunters sent by Southern slave owners.  To this day, you can still hear the babies' gurgling cries.

 

 

In the other legend, a young woman stayed at a house nearby, to hide her pregnancy from her fiancÚ. After giving birth, she threw her newborn baby from the bridge into the black waters, where it drowned.  It is said if you come to this bridge at midnight, you will see the ghost of the mother repeating the murder of her child. 



 


 


Hidden in the surrounding woods off of Egypt Road (Twp Highway 766) in Salem stands an old iron bridge that is the site of various tales of baby deaths, suicide, satanic activity and just plain weirdness.  On October 12th, 2003,  Groovie from Ghost Roads of Ohio and I made the road trip out to Egypt Road and did a little investigatin'. 

The bridge itself is not easy to find (we scouted the place in July 2003 and couldn't find it).  It is located off of Egypt Road,  on an unnamed closed road beyond a rusty barrier (pictured above).  The barrier is not clearly visible from Egypt Road, and chances are that you'll pass it before you see it.  To access the bridge, one must park at the entrance and walk the old road into the woods.  Sound familiar?

Judging from its looks, this place has been closed off for some time.  Trees and vegetation have grown over much of the bridge and road, and there are no street lights.  Night trips are not recommended.  Yet, even during the day, this is a pretty creepy place.

 


 

There are at least two versions of the crybaby legend.  In the first, a young couple were arguing, and did not notice that their baby had wandered off.  Before they could save it, the child fell off the bridge into the creek, where it drowned.  If you come here at night, you will hear the baby's cries. 

In the other version, the child wandered away from its mother and fell off of the bridge.  The mother jumped into the water to save her baby, but both of them drowned.  When the father later came to the bridge looking for his family, he found their lifeless bodies staring face up through the water.  The father, in his panic to find help, ran down the wrong end of the road, into the dark woods.  He was never seen again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bridge is supposedly the site of some teenage suicides in the 1970's.  Interestingly, while we were exploring the bridge, we found this graffiti bearing the names of a girl and boy and the year 1978. 

A piece of old rope was found tied to the support beams, dangling into the creek below.

Hmmm....

 

Venturing across the bridge and further down the road, the pavement turned into a muddy trail.  Just beyond this section, the road seems to simply end--at an opening to a field.

 

Word has it that a strange "cult" was established in these woods about 20 years ago, although we cannot say whether it was satanic, pagan, or any other type. 

We did find the typical satanic pentagram graffiti that most bored  kids seem to spray-paint in abandoned places like this.  To provide some balance, someone else spray-painted bible scripture.

 

 

It is said that many dead animals were found in the woods and on the road, sacrificed by the alleged "cult."  To the left, we found this dead snake in the middle of the road.  However, no foul play is suspected.

On the right, a close up of a tree that has managed to grow up and through the beams of the bridge.  If you look closely, you can see that the trunk of the tree has molded around the iron bar.  We're not sure what connection it has with the legends, but it looked freaky enough.

Also check out Groovie's own Egypt Road page on Ghost Roads of Ohio, which includes a spooky reference to the "Dark Man of the Forest."  Many special thanks to Groovie for her assistance with locating the Egypt Road bridge.  

 

 

 


 

Gore Orphanage (aka Swift's Hollow) has everything else a spook seeker could want, so why not a crybaby bridge?

Connecting the ruins of the orphanage to the old Swift Mansion, the bridge also seems to be a conduit for the tortured souls of children who are said to have perished in the legendary orphanage fire.  Whether this is true or not is not nearly as interesting as the legend itself.

There are at least two variations of this crybaby bridge tale; actually, more like experiments.  Not surprisingly, they bear some similarity with other crybaby bridges in Ohio, such as the one located at Helltown. Both versions are described as follows:

 

 

 

Version #1:

1.  Park your car on the bridge.
2.  Turn off the engine and get out.
3.  The painful cries of children will be heard along the river near the bridge.
4.  You will also hear the crackle of a fire off in the woods.
5.  The negative spiritual energy will prevent your car from starting.
6.  You must push the car off the bridge before you will be able to  re-start your car.

 


Version #2:

Park your car in the center of the bridge.  Leave your keys in the ignition and exit the car.  Once you get off the bridge, the car will start itself.  Unexplained lights and ectoplasm may materialize around you, if you're lucky and the spirits are feeling particularly playful (or evil).  When you return, children's handprints will be found on the car.

 


 

Much like the Egypt Road bridge, satanic rituals are rumored to be practiced on this bridge.  While we regret to report that we found no evidence of blood sacrifices during our several visits to this site, some innocuous spray painted graffiti might--if you squint your eyes and stretch your imagination enough--conjure vague images of weird goings on.  Mostly, though, it's just bad art.

 

 



 

 

Wisner Road in Kirtland cuts through the heart of Melon Head country.  Drive beyond this bridge on the dirt road, and you will soon find yourself at a dead end.  Look closely, and you will see a foot trail that continues beyond the dead end....and  into the deep, dark woods.  In those woods along that trail, people say, lies the ruins of the original Melon Heads homestead.
 

 

 

But if a late night hike is not your cup of tea, stick  to the bridge.  Legend says that if you park your car on this bridge at night and turn off the engine, you will soon hear the screams of small children.

Are they the voices of children who drowned in the waters rushing below the bridge?  Or are they the screams of the poor Melon Head children, who were burned alive in an orphanage fire near this bridge? 

We did not witness such sounds during our visit to this bridge.  Of course, we were not here at night.  However, we suspect the timing of one's trip to the bridge has nothing to do with sounds you may hear.  This area is heavily populated with wildlife, and the sound of the water--distorted by the acoustics of this deep ravine--can sound, well, unnatural.

Note:  There are private residences along this road--and are most definitely NOT the former home(s) of the Melon Heads.  There is also a horse stable here, and horseback riders peacefully enjoy this road.  The horses are quite skittish of cars. Therefore, we strongly discourage joy rides along this road.  If you must travel here, drive carefully, exercise caution & restraint, and respect the people who live here.  Also,  several "No Trespassing" signs are posted around this bridge.