The Stories of Seven of America’s Most Haunted Bridges

Cross over to the other side.

As a nation, we're collectively obsessed with haunted bridges.

Though the most famous may be New York's Brooklyn Bridge and San Francisco's Golden Gate, almost every state in America has dozens of haunted bridges. Why do these modes of transportation lurk in so many of our minds? Perhaps it's because bridges often carry us over bodies of water or across great heights, meaning that we have to put our survival in their hands as we ride over them. Although we know consciously that they'll keep us elevated, maybe we can't help but think of what might happen if the boards break and we go crashing into the river below, or if we were to slip and drive over the edge.

Also, bridges are shadow-cloaked and easy places to hide, and so they've often been used as locations for murders or other illicit activities. They're wooden and concrete spectators to hangings, deaths, suicides, and escapes, and are often coated with graffiti and neglect. They're places where the boundary between the human world and the natural one grows thin, and maybe because of this, we can't help but suspect that the boundary between the realm of the living and the dead might grow thin around them too. The old trope of the imp, troll, or ghoul lurking under the bridge might relate to this, as do many of the upcoming legends, which may or may not be grounded in truth—but which certainly reveal truths about our inner paranoias and deepest fears.

1. Bunny Man Bridge, Fairfax Station, Virginia

Atlas Obscura

This Virginia bridge is shrouded in urban legends, but they all actually stem from a true story. According to a Washington Post report, on October 18, 1970, a couple was sitting in a car near the Colchester Overpass when a man wearing a bunny suit and brandishing a hatchet ran out and threw his weapon into their car window. A week later, a private security guard spotted a man on the porch of a house near the bridge, still clad in the bunny suit. When the guard approached him, the man said, "All you people trespass around here. If you don't get out of here, I'm going to bust you on the head."

The hatchet-wielder was never found, but his threats spawned a multitude of disturbing legends. According to one, the bunny man was an escapee from a nearby lunatic asylum who hid out in the woods and left a trail of gutted bunnies in his wake until one Halloween night, some teenagers ventured out into the forest—and were found gutted just like the bunnies.

2. Goatman's Bridge, Denton, Texas

Texas Hill Country

The story of Goatman's Bridge begins with an African American entrepreneur named Oscar Washburn, living in the 1930s in Denton, Texas. Washburn became a successful goat farmer and was soon known around town as the "Goatman." When he hung a sign on the nearby bridge that read "This Way to the Goatman," it provoked local Klan members, who stormed Washburn's shack and hanged him on the bridge on one dark night. But when they looked over the bridge, according to legend, Washburn was nowhere to be seen, and the noose was empty. This made the Klansmen even more angry, and they went on to set fire to Washburn's shack, killing his wife and children.

Naturally, the Goatman's bridge is still viewed as haunted by many locals and folklore-lovers. Travelers have reportedly spotted glowing eyes peering through the trees and have caught glimpses of Satyrs and goatlike beasts. Another legend says that before Washburn, another African American man named Jack Kendall was lynched near the bridge and still haunts it today.

Some legends say that the Goatman and his ghostly coterie only spirit away people with the blood of slaveowners or Klansmen in their veins. The bridge (and the legends that surround it) is a reminder that the atrocities of the past cannot be cleansed away with time. "If history is the self-congratulatory narrative of a community written by its victorious elite, then our ghosts will often problematize and haunt such tidy romanticisms of back in the day," writes Shaun Treat of why these kinds of legends and ghosts persist in our minds. Even if there are no real ghosts, America is certainly a deeply haunted land.

3. Sachs Covered Bridge, Pennsylvania


This legendary scarlet bridge was built in Pennsylvania before the Civil War, but according to legend, three confederate soldiers were hanged there after deserting the troops during the Battle of Gettysburg. Since then, passersby have recorded cannonball sounds, ambient screams, mysterious fogs rolling through the bridge, and even full-on ghosts dressed in traditional military uniforms. Clearly, the ravages of war can live on long after a peace treaty has been signed, burrowing into DNA and passing along threads of trauma far into the future.

