Suicide Bridge

Many of you know of the Aokigahara Forest in Japan as the location to take their lives. Here in the United States, we have The Colorado Street Bridge a.k.a. The Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, California. Since being built in 1913, over 150 people have relinquished their lives from this structure. The bridge spans 1,486 feet over the Arroyo Seco and sits on the original Route 66. It's known for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, light standards, artistic supports and railings.

A suicide barrier was added to reduce the number of suicides. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California of 1989, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic but reopened in 1993 after a substantial retrofit. The Suicide Bridge was thrown in to the spotlight thanks to film, music, and TV. It's first onscreen appearance was in Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp and was later used in Alias, Seabiscuit, NCIS and The Mentalist. A monument with so much history makes one wonder, why does it attract the attention of the depressed and desperate?

Six years after the construction the first suicide took place on November 16, 1919. However, the majority of suicides taken place on The Colorado Street Bridge was during the Depression between 1919 and 1937. Seventy-nine people leaped to their deaths in the 1930s and more occurred over the years as recently a couple of weeks ago. A 25-year-old Covina man jumped on April 17, and a 49-year-old Altadena woman dove to her death on April 21. Police continue to respond to impending suicides each month. Is the bridge curse? Some believe so.

Legend has it that the first death to occur at the bridge was not a suicide, but an accident when a construction worker fell into wet concrete and his co-workers weren’t able to reclaim his body from the thick mass. It’s believed by many his spirit continues to haunt the bridge, luring others to their deaths. They say whenever he is present the street lights turn blue. Another legend involves a mother and child. A mother intended to kill both herself and her infant daughter. When she threw her over the side, tree branches slowed her fall. She landed relatively unharmed. Her mother was not so lucky. Her spirit is believed to haunt the bridge, searching for her child. With over 150 deaths occurring at the Colorado Street Bridge, they may not be alone. A male spirit with wire rimmed glasses and a woman wearing a long flowing robe are also seen.

Of course the bridge itself may not be the only thing being visited by spirits. Witnesses have heard strange sounds and cries from unknown sources originating from the river bed. The homeless have often seen and heard ghostly spirits under the bridge including someone who says "Her fault" whenever someone runs across the bridge.


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