History

Screaming Bridge: A Haunting Texas Urban Legend

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As far as urban legends go, Texas is loaded with them! One in particular, out of North Texas, is that of Screaming Bridge. Over the years, a number of area residents have visited the site, in addition to paranormal investigators. Many are trying to hear the actual screams of those who passed on, and some are just teenagers out to have some fun. The legend itself isn’t anchored in myth as much as true events.

The story goes that on February 4, 1961, six teenage girls from Arlington plunged off the crossing when they failed to see the bridge was out. Their car hit the slope on the other side and landed upside down, instantly killing two of its passengers. A third was reported dead on arrival at Baylor Hospital. Three of the passengers sustained a variety of injuries, including concussions and fractures to their jaws and arms, and one underwent brain surgery. It was said the girls weren’t carrying identification, so their names were only learned by police and medical personnel when one of them regained consciousness with enough time to say who they were.

Screaming Bridge: A Haunting Texas Urban Legend

Photo: envato elements

Arson was confirmed by a County Fire Marshal as the cause for the bridge being out, but who was responsible was yet to be determined. That same bridge had once before been burned and repaired, and although there were former barricades on both sides of the road that approached the nearby railroad tracks, they too were noted as mysteriously being misplaced. Ironically enough, the same spot had earned the eerie name of “Death Crossing” from prior train and car wrecks in past decades.

Upon further investigation, it was determined that four Arlington High School students were responsible for burning the bridge. It was reported that the youths were indicted. After they were brought in front of a Grand Jury, the jury foreman said that the boys’ actions were deemed “childish pranks” and charges were subsequently not brought forward. The Tarrant County Commissioners Court was also asked to post rewards for any information leading to arrests for the removal of the bridge barricades, yet no one was identified. The bridge was never replaced, and its fragments were bulldozed and later covered by concrete tunnels for drainage. These were then resurfaced with asphalt and brought up to the level of the bridge’s original span. This served for access over the drainage ditch up until another fatal accident involving a train and a truck occurred in 1994.

Screaming Bridge: A Haunting Texas Urban Legend

Photo: envato elements

In that incident, two women, identified as Tammy Lynn Dodson and Rayelynn Jonston, tried to make the crossing in advance of the oncoming train. When their attempt failed, the train hit the passenger side of the truck, knocking one of the women out of the vehicle and trapping the other one in the burning remnants. Both were pronounced deceased at the scene. Following this accident, that part of the road was closed to all traffic.

The name Screaming Bridge and its subsequent myth was formed. The isolated Arlington location has spawned stories of hearing car screeching sounds, the screams of those who passed on at the bridge, and the witnessing of tombstones of those who died as a result of the accidents. The screaming bridge continues to stir up stories as well as the imagination of those in the area, drawing the curious in to further investigate the infamous site.