Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy – The Haunted Bridge

I graduated from Avon High School. At the time, Avon was hardly more than the stoplight where US Highway 36 and Indiana 267 cross just west of Indianapolis. Avon had a grocery store, an ice cream shop, a drugstore, a bank, a couple of gas stations and the entire school corporation surrounded by a handful of houses. But we also had The Haunted Bridge – one of the major landmarks of central Indiana (at least, in our minds!)

The story goes as follows: the railroad built the original bridge over White Lick Creek in Avon in the 1850s. A scaffold collapsed and a worker fell into a pylon filled with concrete. His colleagues were unable to retrieve him in time. As they struggled to get to him, however, they heard him pounding on the side of the pylon mold before the concrete finally overwhelmed him. From that time on, people who passed near this bridge heard pounding noises and moans from the ghost of the worker who had died.

I have heard many variations of that story: some say the worker was an Irish immigrant or a black man; some conjectured that he was an escaped felon or had possibly had an affair with a banker’s wife, and that he was the victim of a vengeance murder; one story tells that it was not a worker who fell into the concrete but a young mother with a child who, trapped on the bridge, jumped into the shallow creek to escape an oncoming train – the mother survived but the baby died. Many other versions have evolved over the years as well.

As a high school student, I heard these stories about the bridge. During those days the bridge was out in the middle of the country and was quite creepy, especially at night. Today, much of the area has businesses and housing developments. But, even to this day, some claim that, at night, you can still hear the moans and the pounding noises.

The bridge in these pictures replaced that original bridge in 1907 and remains in operation today. It is an impressive structure and even has a creepy look to it. Still, over 150 years later, the legend remains!

(Click any picture to open the gallery and zoom-in on the Haunted Bridge of Avon!)

See more of the creepy offerings at the Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy!

17 Comments

  1. That bridge always is creepy. There are some really scary looking ones just west in Putnam County. One year in high school or college we bought a book of “haunted” places in Indiana and checked some of the Putnam County bridges out – definitely eerie! Makes for an entertaining fall activity for high schoolers though I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish I remembered a time when Avon was a one-light town. My goodness, but do I dislike driving US 36 through there.

    US 36 has a rather rich history, by the way, with lots of old alignments about. A hundred years ago, it was called the Pike’s Peak Ocean-to-Ocean Highway. There’s a dirt alignment of 36 in Parke County, and two covered bridges on the original route, one in Putnam and one in Parke.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey wait a minute. How old do you think I am?
      We moved to Avon when I entered 7th grade. The 4-lane highway finished up sometime before I got out of high school. But I remember riding my bike to Danville and back from our house 2 miles east of Avon. I saw about 4 cars the entire trip. Would not even think of biking that route today!
      About 100 yards north of the Haunted Bridge is a Whipple Truss Bridge built 1875 that was a part of the US 36 route that ran south of the current route. I have some shots of that I will post soon.

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      1. Sorry man – I’ve lived here just 21 years. So regardless of my age I wouldn’t remember Avon before all the traffic!

        I know of the bridge you mention – I keep meaning to to see it.

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        1. No, no, I really wasn’t sniping. I never have adjusted to the current Avon having lived in its prior incarnation. I don’t really want to either.

          If you want to see the Whipple Bridge without walking along the trails, park at the softball fields at US36 and 625E – the bridge is just in the woods a few feet from the southwest edge of the parking lot. And, while you are there, take the Sycamore trail on the east side of the Whipple Bridge down to the Haunted Bridge too!

          The Twin Rivers Railroad Bridge on the east side of Danville is constructed in the same style as the Haunted Bridge and it is easy to get to for pictures too. At the base where the road passes underneath is another old truss bridge that, apparently, carried the train tracks before the concrete bridge went up.

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