White’s Bridge legends

Published 2:29 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

There have been many scary bridges in our area but none has a reputation for being haunted like White’s Bridge.

Just down the road from historic Pilgrim’s Rest Primitive Baptist Church, the stories of haunting has existed for well over 80 years.

Many folks remember going out to the bridge to try to find ghosts. Some say that they have seen a woman walking with a lantern through the waters of Spring Creek. Others have heard her crying as she makes her way through the thick woods, which flourish along the banks.

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Still others hear a man and a horse galloping and calling as they go down through the waters of Spring Creek.

These are the three most popular versions of the legendary hauntings. We will go through all of these. Then you can decide which one you think is the restless souls or if there really is one.

The most popular of the three is centered on a young family—a mother, father and baby daughter. Hurrying, they want to be at home before an impending storm comes upon them.

Lightning is flashing furiously as thunder echoes across the woodlands and fields. Just up ahead is the thin line that is the wooden bridge. It is not the safest of bridges. The timbers are old and dried from many years of sun and rain. To make matters worse, the bridge has no side rails. The timbers end abruptly, leaving the sides of the narrow bridge open to the water of the wild creek below.

The bridge is barely hanging on to the banks because the water is swollen and high from all of the rain that has fallen in the spring. Then, to make matters worse, the waters of Spring Creek were angry tossing a spray upon the timbers of the bridge.

Amidst all of this turmoil, the family approaches the bridge. The horse pauses and stands up on its hind legs. Furiously, the man strikes out allowing the reins to hit the horse’s sides. Reluctantly, it places its front hooves on the wood of the bridge. With eyes opened wide and wild with fear, the horse ventures farther and farther. As the wheels of the carriage put the full weight up on the bridge, chunks of wood fall down into the maelstrom below.

As the forks of lightning flash and the war sounds of thunder echo, the horse bolts. This throws the mother and her child from the safety of the carriage and down into the churning waters below. As the mother strikes the hard rocks her child flies from her arms. Like a rag doll, it lands farther down stream.

Beaten and bruised from the rocks, she gathers herself up and begins to run down stream. In the flashes of lightning, she sees the precious bundle being carried away. Crying and wailing, she desperately tries to catch up to the helpless baby. Then, the baby slips out of sight.

No one knows how long she searched but she did not find her child. She looked in life and now she continues on in death. With the undying love that mothers have for their children, she still walks the waters of Spring Creek.

Some say they hear her crying while others say they see her sitting in the nearby cemetery, holding her baby and crying.

Another version of the legend is that the ghost is a bride who is searching for the body of her groom. It seems that her family did not like her choice for a husband. There were many fights and disagreements as they hated her intended life partner. Her parents objected because they felt he was not rich enough for their daughter, an opinion she did not share.

One night after a horrible scene, the daughter locked herself in her room. She heard her father as he stormed out of the manor house. Not able to sleep she heard him return many hours later. She heard him say to her mother that the deed was done. A cold chill entered into her very soul as she wondered what he meant.

For days she went to where the couple would meet, in the woods on the banks of Spring Creek by the narrow, rickety bridge. As time passed she became more and more scared. It was not like him to miss even one day, let alone a week. She asked about him at neighboring farms but no one had seen him.

Finally, she gathered the courage and confronted her parents. They told her that they paid him and he left for another part of Georgia. She did not believe this because she knew he loved her.

Time passed and her sadness and desolation became an unbearable burden. Her parents weren’t sure what to do. Then one day during another heated discussion in which she confronted them and wanted to know the truth, they told her that they had hired someone to murder her fiancé.

When she heard this she became despondent. On a horrible and stormy night, she jumped off of the bridge and onto the rocks below.

Now she haunts the bridge, the woods and the graveyard. She is seen walking in her wedding gown carrying a lantern looking for the grave of her murdered love.

Our final legend has to do with one of the many floods that caused Spring Creek to overflow its banks. This particular deluge of rain was just one of many which occurred this particular winter.

The waters of Spring Creek did not skitter and fall shyly over the rocky creek bed. No, this time the waters rose with fantastic force. They raced along and scoured the banks at every turn. When this vicious force came by the cemetery at White’s Bridge, it cut a large chunk from the side there. The cemetery became flooded and the coffins that were close to the creek were dislodged, causing them to float out from their resting place and go down stream with the fast moving current.

Legend says that when you go to the bridge, look into the bottom of Spring Creek at twilight, you can see headstones resting there. Some say that the disturbed bodies are the ghosts that haunt here. They are searching for their grave sites so that they can go home to rest.

Those who have gone to the bridge have reported seeing a lantern light coming from the cemetery and the bridge when there is no reason for them to shine. Others have reported strange noises like a howling and others hear screams and crying coming up from the waters of Spring Creek.

Now you know the three most popular explanations for the haunting.

Now, you can decide for yourself.

Joyce Kramer is an officer and Dale a coxswain in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 83, Lake Seminole. They can be reached at kramers229@aol.com.