The Legends of Middle Bridge

Bridge lore is always fascinating, yet boringly all the same stories when it comes down to it. It’s always about some girl, or woman, who either had a wreck, fell out of a vehicle, was kidnapped, raped, or there is a grisly murder by a man, or several men… you get what I mean! And almost all of these stories can never be corroborated with evidence, or a paper trail.
There are several bridges in the Bowling Green area of Warren County, KY, two right inside the city limits now. I will cover what I know of Richardsville Bridge in a later feature, because I have two articles I plan to cover back to back about the area between Cemetery Road (Hwy 234) and Scottsville Road (Hwy 231), that stretches from I-65 to an area close to Hwy 101, near the Barren County line. Alot of the very early history of Warren and western Barren Co. happened in this area. There were Indians still in the river bottoms when settlement began, and there were a few fortifications there, the most famous being McFadden Station.
The area I wish to speak of now has such a wicked past that the Middle Bridge Road was allowed to be closed after flooding on Drake’s Creek in the 1970s washed the bridge out. Reading of this reminded me of the bridge near the old Buffalo Ford on Oil Well Road, here in Barren Co. Both legends are similar, but Middle Bridge carries an even richer past than Buffalo Ford.
Bowling Green has a rich and storied past, and the area on the east side of I-65 confirms that, especially in the area along Drake’s Creek. Two bridges crossed the Drake’s that have a very storied past. The first I will mention is still in use, and crosses Drake’s Creek on what is known as Old Scottsville Road (2629). Now, this is not to be mixed up with Hwy 231, that is still called Scottsville Road. Among the many legends still surrounding the Old Scottsville Road bridge is that there is still a place near it on the west side of the creek where the toll booth used to stand. Tolls were paid before entering Bowling Green, just like they were at Glasgow on Hwy 31E north of town.of
The Old Scottsville Road bridge is also known to have been the place of an early-day lynching, possibly of a black man, for crimes that have been lost to time. With the toll house and the lynching, teens back in the day spent many a night trying to scare the daylights out of each other, and possibly gain sight of any ghosts that might linger.
The Middle Bridge Road is even richer in lore and legend. And there is no doubt that things occurred here, and surely still do. The road is now separated into two sections, one on each side of Drake’s Creek, and at least half a mile of the old road on the east side has been allowed to grow over, and is now part of farmland, just like Oil Well Road was for many a year. The west part of Middle Bridge Road leaves Lover’s Lane near the airport and goes under I-65, ending at Cumberland Trace, which runs parallel with I-65. This particular section is on a hill above Drake’s Creek, and where the old Middle Bridge Road went down to the creek has been allowed to grow back to woods, behind the Cumberland Ridge subdivision.
Civil War Post 114 used to stand up on this hill that is now Cumberland Ridge subdivision. it was known as an active area for unexplained phenomena and the paranormal before it was torn down and cleared to make way for the subdivision in the 1990s. If you enter the subdivision and go as far back to the right as you can, there is a cemetery back in the woods. In this cemetery, a grave is marked, “First white man born this side of Green River.” For this cemetery to have this noted a personage interred here, I have so far been unable to locate any records of this cemetery or its name, or the man’s name for that matter!
On the east side of Drake’s Creek, there used to be a house that was near Middle Bridge Road, but it was demolished, because people kept coming to it to see if it was haunted, and the owner of the property decided tearing it down was the only way to keep people out. The old house was where the stagecoach ran through, and the ferry ran here on Drake’s Creek before Middle Bridge was built. This was the McFadden’s Ferry, and how McFadden’s Ferry subdivision got its name.
