The story of Emily's Bridge, up in Stowe Vermont, somewhere Johnny has been to to see if he could find Emily. In fact, that's Johnny's picture gracing this story.
by Davy Russell
POSTED: 1 June 2001
The Gold Brook Bridge, also known as Emily's Bridge for the famous ghost that haunts it.
People will warn you that you must be careful when crossing Emily's Bridge in Stowe, Vermont, and many refuse to cross it after dark. It is said that a ghost named Emily haunts the historic covered bridge, and she's not just a spooky specter that allows the watcher a fleeting glimps before vanishing back into nothingness. This ghost is feared as she is known for shaking cars and slashing victims with invisible claws.
For about 150 years, horses and cars have been mysteriously clawed. People have heard a woman's voice, seen ghostly figures, and witnessed strange lights at Emily's Bridge. Photographs often develop improperly without explanation, and many have found whispy streaks or "orbs" appearing in the photos.
In Joseph Citro's excellent book, "Passing Strange, True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors", he describes a chilling tale of some locals who sat in terror as Emily's Ghost circled their car and shook it one night.
There are a variety of legends about Emily ranging from a jilted lover who hung herself from the bridge 150 years ago to a woman who claims she invented the ghost story in the 1970's to scare her own children.
Kevin Kierstead, founder and president of the newly formed Paranormal Research America, has been staking out the haunted bridge during the past few weeks shooting video, taking pictures, EMF readings, sound recordings, even scattering flour on the bridge to check for footprints or unexplained disturbances. So far, he has gotten some interesting results, although inconclusive.
On 28 May, the X-Project Magazine was invited to Kierstead's most recent stakeout at the bridge. While Emily did not appear during the four-hour-long "ghost watch", some interesting things did happen. As was expected, numerous "orbs" showed up in some of the photographs taken from within the bridge. While often associated with hauntings, orbs are likely caused by moisture or dust particles in the air that reflect light into the camera lense causing tiny luminous globes that are unseen until inspection of the photograph.
Furthermore, as is also reported at haunted places, our photography equipment repeatedly malfuntioned while taking photographs inside the bridge. One digital camera turned itself off after taking each photo, and displayed photos while the lens was open (something this camera is not supposed to be able to do and never has done before). Even though the high-quality batteries were purchased that afternoon, the camera repeatedly malfuntioned in the bridge. When taken outside the bridge, the camera turned off less frequently. Away from the bridge completely, the camera functioned normally. The second digital camera drained it's new batteries after only 40 photographs were taken. Perhaps it was only the cold, humid air.
After dark, we stood in the center of the bridge and listened. While no distinctly human voices were heard, many peculiar sounds suggested a plethora of causes...footsteps, grunting, things rubbing the sides of the bridge. Due to the hollowness of the structure and the very loud, babbling brook just below the bridge, I am certain one would hear just about anything, especially with the wind howling through the wooded surroundings or the rain beating upon the roof.
Interestingly, numerous fireflies were seen near the bridge. Could these account for the lights that witnesses have described associated with Emily's Ghost?
While Emily's Bridge has a serene beauty by day, at night the covered bridge takes on a more dramatically spooky look. It takes a certain bravery to enter alone after dark; and with the loud rushing of water clouding your sense of hearing, and the pitch blackness of nightime in the country, the mind easily recalls every chilling story associated with the bridge.