Well as you can tell from the title of this particular essay that this is going to be another one those Cry Baby Bridge stories, well your right. With the exception that this one is a “BONA FIDE” real one. You know everyone has a story about what they have heard or what they have experienced at one of the many Cry Baby bridges in this fine country. But you know you have always wondered if any of the stories were real or at least if there was anything to the legends or the stories.
Well I can't speak as to the validity of the actual legends but I do have an actual experience of mine and I have two witnesses that experienced it with me. But before I get into my story I must give you some background on the bridge legend itself. I assume there are still some humans out there that have not heard the legends of the infamous Cry Baby Bridge. Also just to be clear, I am only referring to the Cry Baby Bridge in Creek County Oklahoma south of the town of Kellyville, and the coordinates are as follows: 35.901509, -96.197607
I am not disputing the other locations in Oklahoma or the United States that claim to have Cry Baby Bridge locations. I am just saying that I believe that this is the actual one.
THE LEGEND OF CRY BABY BRIDGE
Well the legend is very short but does not disappoint. The legend goes that many years ago (accounts vary, possibly 1950's) a woman was driving fast down Indian Road (181st street) with her infant child in an attempt to escape her husband who was chasing her in a separate vehicle. Now those of us who know where the Cry Baby Bridge was know that the road curved sharply on both sides of the bridge. The legend continues that the lady, in her haste to escape the husband, accidentally drove her car off of the bridge and into the creek down below. And it was a fairly substantial drop of approximately 16 feet or so.
The Cry Baby Bridge was a crossing over Mountain Creek which is an offshoot of Polecat Creek which is an offshoot of the Deep Fork River. Now these mentioned waterways do not always have water in them year around but during the spring and fall they almost always do. And some accounts of the legend say that the vehicle accident took place near the end of October, yes you guessed it Halloween.
Anyway after the vehicle accident the body of the woman was found deceased in the wreckage but the infant child was never recovered and was assumed deceased.
Since that time there has been numerous accounts of people visiting the bridge near or at the midnight hour and having some unexplained or even paranormal experiences. Some accounts are as simple as having unexplained engine trouble or a combination of engine or electrical trouble with their automobiles while crossing the bridge.
Other accounts are more skin crawling. Some people say that while visiting the bridge at midnight they have actually heard a baby crying down below the bridge but were unable to find the source. Some claim to have also seen a soft ball of blue light floating around the area while also hearing the baby cry and this is sometimes combined with the vehicle they are driving being shook side to side while it is sitting still on the bridge. This is also sometimes combined with the unexplained engine and electrical trouble with the vehicle.
Now I still have a newspaper article titled “FLYING FROM CRYBABY BRIDGE” that was either in the Tulsa World or Tulsa Tribune newspaper from the 1980's that goes along with some of these accounts. The article tells about a radio crew from KRMG radio that had heard about the incident and the legend of Cry Baby Bridge and decided to do some investigating of their own. Once I find this article, that I know I still have, I will cite the writer of the story.
Well the article tells of the KRMG radio crew driving a transmitter truck out to the bridge and parking either near or on the bridge to see what would happen. Long story short, at or near the midnight hour they also experienced electrical trouble or outage only for it all to return later so that they could finally leave and that their wristwatches all stopped on the stroke of midnight. There was no sighting of the mysterious blue light or hearing of the baby cry, but from the context of the article it seemed very frightening for them.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The year I believe was 1985 or 1986 and it was October. It was not quite Halloween and I believe it was a week or two away. I had worked that day at Staiger's Grocery and Hardware in Kellyville and got off work somewhere around 4 pm. Now in those days at that age there was never a whole lot of money to go around so I and my friends usually found something to do that didn't require very much money. So after work I met up with my best friend Jimmy Heath and my cousin Brian McGuire and we started tossing some ideas around of what to do.
Brian had mentioned an alleged haunted house south of town and since it was on the way to Cry Baby Bridge we just figured we would check them both out and see if we could find some spooks. What the heck it was almost Halloween; it seemed like the festive thing to do. Now we all had made regular trips out to Cry Baby Bridge but I don't recall ever stopping for more than a few seconds, usually because there were other folks our age from other towns drinking the adult beverages and acting up and not everyone was always welcome visitors. And also because there was a small shack of a house on the south side of the bridge they could never be fully seen from the roadway, but you could tell it was old and run down but had electric because there was a small yard light nearby to the house.
The little shack always creeped me out because of all my little visits to the bridge. I always seen the yard light on but never seen anyone at the house. Just a little weird to me. No car, no other signs of human life, but electric to provide simple conveniences.
So off we went, driving my truck since I had a tank of gas and my truck was running which was always a good thing back in those days. We drove south of out Kellyville on Maple drive then to Indian Road to the west stopping first at the alleged Haunted House.
Now this Haunted House turned out to be an old abandoned home in the middle of a cow pasture. We parked my truck alongside the county road and we actually had to crawl through a barbed wire fence and walk about 100 yards out to this old house. Once there we had to keep an eye out for the cows that lived there because they all seemed a little too curious about our presence there and we weren't sure how friendly the neighborhood bull was.
We spent about a whole fifteen minutes at the house finding no spooks at all and losing all expectations that the quest was going to get any better. The house was barren and would have made a good fake spook house having broken out windows and no doors, but was apparently not a good actual Haunted House.
