Crybaby Bridge: Clinton

(Orig. Published 8/2003)

The dust orbs that pepper the photos taken at this site scream “ghosties.”  O.k., maybe not.  But they seem appropriately symbolic of the notoriety of this crybaby bridge.  Even though this bridge is located on Cleveland-Massillon Road, it is out in the sticks (Clinton) and was particularly difficult to verify prior to making the trip.  After all, there were many bridges in the area and the directions volunteered by our helpful readers were somewhat vague.  However, once we arrived at Norton, and then Barberton, and checked around, the kind local folks proudly led us to this historic landmark.  As we arrived and pulled into the parking lot of the abandoned building next to the bridge, it was dusk and bats were flying around.  But we were not afraid–in fact, that was a positive sign.  The swarms of mosquitoes, however, were not.  West Nile virus is not an acceptable job hazard, so we kept our exploration to a minimum. 

The main legend of this crybaby bridge seems pretty unbelievable, for obvious reasons.  Supposedly, during the civil war, slaves threw their children from this bridge to save them from capture by Southern rebels and/or bounty hunters sent by Southern slave owners.  To this day, you can still hear the babies’ gurgling cries.

In the other legend, a young woman stayed at a house nearby, to hide her pregnancy from her fiancé. After giving birth, she threw her newborn baby from the bridge into the black waters, where it drowned.  It is said if you come to this bridge at midnight, you will see the ghost of the mother repeating the murder of her child. 

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