Norris Ford Bridge
Built in 1916
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Rush County, Indiana
Rush County is home to just over 18,000 residents and is mostly covered with farm land. It is probably most well known for its courthouse, which I’ll be covering in another Hub, and its covered bridges. There are five covered bridges in rush county, which is an impressive number. There are a few other counties in the US with more, but five isn’t bad; it puts us on the map. For the purposes of this article I will be focusing on one specific covered bridge, the Norris Ford Bridge, built in 1916 by EL Kennedy and Sons, located about a half mile East of Ft.Wayne Rd. on County Road East 300 North. Nestled in a thicket of forest with the Flatrock River flowing steadily below, it creates the perfect setting for a ghost story. I have heard a few slightly different versions of the legend, I will tell it as it was told to me in the most entertaining fashion as I can muster. I can find no historical reference to any of the events projected in the following story, so it is to be taken strictly as it is intended; as a local legend.
It was less than a year after the completion of the Norris Ford Bridge, and there was a young woman who moved into a small farmhouse less than a mile away from it. She was new to the area and had no husband or children, so she was automatically under suspicion by the local residents. She kept to her self; aside from selling or trading eggs to get some of the things she needed that her small farm couldn’t provide, she was never seen. The folks in the area had begun talking, and it wasn’t about how pretty she was. One day at the local store she was spotted buying clove, ginger, nutmeg, and other various herbs and spices by some of the local women and it was whispered by one of them “maybe she is a witch.” In those days the word witch brought about the same kind of emotionally driven response that you would expect from the passengers on a plane when the word bomb is used. The mere whisper of the word witch wasn’t enough to send the lynch mob with torches in hand pounding on her door, but it was the ember that started the fire. That following Sunday it was discovered that she didn’t attend church, and a few days after that there was a story circulating that she had dead chickens hanging in her house. The stories continued and the stigma grew out of proportion. One evening she visited the local Doctor, and told him that she was pregnant, and would deliver very soon. The doctor was a discrete professional man, and even at his wife’s prying he told no one, but it is hard to hide the delivery of a baby especially in such a small community. When she delivered the baby the fire was blazing and the town’s people were itchy. A town meeting was immediately organized, and the people were in an uproar. There was talk of running her out of town, and of tarring and feathering her, and of hanging her. They decided that they were going to confront her as a group so the meeting was convened and they migrated to her house in full mob fashion. When they arrived they found her with her newborn baby in her arms cold, blue, and lifeless. They immediately accused her of witchcraft as they tried to subdue her. Somehow she managed to escape from the angry mob and disappeared in the forest with her baby still in her arms. The dogs were called out and a posse was formed to search for her. Two days went by with no sign of her when she was spotted in the rafters of the nearby covered bridge by a young boy on his way home from school. The bridge was quickly surrounded and the people all closed in on her. She was supposedly moaning and screaming like a wild animal, with a look in her eyes of complete horror. As they closed in on her in the center of the bridge, she either fell or jumped from the rafters and broke her neck killing her on impact. The coroners report stated that the child died of natural causes. The bridge is said to be haunted by her ghost to this very day, as she searches for justice from all of the town’s people who offered no justice to her. It is said that you can still hear her moan and scream if you listen carefully on a cold windy night, and that her ghost will take your children and drown them in the river if she ever finds them alone. She is forever; gruesomely connected to the Legend of Cry Woman’s Bridge.
