The legend is probably the most famous Vermont “ghost story” of all. But, is it true or just folklore?
Emily’s Bridge, aka Gold Brook Covered Bridge, or Stowe Hollow Bridge is located in Stowe, VT.
There are several variations of “Emily’s” story including one that Emily was waiting for her boyfriend at the bridge. Her parents disapproved of the relationship, the boyfriend never showed up to meet here there, so Emily hanged herself from the bridge rafters, in despair.
Another variation of the story says that she was thrown from her horse on the bridge and fell upon the rocks below.
Regardless of which story may be true, or perhaps none of them are, people report strange activity at the bridge including footsteps, a girl screaming, scratch marks on vehicles passing across the bridge or other odd events.
Personally, I’ve been through Emily’s Bridge several times and never heard or seen anything unusual at all.
Even though Emily’s bridge may or may not be haunted by ghosts, it definitely is frequented by amateur ghost hunters, tourists and others hoping to see or experience something supernatural.
The Town of Stowe has implemented an ordinance to keep people away from the bridge at night, due to the noise caused by would be “ghost hunters” and those looking for a place to have a party.
Emily’s Bridge Ghost Story Debunked
According to Joseph Citro, Vermont’s authority on all things haunted and ghostly, the real story of Emily’s Bridge may not be quite so romantic, or even true. In an interview with Obscure Vermont, Joe told Chad Abramovich the following:
“The story of Emily’s Bridge doesn’t go back to the 1800s, but rather much more recently, in the 1970s. A woman by the name of Nancy Wolfe Stead claimed that she was the one who created the story of Emily to scare local youth. There was a swimming hole somewhere near Stowe and Morrisville. She remembers making up the story of the bridge to amuse the kids. At the time, there was a huge surge in the occult and the paranormal in the flypaper that is popular culture, especially with films like The Exorcist that had recently debuted. She was also the one who came up with the name Emily.”
Even more intriguing is the fact that the Gold Brook Bridge may not even be the “real” Emily’s Bridge!
Read Chad’s article for full details.