Cue spooky music...
Picture the Scottish countryside as the early morning fog begins to lift. You’re a stranger in this neck of the woods and you’re out for a stroll with your dog when you come to a fork in the road. In the middle of the fork, sitting on a pile of rocks there sits a solitary Scotsman bedecked in a kilt and mournfully blowing on his bagpipe. You nod to him in greeting and pause for a moment as you decide which path to choose. The roads both look innocent enough and after a few seconds you make your decision. You take a few steps and suddenly you hear a voice behind you say ;
“Ye dinnae want tae go doun yon road, naw”
You turn to ask him why and he motions for you to sit down next to him on the pile of rocks. You decide to oblige and your dog lays down at your feet, licks at your hand and lets out a yawn of relief. The Scotsman takes a deep breath, slowly exhales and then tells you the legend that lies behind what is known to the locals as “Overtoun Bridge”.
Located on the grounds of a 19th century estate known as Overtoun House, the Overtoun Bridge spans a gorge by the nearby River Clyde. It overlooks a small waterfall and rises 50 some odd feet (appx. 15 meters) above the river bed and rocks below. It was built in the mid 1850’s but people began to take notice of it sometime in the mid 1960’s although the events that have been occurring there have probably been happening much, much longer.
It’s the place where dogs leap to their death. Since people began keeping records of this sort of thing, approximately 600 kamikaze canines (or about one per month) have found their final resting place at the foot of the Overtoun Bridge. Witnesses say that those dogs that have failed in their first attempt at suicide and survived the fall have dragged themselves up the banks and tried it again.
Experts from The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have been called in and they too remain mystified as to the reasons why the dogs decide to take such drastic action. Some scientists claim that the dogs (all of which are long of snout) are reacting to the odor of minks which were introduced to the area sometime around World War II but the locals insist there’s nary a mink to be found. To make matters even more confusing, almost all of the dogs have jumped off of the same side of the bridge.
The bridge also gained another measure of notoriety back in 1994 when a man by the name of Kevin Moy, also a local, was crossing the bridge with his wife and new born baby. Claiming he was the Antichrist, Moy snatched the baby from his wife and threw it over the side. He then tried to follow suit but was prevented from doing so by his wife. The baby died as a result of the injuries from the fall the next day.
He was taken to Overtoun House where he tried to slash his wrists but was unsuccessful. At his trial, he claimed that the child was in fact Satan and that if allowed to live, would spread disease and pestilence throughout the land. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and confined to a state hospital.
Could it be, as the locals insist, that the Overtoun Bridge spans the world between the living and the dead and that the dogs are reacting to the sounds or smells that only they can sense? Or, could it be something even more disturbing than we mere mortals can only hope to comprehend?