Home Abandoned Cry Baby Bridge – Bear River City

Cry Baby Bridge – Bear River City

by Jennifer Jones

The Legend:

A mother took her two young children out for a drive because she felt they were possessed by the devil.  She drove off the bridge and into the river below killing everyone in the car.  If you sit on the bridge with your windows rolled down and honk your horn three times you can hear children yelling “Don’t do it, Mother!!”

The History:

I’ve heard stories of various cry baby bridges across the United States, but I wasn’t aware Utah had one until I read an article about haunted spots across the state.  Bear River City isn’t too far from where I live, and considering it was Halloween figured it’d be a great day to check it out.

We got to the bridge and realized that it had been closed off some time ago, and a new bridge constructed right next to the old one.  Thankfully, they left the old bridge standing and after climbing through some brush we could see the bridge stretched out in front of us.

It quickly became clear why the bridge had been abandoned.  Made of steel, there were holes every few feet.  Some of them big enough to fit a foot through, and rust spots were everywhere. We looked for any indication of a car going off the edge of the bridge, and while it would’ve been easy enough to repair the bridge there were no areas that we could see that showed any signs of previous damage.

When we got back home I figured something as major as a mother committing suicide and murdering her two children in the process would have been a major story.  Bear River City is tiny, it would’ve been major news.

I searched the internet and newspapers for any mention of a major car accident, accidental deaths, murder, suicide, etc that occurred in Bear River.  Finding nothing I expanded my search to the nearby cities of Corinne, Tremonton, and Brigham City.  Nothing at all.

And then I found an article dated the 16th of May 1931 with a headline that read: “Driver Freed of Blame In Bridge Death”.  While the story didn’t involve a mother killing her children, it was nevertheless incredibly tragic.

On the morning of Friday, May 16th, 1931 a 4-year-old boy by the name of Ellis Anderson was playing near the bridge while his father was working in a nearby field.  A mail carrier was crossing the bridge when a dog darted in front of his car.  While swerving to miss the dog unsuccessfully, he lost control of the car striking Ellis, throwing his body off the bridge and into the river below.  His father pulled his body from the river. The medical examiner stated he was dead at the time of his arrival on the scene.  The mail carrier later said he didn’t see the little boy chasing the dog.  Another article says that the driver struck both Ellis and a 12-year-old companion by the name of Norman.  No mention of Norman’s condition was made, but apparently he survived.

While this was definitely not the tragedy I was expecting to uncover, it makes you wonder if it is the spark behind the legend of Bear River City’s Cry Baby Bridge.

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0 comment

Brose April 2, 2016 - 9:12 am

I grew up in Bear River and never knew the “Cry Baby Bridge” legend extended outside of the small town. I’m really digging this blog!

Jenn April 3, 2016 - 1:53 pm

Thank you, glad you like it!

Lynda May 20, 2016 - 5:29 pm

I did some research for a lady on two young boys who drowned in that river in the late 1800s. One boys name was Tommy Sears and he was from Corinne. I found an article on it in an early Corinne newspaper. There’s always been spooky stories about that bridge.

Kayleen May 24, 2016 - 2:44 pm

Do U have a link to the article? I would love to read it

Tom May 20, 2016 - 6:05 pm

Interesting. Ellis is my uncle. My mother was born after Ellis’s death.

Emily May 20, 2016 - 9:27 pm

I’m also related to Ellis. He’s my grandmother’s brother. She’s the sister that was mentioned in the article. We heard this story a LOT growing up. A lot about the bridge. It’s really surreal to see the bridge I’ve heard about so much and the original article. Thank you for posting this.

Nancy Fuller, May 21, 2016 - 10:29 am

if grandma would have known that this tragic story had turned into an urban legend ghost story with the mother in the story a murderer, I think she would have been truly offended.

Matthew Anderson May 22, 2016 - 4:28 am

This is the kind of tragedy that stays with a family for generations. To our family it is a sacred memory and not a ghost story. Next week I will place flowers on little Ellis’s grave and retell the story to my kids. I remember my father introducing me to the man who had survived the accident as a child. He did indeed survive and as I heard the story was saved by his suspenders dangling over the river.

Andrew Anderson February 22, 2017 - 8:55 pm

I used to drive over this bridge on a regular occasion in the 90’s. We would drive tractors and such over it and it would bounce up and down, I watched a piece of the road drop through into the river as I was driving across one time. I loved that bridge, it was a rush to drive through. There was barely enough room for a tractor and if any cars wanted to cross, you’d have to wait for whoever was on the bridge to get across first. It’s not wide enough for two car traffic.

Traci April 3, 2018 - 8:20 pm

I visited this bridge. I can tell you the spot where it happened. The cold spot and the feel of sadness. Thanks for the read

Edi Halstead June 8, 2018 - 2:27 pm

I grew up in Brigham City and had grandparents in Bear River I had never heard this Legend before.Now I spend most of my free time traveling the world staying in haunted hotels and visiting haunted spots then blogging about them.I came across your blog by accident and found this post to be particularly interesting. I will definitely check out this bridge the next time I make a trip home.


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