The main story of the haunting of Middle Bridge is supposed to revolve around the death of a girl or young woman, who was said to haunt the area near the bridge itself. Among several stories, the first I heard was that the Middle Bridge ghost is supposedly the sister of Milton Hancock, “Uncle Milt,” who ran the BBQ on nearby Cemetery Road. She was said to be swimming with a group of kids in the 1920s or ’30s in the creek near the bridge and supposedly drowned.
The most popular tale by far is that a girl was raped and killed there in the 1950s by four WKU guys. This is where the legend arose that if you parked near the bridge, on the east side, the ghost would come down the hill, cross the bridge and approach the car. She reputedly crawled up on the hood of the car and stared at you through the windshield, to ascertain if the guy in the car was one of the ones who had raped and killed her.
The consensus of older local residents is that noone was ever raped there, and noone ever died on that stretch of road. In the 1990s, a group of rock climbers were climbing on the bluffs there, and a teacher, or college professor, supposedly fell to his death, but otherwise, there are no other tales of death and murder. Only supposed eyewitness accounts of seeing the ghost, or other strange phenomena, at the site of Middle Bridge itself.
In the 1960s, a well-known president of the IFC at Western, went out to Middle Bridge for several nights to sit with some college boys and see what would happen. It was several nights in a row before, on one particular night, about 2 am, they saw a light coming down the hill. When it got a little more than halfway down the hill, they decided it was time for them to leave.
Two couples were double,dating one night in the same era, and they decided to go out to the old bridge and park. They told that the light came all the way down the hill before they even noticed it. The light settled kn the hood of the car, and the car started vibrating. They got scared and tried to start.their car, but it wouldn’t start. After the light disappeared, it was 5 or 10 minutes before the car would start.
The above mentioned president of fraternities also told about 3 WKU professors, all men, a philosopher and two psychologists. They decided to go out to Middle Bridge just to see what would happen. One of the 3 men had a chihuahua that rode on the back of the car seat with him everywhere he went.
After about a week of observation, late one night, the dog started shivering and whining. They looked up at the cliff and watched the.light come down and settle on the hood of the car. The car started vibrating and shaking, and like with the double-daters, the car wouldn’t start. They watched the light move over to the bridge and take the shape of a girl. These 3 professors swore at that time to the truth of this story.
As to the authenticity of these tales, I cannot vouch for their accuracy. The bridge has been gone since the early 1970s, and the people who told these tales that started this particular legend are probably long-gone from this area.
The last piece I found was from the late 1980s, submitted by a man who worked for the farmer who owned the field.off Hunts Lane, where Middle Bridge used to cross the creek. By then the tales had morphed to that of a little girl falling out the back door of a car as it crossed the bridge, and she supposedly died right there on the bridge. She was then purported to be the ghost that everyone saw there. By then the old road had been closed for.a.long time, and the field.was being used for farm land.
The man was working on a tractor for the farmer, who had told him he didn’t have to work after dark. But he wanted to go ahead and get the.job done, so he stayed late one night. It was dark and you could only see where the headlights were shining. He turned the tractor around when he got down to the end of a row, and the tractor lights shone over where the old bridge was located. The trees and undergrowth are all around it now, and the tree limbs and branches were really blowing. The man didn’t really think anything about it at first, until he realized the wind wasn’t blowing anyplace else. He got scared then and licked up the farm disk with the tractor lift, then drove the tractor up the little dirt road as fast as he could.
He managed to get scared so bad over this incident that he left the tractor on foot shortly after this happened, and he said he never went back to the area after dark again!

