Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Bridgend Suicides: Psychological Contagion or Indication of Something Sinister Afoot ?

In something as inexplicable as the Bridgend Suicides of South Wales, a rash of hangings in a small British community over the past few years, it's not hard to start looking at the supernatural for explanations.

How is it that, even given the phenomenon known as 'Copycat Suicide' or the 'Werther Effect', that nearly 80 people in such a small population could kill themselves in a decidedly similar fashion--all within the last five years? At its height, the Suicides were clustered closely together and seemed to radiate outward from a single "patient zero," a high school student. When his friends and classmates began to follow suit, it was a disturbing if not wholly unexplained series of deaths. However, when Bridgenders unconnected to such teen despair--nay, any despair--began to unaccountably take their own lives in the same exact manner, locals became alarmed. Accounts attest to perfectly contented individuals, many of whom were looking forward to future plans, simply hanging themselves from trees, rafters, etc...

With explanations as occluded and insubstantial as the mists that frequently shroud this community, one can't be blamed for wondering if the Devil has come to Bridgend. Can evil manifest without cloven hooves and spread like a virus through a community like this? Is it something as simple as Copycat Suicide when individuals untroubled by emotional turmoil or psychological dysfunction take the same route to a sudden end?

Bridgend can, according to many, be a dismal place to live. It doesn't often inspire hope in its denizens. And indications are that in the early cases (those involving high school kids) that something of a suicide pact may have been at work. But can such a thing run amok to such disastrous proportions in a relatively small community?

38 comments:

Autumnforest said...

That is really interesting. It has to be psychological copycating somehow, but I've never heard of such a big case over so much time.

YONKS said...

Hi,
I live just 25 miles from Bridgend. It's so close to the capital, Cardiff, it's become a suburb. I will make one correction! Bridgend is not stuck in the middle of no mans land and not sure I agree with it being a dismal place to live because of its proximity to the capital. My daughters boyfriend is from Bridgend and many of the suicide victims were school friends of his. He too has said that some of the victims were positive, outgoing and seemingly happy individuals and does not understand what went wrong. News with regard to the hangings has ceased, although they are still taking place. The decision to cease reporting was an attempt to not cause a mass frenzy or make it fashionable. It is bizarre, there is talk of the supernatural. There is also alk of mass murder. Wales in general is a mysterious land. The mystery continues.
Good post
Di
X

Kaye Draper said...

Serial killer? My first thought was that, if a bunch of high school kids in that small of an area committed suicide, then there would be a lot of grieving family and friends, and it wouldn't be such a stretch for, say parents who had lost a child, to follow suite. But all in the same manner? Freaky.

Cullan Hudson said...

Thanks, Yonks, for the clarification and providing readers with a better understanding of the societal composition of the area. Having never been to Wales, I could only base what I wrote on how others had previously painted the town as a dismal, isolated spot filled with hard lives. But what you're saying makes the case even more bizarre. It would seem that if times were tough, people could just slip away, escape to the larger city or elsewhere for better jobs or lives. It truly is a weird situation. I'm not likely to believe in a serial killer at work, since some of the victims obviously died at their own hands. But I can't help think that something more malignant than social ennui is taking root there. And if, as you say, these suicides continue to occur (I, too, heard about the media suppression of new suicides), then the numbers may be far greater. Even in my research, I saw many media outlets settle on the number of 20 victims, but they had only focused on the school children and not those who were in their 20s.

YONKS said...

Hi Cullan,
I totally agree with you that the proximity of Bridgend to Cardiff does make it even more bizarre. If, as you say, it was an isolated area, it would be more understandable as a no hope scenario, but it is within such an east commute, motorway all the way. So strange.

I can let you know of many strange sites around the south Wales area if you wish. Steeped in history with many paranormal hotspots.

Love your blog.
All the best
Di

Cullan Hudson said...

By all means, let us know any great stories you have witnessed, heard, etc... from you area. We all love to hear these things, esp. if they are ones few have heard before.

claire powell said...

being from Bridgend myself, i admit it does sound freaky etc but asking if the devil is involved? i mean come on be realistic people. we are all accountable for what we do. none of us know what goes on in other peoples minds. i mean most of the people were bright and looking forward to future happenings but just one flash for some unknown reason they obviously wanted out of this world. they knew what they were doing. there was no way a pact as so many did it. it can be a cruel world at times and no matter if someone smiles at you, it could be that they are crying inside. i guess we will never truly know why they took their own lives but i hope their family and friends are coping with thier grief as i wouldnt want to know what its like to lose a child. plus still today there are suicides in bridgend. a little rare now but its still ongoing. i guess the media aint to keen on making a deal out of it any more.

