If there is a haunted railroad bridge to be found in Vermont, the best place to find it would be in Hartford.
During a bitterly frigid winter night in the late 1800’s, a fire occurred on the original railroad trestle in Hartford, VT. The Montreal Express, a train with passenger cars carrying 78 people, derailed and burned. Tragically, thirty-six people were crushed, drowned or burned alive, including a boy and his father. To date, this was Vermont’s worst railroad disaster.
The old wooden bridge was eventually replaced with a steel structure on the original concrete footings. The bridge spans the White River and Route 14 in West Hartford. Tortured souls are said to re-live the gruesome event in perpetuity, a haunting and tragic tale to be sure.
It is said that people in nearby Hartford often avoid that particular section of road, near the failed trestle, late at night. Probably just as well, since the few who have rallied their courage to venture forth have come back in a near state of shock. The lingering scent of burning wood, a ghostly railway worker, and a small boy who materializes just above the river (as if standing on the ice), have been just some of the ghostly events encountered. Touching even the hardest souls are the plaintive cries for help, the wailing and screaming, as if those lost that night are reliving the tragedy over and over again, year after year. A truly haunting scenario doomed to repeat it’s ghostly, tragic origins for years to come.