Feeling a little let down we walked the 100 yards or so back to my truck and piled in and was all set to continue our journey until our fortunes took a turn for the worse. My truck wouldn't start.
Now back in those days it was a well-known fact how many starter motors I went through with my truck because I had been seen all over town changing them out in local parking lots and roadsides. Well on this particular day another starter motor incident had struck. Thank goodness it was not quite dark yet but it was in the fall and the days had been getting shorter.
Upon a quick inventory of my truck we quickly discovered that I had in fact left my tools at home so working on our problem on site was going to be impossible. So we waited for a little but hoping someone, anyone, would drive by and give us a ride back to town, but in those days this particular road wasn't all that well-traveled so our only disparaging option was to walk.
As our luck was consistently turning bad the closest direction to walk to our needed destination was towards Cray Baby Bridge. Yes that's right towards the bridge. I had never walked over Cry Baby Bridge, but hey I was a strapping young man, I could do this with no problem.
Before we knew it we were on our way, walking and talking and wondering how long it would take us to get some help to get us out of there. By the time we were getting near the dreaded bridge Jimmy, Brian and I had all found sufficient sized sticks for each of us and we were carrying them in a semi-defense position when we were not swinging them at tin cans or each other. The sticks were more like walking sticks and I think were more of a psychological advantage than anything else, and it was already dark outside.
Soon we started our approach to the bridge and we were about 100 yards away I could see the light to the old shack. I was about 60 yards in front of Jimmy and Brian who were lagging behind me and my heart rate started to pick up out of apprehension of the fact that I was going to have to walk across the dreaded Cry Baby Bridge, but I was still walking towards it a good steady pace.
Once we were about 20 yards or so from the bridge I stopped in my tracks because I could feel something was not quite right. Then all of a sudden I could hear it. Between the edge of the road and the old shack was a good deal of high grass and weeds probably knee-high to me and I could see something moving the weeds. The grass in front of me illuminated only by the yard light of the old shack would only allow me to see about 50 feet or so in front of me and my eyes began to strain to try to make out what I was looking at.
Those few seconds when your mind starts accessing data from your brain to try to make a possible match to the thing you are looking at seemed like a short lifetime as my heart picked up the pace and I could feel myself breathing a little harder. Then a new sound came to my ears, it was something hitting the ground very quickly over and over again and then a slight metallic jingle sound followed by what sounded like quick breathing. My mind was in overdrive by this time frantically taking these clues and trying so very hard to piece them together to make sense of these sights and sounds. Suddenly all at once the last clue came to my ears and my brain snapped all the pieces of evidence together to make a safe assumption and that sound was that of a very angry barking dog, and not only one, more than one.
DOGS! I screamed aloud as I instantly turned completely around and began sprinting for all my legs were worth. Let me tell you I was running with every bit of energy my body could summon up. Granted that at this point I had not seen any dogs but my senses told me that they were there and in an instant they were on my heels.
Now remember Jimmy and Brian were behind me, but I was now running toward them, and I have never been known to be a fast runner but on that night I was setting a new record, and in just a second I had passed Jimmy and Brian and once again yelled out “DOGS”!
I have never known anyone who had out ran a dog let alone more than one and this was flashing through my mind and once again I focused on running just as fast as I could. And then all at once Jimmy and Brian who were now running with all their might passed me like I was standing still, and I stated to them as would any friend would as they passed by, “DONT YOU FREAKIN LEAVE ME!!”
Suddenly my senses picked up on even more dire sounds. Loud ravenous barking and snarling and the jingling sounds of more than one dog collar and they were again right on my heels. All my mind could visualize was huge black Cujo sized Rottweiler’s with red eyes ready for the taste of human flesh. That's what my mind saw but I couldn't waste precious energy to turn around and look, I just poured on the last of my energy and kept running like my butt was on fire.
It was October and the night air was cool however the sweat was collecting on my brow faster than a late summer rain. My joints were burning in pain, air was getting harder and harder to pump in and out of my lungs and my chest was pounding like a drum. Now I was really nervous, I was about to run out of steam and the dogs were still there just waiting for me to give up. What the heck was going to happen then?
Then just as quickly as the sounds arrived they faded off and the last of the energy left my body and I started hitting the brakes and slowed way down. Once I was able to stop I found myself just gasping for air and then I just had to turn around to look and make sure I wasn't going to have to start the race all over again, and that's where the shock hit me like a ton of bricks.
The dogs were nowhere in sight! I mean gone! Nowhere to be found and out of sight. What the Heck! Where could they be? I just heard them before I stopped and should have been easily in sight range. I mean all I could hear were the sounds of my friend’s feet still pounding the ground running away from me. I stood there for a few seconds with sweat rolling down my face in total disbelief.
Finally I was able to muster the words to tell Jimmy and Brian that the dogs were gone and we stood there a moment and scratched our heads, counted our blessings and re-routed our course. After a short discussion we unanimously decided to do an about-face and start back for the truck, and most of the return walk was a quiet one.
Misfortune did not follow us back however for when we returned to the truck we were not there all that long when help arrived. A good friend of ours, Bobby Richardson, just happened to drive by and he gave us all a ride back to town. And yes I asked him not to drive over the bridge. Now grant you at the time I knew I had just lived through one of the most terrifying adventures I had ever experienced, but ever since I have laughed my hind end off when I think about it. But no matter how you slice it, to this day I still can't explain what happened. The mystery of Cry Baby Bridge lives on.