Vehicle bridge over water
An Amish family, consisting of a husband, his wife, and their two infant daughters, were crossing this bridge at night when their carriage was struck by an oncoming car. When authorities arrived, they found the husband’s body lying on the side of the bridge. They discovered the wife sitting in the middle of the bridge, clutching her two dead babies in her arms.
While the legend doesn’t say what happened to the wife, the only one to survive the accident, it is said that if you walk to the middle of this bridge and stand completely still, you will be able to hear not one, but two babies crying.
All the variations of the legend say that in order to hear the baby cry, you must walk to the center of the bridge and stand still/remain motionless/”don’t make a sound”. Some variations include that you need to walk to the center of the bridge alone or that the baby can only be heard by a “young woman” who stands out there alone, supposedly because the ghost baby will mistake the young woman for her mother.
Located on Geisinger Road in Shiloh, Ohio. Geisinger Road runs between Ohio 13 and Rome South Road. The bridge is located closer to the intersection with Rome South Road.
Before we begin, let me point out that this particular bridge is a little tricky to find because the sides of it are nothing more than guard rails. In fact, despite that there is (or was, last time I visited) a “One Lane Bridge” sign alerting you to the fact that there’s a bridge approaching, if you’re not careful (and traveling at night), you might miss it. Hardly the type of bridge that would be come known as a Crybaby Bridge. But it did!
Regarding the legend itself, this one is a bit unique in that it involves you being able to hear two babies crying. It is also unique in that it is the only Ohio Crybaby Bridge story (so far) that involves the Amish.
Couple of things to note. First, several online sites list the bridge as being in Shelby, Ohio. Shelby is approximately 6 or 7 miles to the west of this bridge. Apparently, people’s inability to find the bridge in Shelby (the city) led to some now claiming it is located in Shelby County. Several web sites do currently list the Crying Bridge as being in Shelby County.
Something else to point out: Several posts in online forums misspell “Amish” as “Omish”. And because the Internet is a wonderful place where no one bothers to fact check anything, that has morphed into the new variation of the legend, where the last name of the family killed on the bridge is, you guessed it, Omish.
Concerning the Amish “angle” of this legend, I recently ran across something that, while not directly related to this bridge, was intriguing to me just the same.
The TV show Amish Haunting (yes, that’s a real show), ran an episode featuring a story entitled “Cry Baby Bridge,” about a haunted bridge in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Since the show opens with a disclaimer that states, in part, that “the following stories are based on Amish oral histories of the supernatural”, and it also features a ghost story involving hearing an Amish baby crying, that this could be Ground Zero for Amish-related Crybaby Bridge tales.
Some other interesting tidbits Amish Haunting makes:
- The story is based on an actual event, which took place in “Autumn 1994”. Members of the Amish community (or actors portraying them) refer to the story as:
- “A legend that has been passed around the Amish community for years”
- “One of the great tragedies in the history of our Amish community here in Lancaster”
- According to the legend, in 1994, an Amish mother, Leena, was wrongfully accused of an extramarital affair and shunned from the Amish community
- She returns one night, wraps her infant son in a blue blanket, and carries him out to the bridge, where she jumps to her death, still holding the baby.
- Neither Leena’s body or her son’s are ever recovered. All that is found is the baby’s blue blanket and Leena’s head covering. Both are recovered from the water underneath the bridge.
- The following night, Leena’s husband, David, is awakened by the sounds of a baby crying, coming from somewhere inside his house. He eventually encounters Leena’s ghost, holding their infant son.
- Around the same time, people begin hearing the sound of a baby crying out at the bridge Leena jumped from. Because of this, the Amish begin referring to it as Cry Baby Bridge.
The episode also goes into great detail as to what happened to a group of Amish teens (all on Rumspringa), who decide to go out to the bridge to see if they can hear the baby crying. One of the teens claimed they wanted to go to the bridge because it was “an evil place where Amish rumors claimed you could conjure the dead”. According to the teens interviewed, the ritual that had to be conducted went as follows:
- Be on the bridge at midnight
- Take your car keys out of the ignition and place them on the hood of the car
- Walk around the car, saying “Cry Baby”
- Eventually, the ghostly baby will reach for the keys and you will see the keys move
Interestingly enough, while there is a very detailed ritual, you do it to make the baby move the keys, not to hear it cry. In fact, while the climax of the story involves all of the teens hearing a baby crying, there is no mention of what, if anything, had to be done in order to hear it. So maybe once the baby moves the keys, it cries on its own.
As I mentioned, there is no direct correlation between this story and the Crying Bridge other than the fact that it involves the ghosts of Amish babies. There are some similarities, sure. But if calling a show Amish Haunting wasn’t enough of an indication that we’d have to take anything they said with a grain of salt, there’s the fact that this particular episode involves two teenage girls from the group running off and never being seen again. In fact, the show strongly hints that we’re supposed to believe the ghost of the dead Amish mother, Leena, somehow managed to spirit them away (pun intended). The episode just ends with one of the others who were there that night plainly stating “no one knows for sure what happened to them.”
I don’t know what else to say except I am NEVER going back to that bridge! I didn’t hear the baby cry or even see anything, but the whole place just feels creepy. You are out in the middle of nowhere but you still feel like there are people all around you, staring at you. It just feels creepy and I don’t ever want to feel that feeling again. It was like at any second, someone or something was going to come running out of the fields at you.
Have you been to this bridge? I want to know about it! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Amish Haunting (Season 1, Episode 2): Cry Baby Bridge
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