Vermont’s Haunted Covered Bridge
October 22, 2013
Emily’s Bridge in Stowe looks like any other covered bridge in Vermont. But how the bridge makes people feel is an entirely different story.
Officially called Gold Brook Bridge, the one-lane bridge was built in 1844. Over the years, the bridge has become better known as Emily’s Bridge, named after the young woman who is said to have died there heartbroken.
The stories of how Emily died are varied. One story is that she was supposed to elope with a lover who was meeting her at the bridge. When he didn’t show, she hanged herself from the rafters. Another version is that Emily was jilted at the altar and fled in the family wagon. As she approached the bridge, she failed to negotiate a turn, drove the carriage over the bank and was killed.
Whether Emily really existed remains a mystery. Still, strange happenings have taken place at the bridge for many years. Some hear a woman crying in the distance or footsteps on the bridge. Cars that pass through the bridge at night have been reportedly scratched.
An Encounter at Emily’s Bridge
I think I might have felt Emily’s presence during two recent visits to the bridge. During my first visit, I parked at the entrance of the bridge to take some photos. When I turned around, a deer walked behind me and stood in the middle of the road. No big deal, right? At the time, I didn’t think so and took a photo of the deer with my phone (see below).
A few weeks later, Dave and I stopped at the bridge again on our way to dinner. As we got in our car and drove away, we debated which version of Emily’s story we believed. A few seconds later, a deer out of nowhere ran in front of our Subaru and we slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting her. My mind raced. Is this the same deer? Is it Emily? Is she trying to tell us something?
Shawn Woods, who owns Stowe Lantern Tours, has heard many stories about Emily’s Bridge over the years. He told me about some people who didn’t believe in ghosts until they visited the bridge. He knows of others who visited the bridge once and vowed never to return. Woods has not heard of any other haunted happenings involving a deer. But anything’s possible.
“The bridge definitely has a feeling. What is so intriguing is that there are so many different things that happen there. Not everyone gets the same experience,” he said. “None of the stories I’ve heard are of people feeling threatened. But the feeling of some sort of presence is what seems to get people riled up. And it only increases this time of year around Halloween.”
Do you have a story about Emily’s Bridge?
Getting there: Travel south on Route 100 south from Stowe Village for about 1 mile and take a left onto Gold Brook Road. Follow Gold Brook Road for 1.8 miles and Emily’s Bridge will be on your left.
Stowe Lantern Tours
Jeanne CPosted at 09:15h, 23 October
You really brought the bridge to life. It’s no longer a “thing” to cross over or a passive part of the scenery. Loved it!
EricaPosted at 10:28h, 23 October
Thanks, Jeanne! It was really quite an experience. Very strange.
Debby CatanioPosted at 10:12h, 23 October
While standing under the bridge with my son and two daughters, “My son, then 26” was standing in between me and one of my daughters while the other daughter took a picture of us. When we developed the picture a colorful orb was right off the side of his face. “In between us!” “Freaky!!” This never appeared on the camera lense and there was no lights to cause such a thing to appear.
EricaPosted at 10:32h, 23 October
That is so strange! I’ve heard stories about orbs in photographs at the bridge. Apparently people flock to the bridge on Halloween night, but I think I would be too scared to go, especially after my encounter with the deer.
Thanks for saying hello. Great to hear from you!
LouisaPosted at 13:23h, 03 November
I have visited Stowe for 17 years now (we’re from the UK), since the age of 11 and our friends live just a couple of yards up the street from it. It’s one of my favourite places in Stowe and I have a picture of it from every trip. Never had any particularly odd occurrence apart from whenever we are in the picture too there always seems to be orbs floating around. I’ve heard many a story about the bridge and was enthralled with some of the anecdotes from a ghost tour of Stowe I did many moons ago, around Christmas time.
Emily’s bridge is a staple of our Stowe stories and whenever we pass on our way to friends we always say hello and goodbye to Emily as we drive by. Lovely to read about her and her bridge this chilly November Sunday in England.
EricaPosted at 17:41h, 03 November
Thanks for saying hello. The bridge is such an interesting place and people seem to flock to it every year. I have heard that the orbs are quite common in photos of the bridge, although none turned up in mine. I am glad to hear that you are able to travel to Stowe from the UK – and that Stowe has been a special place for you for so long. It is a wonderful community and beautiful spot.
Thanks again for reading Happy Vermont!
Pingback:9 Things to Do in Vermont This FallPosted at 20:46h, 09 July
[…] Maybe that’s the reason Vermont is filled with so many spooky, strange, haunted places—from Emily’s Covered Bridge in Stowe and Converse Hall at the University of Vermont to Brunswick Springs in the Northeast […]
Eva SeyllerPosted at 09:25h, 16 October
I bike around there sometimes but now I’m too scared to go back!!!
Eva SeyllerPosted at 09:26h, 16 October
Did any of that really happen,did emily really exist?
EricaPosted at 13:19h, 16 October
Hi Eva — Good question. Her story has lived on through the years, but I’m not entirely sure. The bridge definitely has a strange vibe about it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the story is true. Thanks for saying hello! -Erica