Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge, Florida
Ghost stories and legends are a big part of the culture of the South. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the stories are signfiicant because like most legends they usually have a foundation in a real historical event. And sometimes, the real story is even more interesting than the legend!
This is definitely the case with the story of Florida's Ghost of Bellamy Bridge.
Bellamy Bridge, seen here, is a historic iron-frame structure spanning the Chipola River a few miles north of Marianna, Florida (and a few miles west of the famed Florida community of Two Egg). As the story goes, the bridge and swamps surrounding it are haunted by the ghost of Elizabeth Jane Bellamy. A darling of antebellum society, she supposedly burned to death after her wedding gown by accident touched either a candle or open fire during her reception.
Although there are several versions, the story has been part of the folklore of Northwest Florida for more than 100 years. Since I'm often asked about it, I started researching the legend a few years ago to find out the truth behind the ghost story. The results of the research proved far more interesting than the legend itself! I've begun a new series on Bellamy Bridge at our sister blog, Two Egg, Florida. If you are interested in learning more, just follow the link.