White River Junction's Haunted Bridge

The abandoned Route 4 bridge

While a modern bridge carries Route 4 traffic across the Connecticut River in the historic Vermont town of White River Junction, motorists cannot help but notice the abandoned bridge right next to it. This rusting structure, built by the American Bridge Company in 1936, rests atop stone piers that had been constructed in 1896-1897 for an earlier bridge, which, in turn, was built upon the site of an even older wooden bridge.

The haunted bridge, as it appeared in 1900

Known as the First, Second, and Third Lyman's Bridges respectively (named for early landowner Elias Lyman), these three crossings-- which linked Vermont with New Hampshire-- played important roles in the region's economic growth. However, it is the Second Lyman Bridge (which stood from 1897 to 1936) which also played a role in local legend-- thanks to its reputation as being haunted by the ghost of a woman in black.

One account of the haunted Lyman Bridge appeared in a Woodstock, Vermont newspaper in 1900:

So who was this mysterious woman in black? A mourning widow who took her life by plunging into the roiling waters below? A victim of an accident? Or merely a shadow made into something spookier by the imaginations of the superstitious?