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Wedding Bells

Julia M, PA, USA
October 2001

The story I am about to relate is an "urban legend" from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

For a little background, Bethlehem used to be a gold mine back during WWII, for it housed the Bethlehem Steel, a mass producer of military goods. Now the city is rather poor, and the once prosperous Bethlehem Steel is merely a mass of tumbling factories and dilapidated buildings.

Slightly beyond & obscured by these buildings, lies an area of battered, rusted railroad tracks, no longer in use. The deserted tracks have become known as a hotspot for abnormal activity. The most popular story of the area is a tale that traces back to the late 1800's.

A young man and woman were to be married, but when the man asked the woman's father for permission to wed his only daughter, the Father was outraged. He was said to have paced angrily about their small dining room, and stopped to lean beside the fireplace. The young man walked toward the father to attempt to console him, when in a fluid motion the father grasped a sword from above the mantle and took an almost fatal swing at his future son. The husband & wife to be darted to their carriage and left the house, hoping that the darkness of the woods would swallow them, and protect them from the insane father. But moments later the two carriages were neck and neck, barreling down the stone trail beside the train tracks. The tormented old man holding the reins in one hand, and wildly swinging the sword with the other. The carriages followed the tracks across a decaying bridge, where the impact of the high speed chase caused the ancient wood of the bridge to begin to splinter.

The right wheel of the couple's carriage plunged between the rotting wood beams, and the beautiful young woman was abruptly thrown from the carriage into the dark December sky. The long white gown the woman was wearing billowed around her, as she plummeted toward the raging river below. It almost seemed as though time stood still, as the two men watched in wide eyed horror as the bright silk of her clothing flowed about her. She seemed to soar through the air, resembling an angel descending from the heavens. However the graceful image ended moments later when she hit the water with a deathly smack, never to be seen again.

The legend goes that on certain nights you can see the woman in the glowing white gown, hovering above the place where the fateful bridge stands (now rebuilt). When couples travel by the area together, it is said that the ghostly woman becomes jealous and to gain attention, she re-enacts her dramatic death. Her shadowy form seems to appear from the within treetops and again fall from the sky into the darkness of the river.

Another version of this story also claims that the woman will attempt to possess beautiful young women passers by, in the hopes that she will one day live her dream of being wed. If the living woman is strong enough, she will be able to fight the possession, but if she is weak of heart she will be overtaken and will be forced to replace the lost soul that is trapped to the confines of the bridge.

Some women have recounted a desperate struggle with the spirit, one woman even told of having scratches and hand marks around her neck after encountering a vicious female spirit on the bridge.

Thanks for reading my story! Hope you enjoyed it!

Julia M, PA, USA
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