Pennsylvania lays claim to some pretty bizarre occurrences. But, the story behind this lost haunted bridge in Pennsylvania has an ending that – if you haven’t heard it before, of course – might just leave you scratching your head because it really is that unexpected and, well, strange.
Some places just have bad luck. Take Covert's Crossing Bridge whose storied history features tragedy, ghosts tales, and a mysterious disappearance. Covert's Crossing Bridge, a much-needed addition to the Lawrenceville County community of Covert's Crossing, opened for traffic in September of 1888. Prior to the bridge's opening, community members and their horses often faced hazardous conditions crossing the Mahoning River.
County-owned and operated, the single-lane bridge gained a frightful reputation for being haunted. Just who haunted the bridge depends on what ghost tale you believe.
Arguably the most popular ghost tale begins in 1940 when a young girl, returning home from the prom, met her untimely demise, likely inadvertently driving her vehicle straight off of the bridge during a violent storm. Those who crossed the bridge, and stopped, after her death would often notice a girl in a white dress standing there at midnight.
Then there was the story of a newlywed couple who headed across the bridge in their horse-drawn wagon when they were hit by a car. The bride was decapitated and the groom was swallowed by the river, never to be found. Some say it is the young couple standing on the bridge at midnight. Still another tale tells of the premature end of a railroad worker who also haunted the bridge.
The single-lane bridge carried townspeople across the river for decades before it became plagued with problems and was demolished and, at the very same spot, a new version of the Covert's Crossing Bridge, this time with two lanes, opened in 2003. Despite the loss of the original bridge, everything else remained relatively the same with the new Covert's Crossing Bridge.
Until early October of 2011 when the bridge simply disappeared. Well, not disappeared, exactly. Stolen is more like it.
It's not every day you hear about someone stealing a bridge – after all, it's not exactly a small feat – so the odd theft gained media attention both at home and abroad. (Click on the video at the bottom of this article to see how one Pittsburgh news station covered the story.)
Covert Crossing's Bridge – which spanned 50 feet in length and 20 feet in width – must have taken quite a bit of effort to dismantle. But because the bridge was located in a fairly isolated spot in Lawrence County, it took nearly two weeks for anyone to realize that the bridge was gone. The bridge, which was worth $100,000 at the time of its disappearance, had been shut down to public traffic by the private owner not long before it went missing due, ironically, to a rising occurrence of copper theft.
Officials speculated that the culprits had likely used a blow torch to dismantle the steel bridge. The media seized on the odd story in an effort to identify the suspect or suspects. Before the month ended, authorities had two suspects in custody. Alexander Jones (25) and Benjamin Jones (24), unemployed brothers, sold the 31,000 pounds of steel from the bridge to a local scrap company for a piddly $5,200.
Both the original Covert's Crossing Bridge and its replacement may now be gone but the vibrant memories – of courting spirits and coming down at the hands of thieves – live on in Lawrence County.
The story behind this lost haunted bridge in Pennsylvania sure has its fair share of twists and turns but it’s likely safe to say that few will forget the unexpected ending of Covert’s Crossing Bridge. Covert’s Crossing may be gone but you have plenty of existing haunted spots in Pennsylvania to visit – like these
eight haunted cemeteries.