Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Headless Woman Bridge, Mississippi

When I was a teenager I lived in a small Southern town that was chock full of history, stories and tall tales. Of course, there was always a ghost story of some sort floating around.

A favorite with the teens was, of course, Headless Woman Bridge.

It was on the outskirts of town in a heavily wooded area.

As the story is told, a woman and her boyfriend were having a big argument driving home from a bonfire outside of town. The woman says that it's over, she's going on with life without him. He gets angry and starts getting physical, shaking her arm hard while driving toward the bridge. She panics, tries to climb out of the car (always an intelligent move) and a limb from a low hanging tree takes off her head right at the bridge. Then the story continues that the man pushes the body into the creek and keeps going. The next day some kids going to their favorite fishin hole find the body. The head is never found.

Then comes the hauntin part. The claim is that this gal wants her head back so she can get on with her afterlife fully intact. She hangs out on the bridge looking for her boyfriend's car so that she can get her head back. (I'm assuming she's assuming he has the head.) Often times you just see her on the bridge looking at passing cars. But once in a while, apparently, if your car strikes a resemblance to his, she JUMPS ON YOUR ROOF! Scary!

So of course what do the teenagers in a small Southern town with nothing else to do but tip cows, make bonfires, make out and drink beer in a circle of truck lights sitting on the tailbed do when they hear about a haunted bridge? Well, all ya'll pile in the biggest truck and head on out there to take a look - meanwhile trying to scare the bejesus out of the girls. (I was usually completely terrified by the time we came to the bridge.)

I will tell ya'll now... I never saw a dern thing on all those trips.

But then, at the end of summer one year, when the leaves are starting to fall and the wind's blowing a little bit and the woods make creeky noises.... Myself and 2 other friends drove out to the bridge at dusk. We were in my Daddy's big ole Chevy, which just happened to have a broken gas gauge. We pull onto the bridge and we're pretty creeped out already, with the wind, the night coming on, the creeking noises, the dying trees. We see something on the edge of the bridge. Slowly I turn off the ignition and we slink out of the truck like we're heading to our immortal doom.

There were three dead kittens on that bridge. We couldn't tell of what. When I think back now, someone probably did a damn poor job of drowning them. They were all lying in a pile and they'd been there a week or two. My friends and I got more scared then before, thinking someone was leaving "a sign" (teenagers!) and we ran back to the Chevy. We climbed in and locked the door before Jason showed up. Guess what? That's right, the truck wouldn't start!!!!!!!!!! (Of course it was just out of gas but we were riding high on teenage hormones and imagination.) We started screaming our heads off and ran out of the truck and across the bridge.

We found a mobile home a short ways down the road and that poor man didn't know what was going on when three shreaking girls starting banging on his door and explaining our plight in between hiccuping breaths of panic. He was a sweet man, saw the kittens, came to the truck, found the tank empty on the Chevy and filled it with a bit of gas for us. Listened to us going on and on and I'm sure he was hard pressed not to crack up in front of us.

We pulled back into town in the pitch black and ran straight to our favorite meeting spot with all the other kids. Well, we were the stars that night! We had a story to tell! We were still full up with the fear. We got the glory and the center of attention. Even the football players paid me some mind!

I will say it was at least 2 years before I went on that bridge again.... and when I did, I was probably going at least 80.

Do you have a "haint" in your town? A scary spot? Somewhere everyone talks about? I'd love to hear stories of Southern Haunts - send them to the Dew!