Vehicle bridge over water
For such a small bridge, it seems to have acquired a lot of legends over the years! In fact, there are at least three versions currently in circulation:
- “During the Baby Boom, there were so many babies being born that many women couldn’t take care of them anymore”. Apparently, the local women of Alliance, Ohio decided to make the bridge over the Mahoning River the literal “dumping ground” for unwanted babies. It is said that over the course of several years, dozens of newborn babies were thrown from the bridge, usually in the middle of the night.
- Another variation says that in the 1960s and 70s, Alliance Ohio was home to some members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and that they would kidnap local children and babies and murder them as part of their “secret ritual”. It’s never stated that they did with the small children, but the newborn babies were thrown off the bridge and down into the water. As the “secret ritual” was always performed in the dead of night, that’s when you want to be up on the bridge if you want the chance to try and hear the baby (or babies) crying.
- One final version, and the most recent one to date, first appeared online in 2003. It is said that a mother couldn’t get her baby to stop crying and apparently lost it, throwing the infant over the side of the bridge. When she realized what she had done, the woman screamed and dove off the bridge into the water, killing herself in the process. In this version, if you drive your car over the bridge “around midnight or so”, it will stall out and can’t be re-started for 15-20 minutes. You are also supposed to be able to hear both a baby crying as well as the mother screaming, although it’s not clear if this is while your car is stalled out or not.
There’s no real ritual to speak of, although most of the stories state that you have to be on the bridge at night in order to hear the baby crying. Even the “distraught mother” version, which incorporates a car into the ritual, still wants you on the bridge “around midnight”.
Located on Webb Avenue, where it crosses over the Mahoning River in Alliance, Ohio. The bridge is easy to spot as the north end of it sits at a weird intersection of three roads: Webb Avenue, Jennings Road, and River Street.
Note: Some web sites list the bridge as being “right next to the haunted Jewish cemetery”. It’s not. True, the bridge is only about a mile from the cemetery, which is actually located on River Street. Still, a mile away is not “right next to”. As for the cemetery being haunted, I’ve heard nothing but vague references to ghosts and multiple urban legends. And as the cemetery is usually locked up tight, my advice would be to leave the cemetery alone.
Some Crybaby Bridge legends need to be taken with a grain of salt. In this case, you might want to invest in a salt lick.
In all three versions, there are things that just boggle the mind. Things like an entire town agreeing to throw babies off a bridge or the idea that a “secret society” like the KKK would, for decades, engage in kidnapping and murder, and go so far as to do it out in open. And as some people online have pointed out with regard to the third version of the story, the water below the bridge is hardly deep enough to cause someone to drown.
There are a bunch of stories about that bridge. The one I remember hearing first was the one about the KKK murdering babies out there. I don’t think that really happened but I can tell you that me and my friends are pretty sure we heard a baby crying out there! We were really bored one night and just went out there to see if we could hear or see anything. We didn’t park on the bridge but we did drive back and forth over it a couple of times. When that didn’t work we decided to go park the car and then walked across it because there’s a little path you can walk on. We still didn’t see or hear anything so we decided to just go sit down alongside the bridge where you could see under it. We sat there for a good thirty minutes without hearing a single sound. Then all of a sudden, we all heard what sounded like a baby crying. We all heard it and it lasted maybe 5 seconds. Of course, it wasn’t long enough for us to be able to tell where it was coming from, but we heard it! We looked but there wasn’t anyone on the bridge and no cars or anything came through. So I have no idea what that noise was. I heard it, though, so even if it wasn’t a ghost, I heard the noise that people claim is coming from a ghost!
–Amber, Alliance, Ohio
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