4. Emily's Bridge, Stowe, Vermont

Emily's Bridge

Vermont's Gold Brook Bridge is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a girl named Emily. There are a lot of different legends about how she might've died, most involving some kind of love affair gone wrong. According to one, Emily was supposed to meet her lover on the bridge, but when he failed to appear, she hung herself from the rafters. Another one says that Emily was supposed to marry her groom, but when he didn't arrive at the wedding, she took her family's wagon out to find him. She whipped the horses into such a frenzy that when the time came to make the turn onto the bridge, she failed to do so and the wagon went crashing into the stony river below.

Actually, there aren't any official records of Emily's existence. The legend first officially appeared in the late 1960s, in a story by a high school student who said he'd summoned a ghost named Emily while using an Ouija board on the bridge. Since then, visitors to the bridge have reported contacting a girl named Emily, hearing screams, seeing a girl dressed in white, and hearing the sounds of dragging or splintering.

5. Hell's Bridge, Kent County, Michigan

The star of this eerie fable, Elias Friske, isn't real—but he's such a chilling bogeyman that he may just haunt your dreams anyway.

In the mid-19th century, a bunch of children went missing around Kent County, Michigan, and townspeople requested advice from an elderly man named Elias Friske. The old man told them that the abductions were the work of demons. Later that day, the townspeople left their children in Friske's care while they went to search the woods. When they returned, the townspeople discovered that Friske had killed their children and left their bodies in a nearby river underneath what is now known as Hell's Bridge. He told them that demons made him do it.

Today, visitors to Hell's Bridge report all manner of paranormal activity, from strange orb sightings to floating nooses.

6. Seven Gates of Hell, Collinsville, Illinois

Hunters of the Unknown

Apparently there's a portal to hell in Indiana, by way of Collinsville, Illinois. Legend has it that if you go cross the Seven Gates of Hell Bridge at night, you'll pass through (you guessed it) seven gates, and then you'll reach the door to Hell, where you'll be pursued by hellhounds. Legends say that the bridge is haunted by spirits of devil worshippers who used to use the bridge for their rites.

Though the legend about Indiana's Seven Gates of Hell Bridge doesn't have much basis in fact, there are dozens of bridges across the country that are said to be portals to the fiery realm of the damned. California's Bridge to Nowhere in Azusa is supposed to be a portal to Hell, and New York's Hell Gate is a famously haunted bridge.

7. First St. Railroad Bridge, Marysville, California

If you cross this bridge, be sure that you have a rosary or protective talisman with you. If not, according to legend (and to the advice of some local psychics and tarot readers), the bridge is populated by shadow people who will try to pull you away into the demon realm. Eerily, these shadow people are the ghosts of those who were spirited away before. So be careful, unless you want to spend your afterlife abducting travelers forevermore.

According to one urban legend, a husband and wife were walking unprotected across the bridge when the husband was pulled forcefully away, and he started screaming that the devil had a hold of him. He was able to escape...but he still has the scars.

Once you start looking for it, you'll realize that according to our myths and legends, America is literally riddled with portals to other dimensions.

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Joshua Tree National Park is a gigantic desert located at the crossroads between Palm Springs, the Mojave Desert, and Colorado.

Ever wanted to visit it? Here's what you need to know.

When you first visit Joshua Tree, you're going to want to make a pitstop at one of its three visitor centers—the Joshua Tree Visitors Center (in the northwest), the Cottonwood Visitor Center (in the south), the Oasis Visitor Center (in the north), or the Black Rock Campground (in the northwest, open from October through May). Be sure to call in advance before you go.

In general, it's best to visit the park in the spring or fall. A popular stop-off for hikers, rock climbers, and road-trippers, the park is a surreal and unforgettable area beloved for its unique Joshua trees and so much more.

Must-See Highlights

If you only have a short time in Joshua Tree, you'll want to see its most famous destinations. The Cholla Cactus Garden is a highlight—located 20 minutes north of the Cottonwood Visitor Center, it's a must-see, and if you can make it out for sunrise, the experience will be extra unforgettable.

Steve Sieren Steve SierenFlickr

Consider paying a visit to Parker Dam, a rare watery oasis in the middle of the desert. You might also take a trip to the Cottonwood Spring Oasis for more watery views, possibly complete with views of bighorn sheep.

History and Culture

For some history, be sure to check out the Keys Ranch, to hear the story of Bill and Frances Keys, who built a town—including a schoolhouse and ranch—in Joshua Tree for their five children. Don't miss Keys View while you're at it.

keys view Keys

Keys View

Joshua Tree is well-known for drawing all sorts of alternative types, and it has the lore to match. Rock and roll fans often visit Cap Rock, the place where rocker Gram Parsons' body was cremated.

