Saturday, January 2, 2021

Avon, Indiana's Haunted Bridge

Avon Haunted Bridge--Source: Visit Hendricks County

Avon, Indiana is a small town located in Hendricks County, almost in the center of the state. And, like most small, mid-western towns, Avon is home to a local urban legend: The Legend of Avon Bridge. 

In typical urban legend fashion, stories as to why exactly the bridge is haunted not only differ depending on who is telling the tale, but also can't really be proven or disproved by historical documentation. Further, the stories as to what the 'haunting' entails also seem to differ from telling to telling, making the location a quintessential urban legend hot spot!  Here's what we do know:

The Avon Bridge can be found in Washington Township Park, its distinct arches spanning across County Road 625 East. Built in 1906, the bridge was designed by engineer, W.M. Dunne for the Big Four Railroad.  Today, it is still owned and operated as an active train bridge by CSX.

It's also one of the most popular places to go at Halloween for a little spooky fun!

Stories tell that one of the workers who built the bridge, sometimes noted as an Irish worker, and sometimes an African-American one, drunkenly slipped and fell into the wet cement used in the construction of the massive arches. His body was never recovered, and his ghastly moans for help can still be heard, over 100 years later, each time a train crosses.

Another story involves a young mother who was taking a shortcut home across the train bridge while carrying her baby. While on the bridge, a train quickly approached, and the young mother was caught off-guard as to what to do. She went to set the infant down, but it fell to the ground below the tracks, causing the mother to subsequently fall after it.  Both were killed, but again, when the train rumbles by overhead, people below the bridge can hear either a woman's mournful scream, a baby's wail, or both. 

It's customary to honk your car's horn as you drive under the bridge, presumably to drown out the eerie sounds that you might hear, especially if you're passing under the bridge on Halloween.  But, a word to legend trippers---by some accounts, the area is closed after dark, so if you want to experience the spooky sounds of the Avon Bridge, you'll have to go before dusk. Feel free to blow your horn as you drive underneath, but take a second to stop and listen; if there's a train overhead, ghost or not, you're sure to hear some strange sounds! 

Sources and Further Reading:

Visit Hendricks County: The Legend of the Avon Haunted Bridge, by Ericka Bethel. 22 October 2020

WishTV: Avon's Haunted Bridge: The Truth Behind the Tales, by Nina Criscuolo 27 October 2017

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