Haunted Bridges: Over 300 of America’s Creepiest Crossings is the latest book by paranormal author Rich Newman. It’s a list of 300ish bridges in the US that are reputed to be haunted. Chapters listed are: hangings and lynchings, invisible hands, sad suicides, crybaby bridges, phantoms from the past, the dead hitchhiker, scary creatures, scene of the crime, mysterious lights, unfortunate accidents, and unaccounted oddities. Each chapter is listed alphabetically by state then city.
This isn’t the kind of book that goes in depth on the hauntings at any specific bridge. It’s much more of a travel guide, if you will. It lists approximate area, what kind of bridge (suspension, train, covered, etc.), how safe the bridge is (a number of the bridges are railroad trestles, and as such should not be crossed on foot/by car, some are demolished, and others are unsafe for people to access due to the bridge falling apart), and a general idea of what kind/s of hauntings are there.
The author has a very matter of fact description for each bridge. It’s not overly verbose, it doesn’t detail the supposed hauntings, there aren’t stories of personal experiences. It’s just a short, sweet, and to the point listing of bridges that have paranormal oddities associated with them.
Some bridges have supposed hauntings as well as urban legends surrounding the haunting. For example, on bridge XYZ, to contact the ghost of a woman who drove her car off the bridge you must drive to the center of the bridge, honk your horn four times, flash the lights three times, and get out of your car and walk around it eleven times with your hands held over your head. Then you’ll briefly see a ghostly car flash the lights and attempt to run you off the bridge. (This isn’t actually a contact method in the book for any bridge, I’m making this specific one up. But honestly, some of the “contact rituals” are about that silly.)
All in all, I enjoyed the book. Newman has a writing style that is conversational and descriptive without veering into the territory of oversimplifying or overanalyzing the stories presented. It’s descriptive of each place, but short enough that he can put information about 300+ bridges into less than 300 pages. If you’re looking for a travel guide of (mostly) scenic places to visit, with some hauntings to explore, this is a book for you. If you’re looking for a book that describes every single type of haunting at a location, complete with the entire history of the place, you’re not going to find that here. But it does make a handy reference for things to see when you’re in a particular area. Pick it up if you’ve got the time, it’s a nice strong book.
Haunted Bridges: Over 300 of America’s Creepiest Crossings
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications (September 8, 2016)