It’s not unusual to get the creeps when you’re driving. Seeing something strange on the side of the road, missing your turn and finding yourself in an unfamiliar place. You might even get worried someone might be following you, and take extra precautions, just in case. However, if you’re driving through Vermont late at night, you just might see a ghost or two at the Gold Brook Bridge, a covered bridge on the aptly named Covered Bridge Road. It’s also known as Stowe Hollow Bridge, but the locals call that bridge “Emily’s Bridge,” named after a ghost that is said to haunt the structure to this day.
With a length of nearly 50 feet, the bridge was originally built in 1844 for horse-drawn carriages and wagons. It’s the only surviving example of a Howe truss bridge built with timber on a public roadway in the state of vermont. Tales of it’s haunting go all the way back to the first few years after it was built, with a tragic story in 1850 that would give it it’s monniker of “Emily’s Bridge.”
Emily was said to be a young girl from a poor family who fell in love with the son of the richest man in the region. Their parents did not approve of their union, so the boy told her to wait for him at the covered bridge at midnight. The intended to elope and run away together, away from their small community in Vermont. Tragically, he never showed, and Emily was so distraught that she threw herself from the bridge, into the creek below; ending her life.
The tale of Emily has been around nearly as long as the bridge itself. It’s a popular spot for ghost investigations and low-tech spiritual fun from the local teenagers. In 1968, a group took an ouija board to the eerie covered bridge at midnight and claimed to have contacted Emily, speaking through the board about why she’s trapped at the bridge, reliving the worst day of her life over and over again. No reports on whether she spoke to the teens with the board, but the legend continued to grow from there. Emily is also alleged to be violent towards some visitors, angrily scratching them while they cross the bridge, reminding everyone that she’s still there, and she’s still angry. Reports say that some victims didn’t even get out of the car before the scratches appeared on their skin.
Today, Emily’s bridge is a little bit of a tourism draw for the sleepy area of Vermont in which it is located. A nearby shop sells souvenirs for Emily’s Bridge, rather than its proper name of the Gold Brook Bridge. The legend lives on both in ghost hunting communities, the locals in Vermont, and the tragic tale of Emily who haunts the same bridge she used to end her life over 170 years prior.
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Born in Death Valley and raised on the prairie, Deborah is a Wyoming-based paranormal researcher and a senior at the University of Wyoming, studying Communication. Her interests lie in folklore, history, rhetorical analysis and research. With an obvious love for ghost stories, frequently those interests combine with her work on Ghostlandia.