This bridge, built in 1844 by John W. Smith, is known formally as Gold Brook Bridge or Stowe Hollow Bridge. But to the locals, this one lane bridge will always be known as Emily’s Bridge. Why? Because Emily is the ghost who haunts it! According to Joseph Citro, “No one has been able to prove that Emily actually lived. Or died. While most stories say that Emily died by her own hand, all agree her tragedy occurred on the bridge around 1849. The best known tale is that Emily was a young Stowe woman who fell for a man who didn’t pass muster with her family. Forbidden to marry, the love-struck couple decided to elope. They planned to meet on the bridge at night. The appointed hour came and went, but the young man never showed up. Shattered, Emily hanged herself from a rafter. And her desperate, angry ghost has haunted the bridge ever since, waiting for her lover to return.” Whatever the truth behind the name, there are numerous eyewitness accounts of continued haunting of the bridge, supposedly by Emily’s ghost.
Located in Stowe Vermont, Gold Brook Bridge is not your ordinary covered bridge. This bridge is also known as “Emily’s Bridge,” due to the fact that it is haunted by a ghost named Emily. There are many stories of how Emily died on the bridge. One story is that she was supposed to elope with a lover who was meeting her at the bridge, and when he didn’t show, she hung herself from the rafters. Another version of this Vermont legend also starts as a love story. Emily met a man who stole her heart, and the couple made plans to marry. The fateful day arrived, and Emily went to the church in her beautiful red wedding dress ready to give herself to the gentleman in holy wedlock. The groom never arrived, and the jilted bride took the family wagon in a frenzy of anger and sorrow. She was merciless on the horses, and whipped them until they were traveling at an incredible pace, planning perhaps to confront the faithless groom. As she approached the bridge, she failed to negotiate the turn right before the bridge and drove the horses and carriage over the bank and onto the rocky brook below. Both the horses and Emily were killed in the accident. There is no written historical evidence that Emily ever existed, however. The first mention of the bridge being haunted by someone named “Emily” came after 1968 when a high school student wrote a paper on the subject claiming that while he/she was using a Ouija board on the bridge, an entity presented itself named Emily. Other people using Ouija boards have reported that an entity has identified itself as Emily and said that she was killed on the bridge by her finance’s mother.
Many people who have visited the bridge have experienced disturbing paranormal activity. People have reported scratch marks appearing on vehicles that were parked on the bridge and being touched or scratched by Emily’s ghost. Often strange noises are heard on the bridge, such as footsteps, ropes tightening, and a girl screaming. Many have also reported seeing a white apparition around the area of Emily’s Bridge. People that have parked their vehicle on the haunted bridge say they tend to hear banging noises from Emily hitting the vehicle on the outside, or a dragging sound across the tops of their cars. The most distinct paranormal events tend to take place between the hours of 12 AM and 3:30 AM.