Inside the Legend
The Teenagers Test
Now due to the legend; it is customary for teenagers, after getting their license, to drive to the middle of the bridge at mid-night and stop so they can yell “I got your baby”, only to speed off in hopes of not being caught by the ghost. I had already done it a few times just messing around when me and a few buddies decided go to the bridge and try our luck once more. We got there a few minutes before mid-night so we sat in the middle of the bridge in the car and waited. At exactly 12:00 mid-night I rolled down my window and yelled “Hey! I got your baby” I immediately tried to take off but we didn’t go anywhere. I felt the color drain from my face as I sat there going nowhere when it seemed like I should have been half a mile down the road already. Just then we heard a loud bang on the back of my car, and we all began getting frantic and yelling. A moment later I realized that the car had somehow been knocked into neutral, so I put it in drive and took off like a bat out of hell. A good piece down the road we were all laughing and talking about how scared we all looked, as we made fun of each other for being so scared. I still don’t know what made the sound on the back of the car, but I can guess that it was a warning from the ghost of Cry Woman’s Bridge.
Note to Reader
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Rush County Covered Bridge
Mark McGaha on July 18, 2020:
A proper investigation should be done to make contact with this spirit.Ask her what someone can do to help her move on.Maybe do that instead of pissing her off.
Nd from uk on September 11, 2019:
Is there any more stories like this?does this bridge actually exists or only rumors around.
mam2mah on March 19, 2017:
Cry Woman's Bridge is located in Wayne county, south of Dublin, indiana.
Linda on November 03, 2016:
We lived in Dublin, Indiana just down the road from this bridge but it was known as Cry Woman's Bridge in the 60's and 70's..not Cry Ladies Bridge. I hope it is the "official" one but my mother said that it was a legend when she was young also but she thought the bridge then was in another location. Anyway....it was a popular place to scare your friends...sometimes there would be angel hair or fake ghosts hanging from the bridge.
Robert Lee King on October 17, 2016:
Better fact check this. It is documented that a bridge just outside of Dublin, Indiana is the actual "Cry Ladies Bridge." Though the story you tell is similar, having grown up in Rush County this story was never a part of folk lore regarding this particular bridge. The Dublin bridge was originally a large iron, forbidding structure set on a curve in the county road. It was torn down in the '80s I believe and replaced with with a standard highway bridge with no mystic.
teresa on October 27, 2015:
Cry women's bridge is in Dublin Indiana and it is a is women and baby were driving over bridge when she slid of into water where she died her baby was never found and in the early morning hours you can hear her crying and begging she wants her baby gentleman from ball state came and wrote a large article on it
c on November 11, 2014:
Check out the book ghost of the children's home
SoGoofy on November 04, 2014:
I've been over that bridge a thousand times. Never heard the story of it but the earlier post I read about the one near Dublin is documented. Except you can't get to it as the road no longer exists and it's it's on private property. Believe me I went searching.
Mike Hicks on October 31, 2014:
I have been on the bridge in Rush County @ a little town called Moscow & got shot at by a Cop that was screaming like CRAZY he shot 6 times at the back of my car one of the guys that was with us spilled a bottle of wine it bounced out of his hand & hit the headliner & DRIPPED down on his neck he thought he had been SHOT & stared crying like a baby we took him to the Hosp . @ Rushville after he found out he wasn't shot he was mad & wanted to go home so we took him back to Muncie ..
Blake on October 30, 2014:
I've been to that bridge so many times. It's very creepy. None of us were brave enough to test the legend. We left well enough alone. Shouldn't taunt what you can't see :)
Jessie on October 24, 2014:
I didn't know this we take my daughter to this bridge ever three months or so for her pictures to be taken! Defiantly uncomfortable knowing this!
Sandy on October 24, 2014:
When you go thru this bridge you feel eery Especially at night the whole area around the bridge is spooky too. Thank you for this story. There are all kinds of places in Rush County that are just as Creepy.
Rob on October 31, 2013:
I grew up in Rush County in the 60's and 70's and never heard of this ghost legend in the county. "Cry Lady's Bridge" refers to a bridge just outside of Dublin, Indiana, which is on U.S. 40, in Wayne County. The "Dublin Bridge" as we all called it, has been well documented in books and magazines.
