By Jim Miles
South Georgia’s haunted bridge is found along the Withlacoochee River at the border of Lowndes and Brooks counties, between Valdosta and Quitman just off GA 84. The once elegant span, now called Spook Bridge, was constructed in the late 1910’s or early twenties. It was the gateway to a popular resort on the Brooks County side, Blue Springs. Trains stopped at the springs to deliver visitors from across the state. Tourists stayed in cabins and frolicked happily in the Blue Hole. Unfortunately, the springs had dried up by the 1970s and the profitable tourist trade ended, but the bridge had already met its demise.
Origins of the Spook Bridge
In the mid-1940s a gas truck crashed on the bridge, tearing out up to a hundred feet of railing, damage that was never repaired. A flood destroyed roads approaching the span in the late 1940s, and in 1950 a new bridge was opened along GA 84.
The old bridge, abandoned and isolated, soon gained an eerie reputation. At least two people drowned in the Blue Hole, probably by diving off a cypress tree into the pond and missing the portal, and some believe their spirits haunt the span.
“In the early ‘70s, everybody went down there,” said Arnold Cunningham, whose family owned the land. “Then about 20 years ago, satanic people started taking over,” and around 1975, “graffiti started showing up, like pentagrams, and people began calling it Spook Bridge.”
“Supposedly a boy and girl who were dating were driving and their car went off the bridge,” said Brooks County resident Susan West. “If you drove your car over the bridge, you could hear them beating on your hood.”
Dr. Kathleen Lowney, sociology professor at Valdosta State University, has heard two other stories: “The old house on the Brooks County side, a couple used to live there, the man went crazy and killed his wife. He, or she, I’ve heard both, haunt the bridge. The same couple, a different version goes, were out walking on the bridge and the man pushed the woman off the bridge. She haunts the bridge, trying to climb up out of the water.”
Dangers at Spook Bridge
Brooks County Sheriff Richard A. Chafin did not much care about the ghost stories or satanic rites-he was just concerned that Spook Bridge was dangerous-and one real murder occurred there in 1999. “A man was shot off the bridge, twice in the head, execution style,” he stated. “We believe it was a drug deal gone bad.” His department patrols the area and arrests trespassers.
The bridge can be accessed from both ends, but the Lowndes County side requires a lengthy hike; the Brooks County end is far more accessible. As you approach the bridge, some say, you can feel cold and terror and see ghostly figures of people walking toward you. There is said to be a line that only the bravest can cross. On the bridge are the sounds of crying, screams, and voices, and a great deal of fear. It is said that devil worshipers have claimed it as their own and allow no one on it; if they are present they will surround you. My daughter Melanie, while a Valdosta State student, encountered only slightly stoned chess players, hordes of bugs, and an oddly painted old bridge.
Jim Miles is the author of two Weird Georgia books, seven books about Georgia ghosts and eight books about the Civil War. To see all of his books go to the Jim Miles Author Page on Amazon. Order autographed books or contact Jim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org