Monday, July 15, 2013

London Bridge Ghosts

This haunting doesn’t take place in London but rather in Lake Havasu located in northwestern Arizona. In the early 1960s the 1831 stone bridge * that spanned the River Thames in London was deemed unsafe. This bridge was literally falling down--ironically it was this bridge that inspired the children’s rhyme “London Bridges Falling Down”. The English authorities decided to sell it in 1962.

Two Americans, a city planner and theme-park designer C.V. Wood and a Havasu founder Robert P. McCullach quickly bought it. But they got more than they bargained for because this bridge is haunted.

Living in the Southwest, I remember I was surprised when it was announced that Arizona had acquired the London Bridge. I read with interest, descriptions of how the bridge was disassembled, transported and then rebuilt over the Bridgewater Channel in the Arizona desert. As the stones were removed they were numbered carefully--once they arrived at Lake Havasu it took craftsmen three years to figure out the puzzle and put these stones back together.

The bridge was rededicated in 1971, the Lord Major of London presented at the ceremony. It was during this dedication that the ghosts were witnessed for the first time. A female first noticed four people dressed in old-fashioned clothing walking over the bridge. She thought they must be actors hired to add atmosphere to the ceremony. Slowly others spotted the group of four as well. To everyone’s surprise these four people vanished into thin air.

Lake Havasu over the years has become a major tourist attraction--especially during Spring Break season. The London Bridge has a lot of car and foot traffic. 

Many people have reported seeing men and women dressed in odd out of date clothing walking casually across the bridge. Some visitors have described being bumped by unseen entities as they stand on the bridge. One ghost that has been seen a lot is that of a lady dressed in a black dress. She clutches a purse closely to her as she walks slowly along the bridge. She is also seen at night jumping off the bridge. Witnesses’ state that she then just disappears-- she is never seen falling into the water below.

Photo: RTC on Wikipedia

Most who have seen these ghosts state they are completely unaware of the living around them. So this haunting is most likely residual in nature. Like many buildings this structure appears to retain memories of the past. Because of these sightings Lake Havasu City offers evening ghost walking tours of this historical bridge.

* This 1831 London Bridge was not the first to span the River Thames. Originally there was a wooden bridge then in 1209 the first stone bridge was built.

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