Danielle kadri on October 31, 2013:
Wow I never thought I'd be reading this. I've lives in rush county almost my whole life. It is a teenage tradition to do this. I did it! I heard that woman scream from the woods around the bridge. Most people just tell me I'm full of poop. After reading this I'm firm believer some lore may not be just lore!
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on May 21, 2012:
kerlynb, The story is sad, and the bridge is a bit spooky, but these kinds of stories are my favorite to tell. There's nothing like a good ghost story to get the mind thinking and put the nerves on edge. Thanks for reading and for the great comment. I hope you have a terrific day.
kerlynb from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on May 18, 2012:
Such a sad story :( Of course, people can just feel very creepy when passing through the bridge. In the Philippines where I live, there are tons of paranormal occurrences similar to this one. I have not dared write about them because they, too, spook me. Also, my family members have experienced some of these things so I can tell that these "ghost" stories are real and they happen for a reason. Anyway, I'm voting your hub up and interesting! :)
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on April 14, 2012:
jirel, thank you for taking a moment from your day to read my writing, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again and have a fantastic day.
jirel from Philippines on April 13, 2012:
That was interesting.Absolutely loved it.Voted up!
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on April 01, 2012:
kittythedreamer, I think there are many areas that have a similar story. I learned of two bridges with similar legends just since writing this article. I think it makes a good story though. Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Kitty Fields from Summerland on April 01, 2012:
Ohh, very good story! It reminds me to the cry baby bridge stories in MD & OH. I wrote a hub on the cry baby bridge story in MD, as I lived there and experienced a similar paranormal occurrence. What a sad story though. I don't believe that her spirit would hurt a fly..she is still in search for her child. Poor thing.
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on March 20, 2012:
Skyler Meyer, I have actually camped under that bridge a few times, and rode my bicycle through it by myself at night once. Riding through it was terrifying, yet exhilarating at the same time. Thanks for reading and commenting, have a great day.
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on March 17, 2012:
Shawn May Scott, Thank you for reading and for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have a fantastic day!
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on March 17, 2012:
Raevyn14, thanks for stopping in and commenting. I just read a true story concerning a covered bridge a road over from this one, that was verified by a newspaper archive. I will be writing about this one in the near future. Have a great day!
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on March 16, 2012:
LeilaMonei, thank you for reading and for your generous comment. Have a fantastic day!
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on March 16, 2012:
ChristinS, thank you for reading and for your comment, it is appreciated. This hub has done so well I may write a few more when I find time. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Skyler Meyer from 297 Garlington Rd Unit A Greenville, SC 29615 on March 16, 2012:
The images you have posted is a little bit scary but it's really challenging if you try to go that place at nighttime... Its just like in the horror movie.. I'm scared!
dmop (author) from Cambridge City, IN on March 15, 2012:
CR Rookwood thanks for the read and for the comment. I have also fished and camped under that bridge, we got scared a few times, but that was what made it so great.
Shawn May Scott on March 15, 2012:
Awesome story!!! I have heard this one before and the way you tell it is very close to the way I heard it. Voted up and followed.
Raevyn14 from Tecumseh, Oklahoma on March 15, 2012:
My state has a similar one called crybaby bridge. My brother went to crybaby bridge with his girlfriend and he said he was scared out by a headlights coming toward them, they drove away and looked behind them when they crossed the road, they looked back and there was nothing there, no headlights nothing.
The story is that a woman crashed her car with her child in the car and every night you can see headlights coming towards you, on halloween night you can hear the baby crying and you can see the woman looking for her kids, if she sees you she will get angry and start screaming for you to leave
LeilaMonei on March 15, 2012:
This was so interesting, you're a great storyteller. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of your hubs!
Christin Sander from Midwest on March 15, 2012:
What an interesting story! I love stories and legends like this I'm so glad you did a hub about it :)
Pamela Hutson from Moonlight Maine on March 15, 2012:
Wow, great hub! I've heard this story before, but never from someone who lived near the bridge. Thanks also for sharing your personal story and good luck on the HP contest!