We crossed The deadliest and most haunted bridge in Jamaica: Flat Bridge. It’s not a long bridge and it most definitely doesn’t seem to look from a distance as a death trap but don’t be fooled because it most definitely is and as you approach it you can see why so many drivers could easily be caught off guard and head straight into the river below.
It was built by slaves in the eighteenth century, Flat Bridge is a source of dread for many who have to cross it. There are all kinds of strange stories about this bridge, many woven into our folklore. Locals have claimed to see many things here.
The most common belief is Duppies (ghosts) haunt Flat Bridge and that it is the gathering place for the ghosts (duppies) of the slaves who died during the construction of the bridge. Nearby residents believe it is these duppies who cause the accidents there and pull the vehicles into the river. They say when the water turns into the colour of a green lizard the duppies are going to pull somebody in.
Another belief around the bridge is that the urban legend ‘The River Mumma’ exists here.
Many have tried to capture the famed mermaid, but none have succeeded. In fact, all have either ended up dead or gravely ill in hospital. As legend has it, the River Mumma is said to surface only when the River turns lizard-green. Some stories state that it is indeed her who pulls cars overboard on Flat Bridge, passengers joining her in a watery grave. Other tales paint a picture of a mystical aquatic creature rescuing these same passengers from imminent death.
Legend has it that there is a gold table in the water under Flat Bridge that surfaces on the hottest days at noon in the river. Clinton Black’s Tales of Old Jamaica recounts a story where 24 bulls and 6 screaming slaves drowned after they tried to retrieve the table under the instructions of their plantation owner.
No one knows for sure the actual number of persons who have lost their lives while crossing Flat Bridge but according to residents in the area, the figure may well be over a hundred. But while the St. Catherine police are quick to attribute most of the accidents to “careless and reckless driving”, residents believe otherwise.
No matter what the locals build around it to make it safe (railings, extra pillars etc) they always get destroyed by the river which always leads to more deaths.
The river also runs the opposite way to the others in the country which adds to the locals caution that is is what I could could grasp as a ‘cursed bridge’ or maybe some would say ‘Cursed river’.
The belief that some strange phonemonia is happening here is high and the belief is strongest amongst those who live the closet.
Here are just some of what the locals have reported seeing nearby which as been documented on http://old.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20020324/out/out1.html.
“I have lived here all my life and have seen many strange happenings,” explained Devon McLaughlin, a fruit vendor in the area. “I am not saying that carelessness has not accounted for some of the accidents on Flat Bridge but there have been many which are hard to explain. I don’t need anybody to tell me that this place is haunted – I just know it is.”
He states also
“I was sitting here one evening last year, about 7:30 p.m. with my brother when I saw a vehicle coming to a stop on approaching the bridge,” he said. “It was coming from the Bog Walk area and was occupied by two persons (a man and a woman). Both came out of the car with the man going to the front and opening the bonnet. I immediately called out to them, asking if they needed help. The man indicated that he needed a wrecker. He also behaved as if he didn’t want to be bothered so we left them alone. A small truck soon arrived on the scene and stopped by the car. We watched as they tied the car to the truck and with everybody getting back into their vehicles. No sooner were the vehicles on the bridge when trouble began.
“We watched as the car, the steering wheel appeared to have been locked, suddenly dived over the bridge. For a moment it was held up by a column but eventually went over as soon as the rope, which was tied to the truck, broke. My brother and I went in the water but there was nothing we could do as the doors of the car were jammed shut and the windows closed. I have seen many accidents at Flat Bridge but I cried tears when I realised there was nothing I could do to save them. This accident has stayed with me considering the way it happened. I learnt later that they were travelling from St. Ann, so my question is, why is it that they had to have broken down at Flat Bridge? Why also did the steering wheel become locked and the windows all closed shut? I tell you the place is haunted.”
Survivors also claim that no matter how safe you try to cross sometimes there is a higher force in play which leads to a fatal incident…
”Sixty-one-year-old Enid Morrison of Bensonton, St. Ann, drowned as a result of being pinned down by the seatbelt she was wearing and after the Lada Station Wagon in which she was travelling went over into the river. Her son who managed to survive the accident drove the car.
What was strange about this accident is that even today the police have not yet been able to accurately determine its cause. According to a number of eyewitnesses, the driver of the car was not speeding and did nothing to suggest he was responsible for what happened. In fact, they note, he had come to a stop at the red light and after proceeding on green, simply veered over the bridge.
“That one is a real mystery to me,” conceded no less an authority than Minister of Transport and Work, Bobby Pickersgill. “I am really baffled by that one. There is nothing to indicate that the guy had done anything wrong and even if it is mechanical failure it makes you wonder what could have happened.”
And as you read on in the reports it isn’t just motorists it has affected.
A local added “There is a rock down there that we have named ‘Moodie Rock’ in memory of a family that drowned in the river in the 1960s,” he said. “It is not just motorists that die at Flat Bridge, people have been known to drown while bathing in the river. I have been years since my younger days and I have seen quite a lot. I can remember at least 50 occasions where persons have lost their lives.”
What ever may be occuring at flat bridge is indeed interesting, is it no more than peoples careless driving or is there a force here taking who it pleases?
Whatever it is, I’m please to say we crossed it and we made it 😊.