Ghost Hunters In Ohio
Gudgeonville Bridge - Girard, PA
A Little History
Two ghosts are said to haunt the bridge. One is that of a little girl from a nearby family, who was playing too near the shale cliffs by the bridge, and supposedly fell to her death sometime back in the 1940s or 50s. She is said to walk the bridge on moonless nights or on the anniversary of her death. The other ghost that has reportedly been seen on rare occasions is not even human, but rather the ghost of a mule named Gudgeon. Maybe a legend, but based enough on fact to allow the local Erie County historians to take a certain amount of pride in its uniqueness.
Sometime around 1855, a man from Kentucky by the name of Obadiah Will was delivering a mule to a fellow in Meadville, PA. As fate would have it, Will and his mule had just reached the bridge over Elk Creek at the same time as a couple of barges were coming up the Beaver and Erie canal, which ran only a short distance from the creek. On board the barges was a circus - the Girard based "Dan Rice's Circus". On one of the barges, a calliope began playing. When the squawking roaring hooting of the calliope reached the ears of Gudgeon the mule, the animal supposedly dug its hooves into the bridge, and dropped dead from fright. A second (and less poetic) version says that the mule froze in fright, but that Mr. Will took a large stick to the beast to try to get it to move, but ended up beating Gudgeon to death! In either case, the final irony of the situation was that the calliope had supposedly been playing "My Old Kentucky Home" at the time.
Obadiah Will was given permission to bury Gudgeon on the west bank of the creek. To further commemorate his poor Gudgeon, Will hired a local painter to paint the words "Gudgeonville Bridge" on either end of the bridge. One source claims that Will later attempted to pursue litigation against the circus, but the result of this is unknown. The circus owner, Dan Rice, did apparently feel bad enough about the whole matter that he wrote up the tale in a eulogy form.
Whatever the truth holds behind the legend, Gudgeon the Mule has at least been commemorated with a bridge and a road for all time!
As always, the SHGHRS approaches local/urban legend locations with caution before putting a lot of time and effort into a full scale investigation. Thus far only three of our members - Aedryan, Matt and Robbie have investigated the bridge, but on three different occassions. Robbie and Matt went alone on October 5, 2005. Aedryan, Matt and Robbie returned together on (need date) and once again on October 17, 2005. Our three visits to the Gudgeonville Bridge were informal investigations, but enough compelling evidence has been collected that we can now warrant a full scale investigation sometime in the very near future. We are also in the process of conducting a complete historical research investigation on the history of the location in order to find out how much truth there is to the legends, which are described above. Below we will include our preliminary investigation reports for each of our three visits to Gudgeonville Bridge.
Read On To View Some Of The Evidence We Collected
During These Preliminary Investigations!
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Note: Not all of the evidence we collected during these investigations will be posted on our website, as we only present our most compelling evidence to the public. Other than resizing or brightening, none of our photos have been altered or enhanced in any way. Additionally, our EVP's are presented in their rawest form unless otherwise stated.
October 5, 2005 Preliminary Investigation
Matt and Robbie began their first preliminary investigation of the Gudgeonville Bridge at approximately 2:09 AM. It was a last minute decision to do and they only stayed a short time, so not a whole lot of data was collected on this night. However, they were there through the peak of "The Psychic Hours". In addition to the usual "apparent" orb photos Matt and Robbie had both collected (which will not be posted), Robbie was able to capture a great photo, which you will see below! Matt and Robbie concluded their visit to the Gudgeonville Bridge at approximately 3:28 AM.
Pictures Taken (Matt):
Total Pictures Taken (Robbie): 45
October 17, 2005 Preliminary Investigation
Aedryan, Matt and Robbie began their second preliminary investigation of the Gudgeonville Bridge at approximately 10:00 PM. On three or four seperate occassions all three of us heard a single - loud, startling bang on the bridge while we were inside. Upon examination we could see that the roof of the bridge is covered with metal and acorns were noted laying on the ground at one end of the bridge. We assumed the banging noises were caused by the acorns falling on the roof, but we still aren't entirely sure, because the banging noises were extremely loud and seemed much heavier than what an acorn falling on to a metal roof would sound like. Also, on none of the occassions the bang was heard, did we hear the sound of anything rolling off of the roof afterwards. This could be because the pitch of the roof is very short and steep. It could have been heavy tree branches falling from the trees on to the roof then bouncing off. We just aren't sure, but I think we all peed a little every time it happened. >8>| We concluded this visit to the Gudgeonville Bridge about 11:18 PM. Interestingly, after we put our equipment away we decided to hang out and have a beer and talk for a few minutes before we left. Shortly after we had cracked our beers open we heard what sounded to be a morbid car accident nearby. We decided to drive up the road to see what happened and we found a blazer over-turned on the side of the road! The driver had managed to roll the truck a few times, but him and his friend were alright other than being pretty shaken up. Aedryan let them use his cell phone to call for help, we helped them flip the truck back over on its wheels and we left.
* Aedryan did not take any photos on this night, because he had sold his camera and was awaiting the arrival of his new camera. Additionally, he had recorded for EVP's, but once again, there was so much excessive background noise from the running water below the bridge that we decided to just discard the recordings. He did record 60 minutes of video footage though, in which he seems to have captured ecto and a red orb on video. Those video clips will be posted in the near future.
* Robbie had taken a total of 172 photos on this night, but aside from common orbs, no other compelling anomalies were captured.
Total Pictures Taken: 176
23, 2005 Preliminary Investigation
Aedryan, Matt and Robbie began their third and final preliminary investigation of the Gudgeonville Bridge at approximately 11:03 PM. All three of us continued taking pictures with three different cameras throughout the duration of our stay. Many of the photos produced lots of ecto and there was no shortage of orbs. We also took turns monitoring electro magnetic frequencies and temperatures for fluctuations throughout most of our stay, but no anomalous fluctuations were noted. No video was recorded on this night and our audio recordings were discarded, because of the excessive background noise, caused by the creek's rapids below. Shortly before we left all three of us watched strange lights or orbs of varying colors (yellow, red and green colors were noted) inside of the bridge with the naked eye (in our direct line of vision) on several occassions, as we stood outside of the bridge looking in. It should be noted that there are no light sources around the bridge whatsoever. It is very dark down there. During the time we were watching these lights all three of us stated that we thought we had seen shadows moving earlier on, but none of us can swear to it. As with all of our visits to the Gudgeonville Bridge, the feeling of "not being alone" was pretty much unanimous amongst us. Even though we rarely experience these feelings, even in the spookiest of cemeteries, we don't give that a lot of consideration.
Anamolous Photos Captured
Total Photos Taken: 88
Anamolous Photos Captured
* Please note that the times for the following photos are not mentioned, because the correct time and date wasn't set on Matt's camera on this night.
Total Photos Taken: 172
* Matt had captured at least 3 other ecto photos on this night, but due to poor picture quality they will not be posted. We know Matt can't wait to get his new camera in the near future. Let's just hope he has as much good luck getting ecto with it as he has this camera!
Anamolous Photos Captured
Total Photos Taken: 160
More than enough evidence has been collected at the Gudgeonville Bridge to warrant more thorough and lengthy investigations. We have a date set for the near future and we look forward to returning. Check back soon for updates!
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