This is going to be a long blog entry. So, settle in and take your time reading it.
Crybaby Bridge is an urban legend in a good number of states in the USA. The one I am most familiar with is in Saraland-Satsuma area of Alabama, about ten miles from where I live in Mobile, Alabama. The Crybaby Bridge Legend in Saraland is off of Kali Oka Road. You must go carefully around the aptly named "Dead Man's Curve" (many fatal car accidents here). This will take you to Crybaby Bridge and the Kali Oka Plantation. The old plantation is one of the few places that is spooky even in the daytime. There is the plantation house and the slave quarters. Some have said you can see a woman lighting candles in the slaves house some nights. Crybaby Bridge is named because, as I'm sure you have surmised, some have said you can hear a baby crying under the bridge at certain times, mostly between midnight and 3AM. Part of the Legend of Crybaby Bridge is that the Master of the plantation was a brutal, heartless man. His wife took as her lover, a huge slave whose name is lost to history. The Master found both in a lovers embrace. You can imagine what happened next. The Master of the plantation cut off both hands of the slave, chained him to a tree to die. Not long afterwards, the Mistress of the plantation found she was pregnant by the slave. When it was time for the baby to be born, the mistress went into the woods to have the baby. She then drowned the newborn baby in a creek where the old Crybaby Bridge is (it has since been discontinued for traffic and a new one was built). Some nights, it is said you can see the ghost of the huge slave looking for his long lost baby boy down Kali Oka Road.
It just so happens, I lived around the area of Crybaby Bridge as a teenager (12-13 years of age) back in the early to mid-60s. We lived about 3 miles from the old plantation on Kali Oka Road. One summer's night, we decided to see if it were true, that you could hear a baby cry from under Crybaby Bridge. It was about 9PM. My parents were at our next door neighbors house. They would be playing bridge past midnight since it was a Friday night. Even if they got home before me and my brother, we could sneek in our bedroom window without being caught. So, myself, my brother and two friends of mine, Charlie and his brother Allan, went on our bicycles riding the 3 miles to Crybaby Bridge. None of us were brave enough to go to the plantation on Kali Oka Road. But, once we got to the bridge, we could see an eerie, shimmering light near the plantation home. This was about 10PM. My brother started whining, wanting to go home. We had only been there 5 minutes. I told him I wasn't leaving until midnight, if at that. Charlie had brought some chips and a six-pack of cold coca-cola for us all. So, we parked our bikes near the bridge and we just waited. As we ate our chips and drank our coke (in those days it was real coke, not the filtered crap they make now), we could hear the water going under the bridge. It was so quiet, as I remember. Not many cars that time of night because of the legend and, of course, Dead Man's Curve ending many a drunk teenager's life.
Around midnight, we were all getting restless. Outside of that eerie shimmering light near the plantation, we had seen or heard nothing at all. We were all thinking this had been a waste of a valuable summer night. Finally, about 12:30AM, I told Charlie we needed to get back on our bikes and head home. Charlie agreed as his brother Allan was sleepy and so was my brother. As we got on our bikes, Allan said he heard a cat meowing. I thought I heard it also. We put our bikes back down and went back on the bridge. But, we soon realized it was not a cat meowing. It was definitely the faint cries of a baby we heard that night. This lasted about two minutes and then stopped. We all looked at each other for a few seconds and got back on our bikes. We didn't say anything to each other as we rode back home. In fact, Charlie and I never discussed Crybaby Bridge ever again. Neither did my brother and I. It was just something that we decided we didn't want to talk about. It was far too chilling to discuss. I can't explain those baby cries we heard that night. But, I know a baby's cry when I hear it.
Now, you may be wondering, why is he discussing this in a blog entry. I'm bringing this up because a 15 year old nephew went to Crybaby Bridge last Saturday night, with his girlfriend, and heard the faint cries of a baby also. He didn't want to talk about it much either. Legend or not, those cries of an infant stays with your forever. I may discuss some more urban legends in the future.
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