Cap RockJoshua Tree 3D

Natural Wonders: Trees, Stars and Rocks

Joshua Tree is one of the best places in the world to see stars. With some of the darkest skies in the world, it's a great chance for desert photography or possible UFO sightings.

Joshua Tree Night Sky Joshua Tree Night SkyShaina Blum

It's also well-known for its many rock formations. There's Split Rock, a giant boulder that appears to be literally split in two, located off Park Boulevard.

There's also Skull Rock, a rock that, naturally, resembles a fleshless human face.

Skull ROck Skull ROckProtrails

Then there's Arch Rock, which you can climb on in order to see the desert from a brand-new angle.

Arch Rock Arch

And of course, there are the Joshua trees. In addition to the famous trees, the park has a variety of other desert plants, including the gorgeous red-plumed Ocotillo.

Ocotillo OcotilloiStock

Hiking and Adventure

Rock climbers (or anyone who wants to watch in awe) can pay a visit to the Hidden Valley Campground, a world-renowned climbing center. Hidden Valley also offers gorgeous views of Coachella Valley. Climbers also love visiting the Jumbo Rocks Campground, with its many challenging formations.

For a slightly less strenuous day, visit the beautifully descriptively named Oasis of Mara, a stretch of honey mesquite and playas that offers a short-half mile loop which will let you experience the desert's wildflowers and nature. Mara was named by the Serrano Indians, who called this location their first home in this world.

Oasis of Mara Oasis of MaraSCPR

Another popular Joshua Tree hike is the 49 Palms Oasis hike, a 3-mile trek to an oasis. The Ryan Mountain hike is also a 3-mile uphill trek that will take you around 3 hours, but it'll lead you to a dramatic 3000-foot elevation with 360 degree views.

Finally, the also-3-mile Mastodon Peak Hike will take you to views of the Salton Sea and Eagle Mountains. If driving is more your speed, the park is definitely best for four-wheel drives; if you've got one, check out the Geology Tour Road, an 18-mile stretch that offers 16 stops and plenty of access to scenery.

Camping and Lodging

Camping is a popular attraction in Joshua Tree, so be sure to reserve your campsite ahead of time.

There are 9 main campgrounds in Joshua Tree—Belle Campground, Black Rock Campground, Cottonwood Campground, Hidden Valley Campground, Indian Cove Campground, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Ryan Campground, Sheeps Pass Campground, and the White Tank Campground.

You can also try staying at a Bureau of Land Management-owned area, or backcountry camping if you're prepared to really fend for yourself—just be sure to register at one of the backcountry boards.

If you're not up for camping, check out a local motel or Airbnb—there are plenty available near the park.

Tips and Tricks

Joshua Tree National Park has no cell service, so you'll really want to plan ahead before you go. There are no restaurants or grocery stores in the park, so be sure to pack food and water.

Food & Drink

6 NYC Food Trends You Can Try at Home

From Raindrop Cakes to Ramen Burgers, these New York City food crazes are available in your kitchen.

Back when a world outside your home and the grocery store existed, New York City had a habit of getting swept up in food crazes.

Sometimes those crazes have involved a burgeoning appreciation for an established cultural tradition from around the world -- arepas, poké bowls, Korean barbecue. At other times these crazes have just involved particular purveyors taking a familiar item more seriously -- like the doughnut renaissance spurred by Doughnut Plant and Dough.

But the most alluring and often ridiculous food trends in New York City tend to involve something truly novel, eye-catching, and sometimes just weird. Fortunately, for those of us who are taking pandemic conditions seriously, there are options to bring some of the novelty of those trends home for the Instagrammable weirdness you may have been missing.

These are some of the recent New York City food trends that you can try for yourself.

Raindrop Cake

raindrop cake

Like a lot of food trends that sweep New York, the Raindrop Cake can be traced back to Japan. Created by the Kinseiken Seika company outside Tokyo, the clear, jiggly cake was originally introduced as water mochi. In 2016 a Brooklyn-based digital marketer named Darren Wong set out to introduce the strange "edible water" to New York at the Smorgasburg food festival, and the strangely beautiful dessert took off.

