The Crybaby Bridge outside of Monmouth, Illinois, while unique in its own ways, shares stories with several other bridges in Illinois. The bridge on Blood’s Point Road comes immediately to mind. But other states have their own “crybaby bridges” as well. Deadohio.com has documented no less than 24 such bridges throughout Ohio, including, “Rogue’s Hollow,” Abbeyville Road, Crystal Springs, Egypt Road, and “Gore Orphanage” Road, just to name a few. They have an excellent Crybaby Bridge tour on their website:
“Crybaby Bridge” is by far the most widespread urban legend in Ohio, easily beating out the “Bloody Marys” and “Witches’ Graves.” Near as we can tell, there are no less than 24 crybaby bridges in Ohio. With some variations, most crybaby bridge legends have this in common: Park your car over (or under) the bridge, and you will soon hear the sounds of a person crying.
For the most part, the person crying is a baby. Other times, the sobs are said to come from the baby’s mother. For a few bridges, there is more than one baby crying (as in the case of Gore Orphanage). For others, the baby doesn’t just cry, but screams. And if you’re really lucky, you will leave a bridge with a special souvenir–a child’s footprints (Helltown) or handprints on your car. That is assuming that you can even leave, as several crybaby legends hold that once you park your car, you will not be able to restart it.
Our, download the new issue of the Legends and Lore of Illinois, dedicated to one of our own crybaby bridges!
Many years ago, as lightning flashed and storm clouds swirled overhead, a young unwed mother—driven mad by the pain of abandonment, regret, and the fear of being ostracized—hurled her week old baby boy over the trestles of this rural bridge into the swirling water below. Ever since, passersby have heard the spine-tingling cries of a baby struggling to breathe. Or, so the story goes.