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About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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10 Responses to The Legends of Middle Bridge

  1. Josh Knight says:

    Me and a couple friends actually went out to Middle Bridge a couple of months ago. We started on the West side and found the road that leads into the woods(and I’m assuming that side of the bridge) but it seems that if we had went on we would be trespassing. Coupled with the fact that it was pitch black at the time, we figured it wasn’t the best idea to go in the woods at the time. We went to east side of the area and walked to the point where the “road closed” signs are and were going to go through, but a large truck drove up right when we got there and turned to the right and back into the woods. Didn’t say anything, but we weren’t sure if he was alright with us being there or not, so we left.

    The next day we went back to the road closed sign, parked, and started walking. The first thing we noticed was that the entire right side of that road is blocked by barbed wire, so I suppose that confirms that it’s truck guy’s private property. We continued hiking through the brush and growth that chokes the road until we got near the river. The first thing we noticed is how the trees hang over the road on both sides as it turns to the right. Not supernatural by any means, but creepy nonetheless. We eventually got to the point where the road is gone and overlooks the river. We saw the cemetery on the ridge directly across the river, but didn’t end up getting to it that day. It’s a very atmospheric place as a whole. The water, overgrowth and legends combine to form a eerie atmosphere even in the middle of the day.

    Hopefully we’ll end up getting to the graveyard on the ridge eventually(when it’s warmer.)

    • Gclee says:

      I plan to try it myself sometime! I would at least like a look at the cemetery. I’ve not been able to find it in any of the Warren County Cemetery Books. That was my biggest fascination with the place.

  2. Sarah Chatman says:

    Uncle milts bbq was owned by my grandfather milton hancock.

    • Gclee says:

      Do you know whether there is any truth to the matter of there being a connection to your family? I was not sure, and am always uncomfortable using a family name or any info without family approval.

  3. Gclee says:

    Thought I would share this link. This is the cemetery on the bank of Drakes Creek above where Middle Bridge used to be.
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2514087

  4. John says:

    The House is still there, it is haunted from what i hear about it from locals, it is locked by an iron gate you can easily climb over or under it, and it is a walk through the gravel driveway, i have been there many times but i myself have not experienced anything, last time i was there me and my friend were chased off by a neighbor who said it was private property and the owners rent it out to paranormal investigators per night. Its fun to explore and look inside of the house. If you want i can give directions. I checked out the other side of the what used to be the bridge and saw the cemetary, its in the cumberland ridge subdivison and you will have to park your car on the loop and go by foot to check it out, it is kinda spooky at night but i have not experienced anything.

  5. Kevin says:

    June 28,2014. Let all know. The old house was burned down last night around 10.00 pm. Shame such a legend has to die this way.

  6. Yvonne says:

    It’s been several years now, back in the late 1990’s, several piled into my car and went down there from the farmland side. It was well after dark and a summer night, but I still grabbed a jacket. We followed the road to an old tree that had fallen. At that point, 4 out of 5 us got a really bad feeling and the temperature suddenly dropped. We didn’t see any lights, but the shadows were enough. We ran back to the car and I swear I could here hoof beats keeping pace the faster I drove away. They suddenly ended about a quarter mile up the road. Curiosity hasn’t been strong enough to allow me to try again since.

  7. Amy. Clark says:

    The. Middle bridge road. West. Is very haunted because I live on this road and there is a girl ghost named. Lulu that was. Killed here where I live at i was told she. Haunts. The. Big. Dinning room where we eat at one of my good friends. Told. Me. This true. Ghost story

  8. Paula M. says:

    4 years ago me and 4 of my friends piled into the car. They were looking for haunted places in town. We drove all the way to the top of the hill and parked the car. We all went over the iron fence, despite the sign. As we walked down the road the temperature started to drop. I was too busy trying not to trip over limbs and I didn’t give it a second thought. The wind started blowing in the trees. I figured it was all normal since it was the middle of October and all. The further we walked, I got this really uneasy feeling. At the cemetery it was very foggy and I know I saw a light. I felt like I was in danger and had no idea why. So I just stayed away from there. I could hear the guys though. Asking, “where’s that sound coming from” and “what the hell is that?!” I was frozen stiff. Someone grabbed me by the left wrist. She wasn’t that old. She had brunette hair that went just below the shoulder. It was kinda wavy. She had on a light colored dress. Couldn’t really figure out if it was white or blue because it was so dirty. She didn’t say anything to me. Just yanked me Back up to the car as fast as my feet could carry me. Next thing I know the guys were screaming for their lives. Everyone got into the car and the driver floored it. I asked everyone what they saw but they were speechless. Then one of the woman asked me where I got the black bruise around my wrist. The older guy told the younger one he knew we shouldn’t have gone there. That the place was evil. He wasn’t wrong. The negative energy there was unnerving. And seeing that little girl…I never want to go there again.

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