Now Wong sells kits with everything you need to create your own low-calorie jellyfish/breast implant confection at home. For $36 the kit includes ingredients, molds, and bamboo trays for six raindrop cakes served with brown sugar syrup and Japanese Kinako flour.



Dominique Ansel Bakery

When French pastry chef Dominique Ansel introduced New York to his chimera dessert blending a croissant with a doughnut, it was an overnight sensation with lines around the block to try the flaky fried goodness. They were such a hit that a more pedestrian version of the cronut made its way to Dunkin around the country.

Since then, Ansel has unveiled a number of buzzworthy and inventive creations, like What-a-Melon ice cream, Zero-Gravity cakes, and frozen s'mores. But if you want to try the sensation that started it all, Ansel has shared his original cronut recipe.

And if it turns out that you're not quite at the level to emulate a world-renowned French pastry chef, you can always try the knock-off version with these simple biscuit dough donuts you can make in an air fryer.

Ramen Burger

ramen burger

Here's another food craze imported from Japan. The ramen burger has popular in the Fukushima region for some time, but it was first introduced to New York by chef Keizo Shimamoto's restaurant Ramen Shack in 2013.

The simple fusion of Japanese and American cuisine is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a standard white bread bun, ramen noodles are cooked to chewy perfection, pressed into a bun shape, then seared in sesame oil until the outside is crispy.

Inside that bun you can place whatever kind of burger you like, but Shimamoto's version involved a beef patty served with arugula, scallions, and a signature sauce. While your results with instant ramen are unlikely to match the quality of Shimamoto's buns, this recipe should help you get close.

Ube Ice Cream

Ube ice cream

Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

The purple yam known as ube is a staple of Filipino desserts. In recent years its distinctive, almost floral sweetness has grown in popularity in NYC, showing up in a variety of baked goods and in the Philippines's signature take on shaved ice -- halo-halo.

The fluffy ube mamons -- sponge cakes -- at Red Ribbon Bakeshop are a great introduction to what has made it such a popular ingredient. There is also the delicious flan-like ube halaya. But maybe the most craveable and craze-worthy uses of ube is as a flavor of ice cream.

This simple recipe calls for ube extract or powder, rather than using actual yam -- but the distinctive ube flavor still comes through in the delicious results.


Tempura grasshoppers

Food Republic

Speaking of climate change... oh, were we not talking about climate change? It's always just lingering in the background -- a portent of doom hovering over all our thoughts about the future? Cool.

Anyway, speaking of climate change, one of the most important changes our society will need to make in order to mitigate its catastrophic effects it to shift our food supply to a more sustainable model. And one of the keys to that effort will be a shift away from meat to less wasteful protein sources.

Plant-based alternatives like impossible burgers and beyond meats are a likely component of that shift, but one of the most efficient forms of protein on Earth is also one of the easiest to come by -- bugs. With that in mind, restaurants like The Black Ant have introduced insects as a fashionable part of NYC dining.

You might be thinking that's gross, but in absolutely is. Bugs are weird and gross, and the idea of eating them is not appetizing.

But chances are there's already something in your diet that would be gross if you weren't used to it -- aren't lobsters basically sea bugs anyway? So if you can find a way to get over that mental block and make those bugs appealing -- as cultures around the world have been doing throughout history -- you might be ready for the Snowpiercer dystopia that lies ahead.

With that in mind, you can buy a bucket of crunchy dried grasshoppers to start experimenting with cooking. And, while not as inventive as Black Ant's grasshopper-crusted shrimp tacos, these recipes for curried tempura grasshoppers and Oaxacan chapulines tacos sound downright edible.

Hot Cocktails

hot toddy

Okay, this is hardly a new or a specifically New York trend, but with restaurants and bars moving outdoors in the middle of winter, people have been warming themselves with hot beverages. But there's nothing to stop you from bringing that heat home to enjoy a tipsy winter night on a balcony, rooftop, or fire escape.

From hot toddies to hot buttered rum, spiked hot chocolate, and mulled wine, the possibilities are endless. A hot cocktail can be as simple as Irishing-up a cup of coffee, but we recommend getting your hands on some citrus peel and mulling spices -- cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, stare anise, and nutmeg -- and start experimenting with some cheap red wine or apple cider spiked with your favorite brown liquor.

Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.



A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.


A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!