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'Dog suicide bridge' mystery solved at last ?

Posted on Thursday, 28 March, 2019 | Comment icon 39 comments

Why do dogs keep jumping off the side of Overtoun Bridge ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Allan Ogg
A pastor believes that he may have determined why dozens of dogs have been leaping to their deaths.
In a small village in the Scottish Lowlands there exists a 19th century bridge with a strange presence that is believed to be responsible for sending hundreds of dogs leaping to their doom off its sides.

Over the past 60 years, the crumbling stonework has seen more than 600 dogs take the 50ft plunge with many of them meeting an untimely end at the bottom. Despite several investigations in to the phenomenon, nobody has been able to determine exactly what is influencing the animals to jump.

The problem became so bad that signs were erected to recommend that dogs be kept on a lead.

Now though, Bob Hill - a local pastor who has seen several dogs jump off the bridge over the last two decades - believes that the scent of small mammals may be the key.

"The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge," he said. "And because it's tapered, they will just topple over."

But could the answer really be so simple ? Philosophy and religion teacher Paul Owens, who has previously written a book about the mystery, remains unconvinced.

He, like several others in the area, believes that a spirit - possibly that of Lady Overtoun - haunts the bridge and that it is her presence that prompts the animals to jump over the side.

"When Baron Overtoun, who built the bridge, died in 1908 she was said to have wandered the bridge griefstricken for years," he said.

Whatever the case, unless a definitive explanation can be found soon, there is every possibility that the bridge will claim many more canine lives over the next few years.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (39)

Tags: Dog, Overtoun Bridge

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #30 Posted by oldrover on 30 March, 2019, 10:43
But the evidence doesn't seem to support the idea that anything particularly unysual going on there at all. It appears that there have been some accidents, six, in an unkown space of time, but going by the local police, vet, etc, quite a while, which has been developed into an urban myth. 
Comment icon #31 Posted by openozy on 30 March, 2019, 11:34
If that's true its probably less pet deaths than most old bridges.I wonder if there's a ghost at Echo point here near Katoomba,people are practically lining up there to take the final plunge.
Comment icon #32 Posted by joc on 30 March, 2019, 11:58
It's quite lush around the bridge.  Lots of trees growing up high.  Dogs don't see in color and the lushness of the greenery may appear as solid ground to their canine eyes.  Seeing a squirrel or bird at the top of a tree might to them look like  the ground is right they think they are jumping onto the ground.  Optical illusion of the canine variety.
Comment icon #33 Posted by oldrover on 30 March, 2019, 12:27
It's high, and I'm not being flip here but does it have handy parking nearby? I don't kniw, I kniw the Clifton bridge in Bristol is supposed to get a lit of one way traffic too. Perhaps it's got something to do with a certain prominence of the land mark they're jumping off. We've got fatal cliffs everywhere round here but very few jumpers. First record I foubd at Echo Point was a bookie facing an assualt charge, went over in 1936. 
Comment icon #34 Posted by Iilaa'mpuul'xem on 30 March, 2019, 19:57
I saw this on TV a couple of years ago, they came up with the same conclusion then. 
Comment icon #35 Posted by openozy on 30 March, 2019, 21:52
I know of a couple of people not on record that they never found,I lived there for 9 years,pigs probably ate the remains.Also countless engagement and wedding rings.I know people come up from Sydney all the time  for their last view.Also know a paraplegic girl who got caught up halfway down,bad idea.I was only joking about the ghost being there,but if you look over, it sort of eggs you on to jump for some reason.
Comment icon #36 Posted by oldrover on 31 March, 2019, 9:32
That's very sad.  I know what you mean about the drawing you over I had an experience like that once myself. 
Comment icon #37 Posted by openozy on 31 March, 2019, 10:10
It's a weird feeling.Is it evil,paranormal or some ancient fatal attraction?Maybe you find out if you jump lol.
Comment icon #38 Posted by and then on 1 April, 2019, 16:37
Maybe they could rig some ultrasonic transmitters that make a noise that keeps stray dogs away.  
Comment icon #39 Posted by Desertrat56 on 11 April, 2019, 17:21
Yeah, the smell of small animals and a sloping wall makes more sense than a ghost prompting dogs to jump, when the only reason the ghost walks the bridge is because her husband died. 

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