Cullan Hudson said...

The 'devil' in question is a rhetorical call to question whether our concept of evil is something that slumbers within us all and to question whether it can manifest like a contagion within a given community. I'd hoped this was evidenced when I asked: "Can evil manifest WITHOUT cloven hooves and spread like a virus through a community like this?" It is inarguable that something strange is at work in this community--or was at work. In the face of such mystery, as I first posited, it's not hard to look for answers from the supernatural.

RachW said...

I agree with claire powell, just like her I live in the county of bridgend around 6 miles of the town, I knew three of the young people who took their lives and knew the family of another one, some of the deaths did seem related as half of them were friends, we will never know if it was a pact or what was going on in their heads but personaly i don't think it was a pact, maybe in the wrong state of mind, grief or some maybe even copy cat but not a pact but that's just my opinion as the people I knew where all happy, bubbly, down to earth people.

Minita said...

Great article!

They say that truth is stranger than fiction.. I came across something written on this tragic cascade of events and became very intrigued myself. Perhaps I am a bit of a dreamer or a romantic, but I certainly cant help but wonder what gravitational influence or connection there may have been between these people. My heart also aches a bit to even consider that each and every one of these people simply felt the world was to much or too harsh to live in.. Madness.
Im on a bit of a search to find recent info and investigations on the situation.. if there happens to be any..
Thanks for sharing!

David Bradburn said...

Heyy, Im Dave.. Im 16 and I live in wolverhampton. I met my girlfriend on FaceBook and she lives in Bridgend, and I see her once every month.
Iv'e been to Bridgend and to be honest, It really is a depressing atmosphere.
The people and the abandoned places, and Im always scared in case anything ever happened to her =[

Im not sure what it is with the suicides, But every time im in Bridgend, There is always a depressive atmosphere. It's like any over town I have been to!
But there's something about Bridgend I do not like. =[

derek giugh said...

I wouldike to know of other strange site that you mention that are alledged by you to be in south wales . I am a private investigator with my own company called Global Investigation Systems who have been asked by various people to look at the Bridgend sucides and the implications of it continuing to affect others. The last one I have knowledge of commiting sucide was on 23rd January 2013 of this year . I will of course keep you informed on a weekly basis. Derekgough@live.co.UK many thanks and best wishes to you. Derek gough

derek giugh said...

I am a private investigator looking into the strange sucides in the Bridgend area to bring out the truth what is exactly is going on here in south wales. These stories are been surpressed by the media so that they don't have to tell you what is going on . Please don't believe the stories are being blocked from being reported because they don't want other teenagers to follow suit because that is pure bullshit as is the mo Madeline moon who it seems is all talk and is only telling you what she has been told to tell you. The it seems is a sinister reason why these sucides are happening and nothing to do with evil website has Madeline moon suggested or anything to do with cults or bebo or anything else . Let's cut the bullshit and work together to bring this story out once and for all and for those of you who know what's going lookout because I am right behind you and you will be held accountable including those of you in Bridgend coroupt council .

Bear33 said...

Wow, I am so intrigued by this story and cannot believe how little information is available online. Even the documentary, Cluster, seems to be out to pasture as the last update was from 2010. How did the media coverage get shut down on this? Derek, are you still investigating? Have there been additional suicides? Or has this story simply gone away unless for those not on the ground?

Derekgough Gough said...

Yes I am still investigating this story and I have been threatened to stop upsetting the grieving families yet I have not spoken to any of the families but that is how the police get people to stop people looking into things they want left alone.. There is a total and utter media and tv broadcast on this subject and the last person to commit sucide was just over a month ago and she wad 13 yrs old which I was told by idiots that she did it because she was being bullied which I can say is total and utter bullshit.

Damon Hartzog said...

You say that the devil being involved is obsured but have you ever heared of "tranceference" where demons can hope from one person to another at will look into it a good movie and true story is "devil inside " it explaines exactly what im talking about scary thought

Damon Hartzog said...

I also agree w you somthing needs to be done I would really like to talk more with you about this Derek hit me up on face book friend me and ill give you my phone #

Cassie Morgan said...

I live in Bridgend , Bettws to be exact where a few of them took place, I knew over 8 of the people who took their lives and their families very well , yet I have never once even thought of taking my own life no matter how down I felt and at one point , I think after the 10th funeral I was very low yet didn't even contemplate it

Damon Hartzog said...

Cassie just a couple questions for u how old are you, and what is your profesion. Also did any of the people you knew kniw each other very well thanks D

Small Town Girl Big City Heart said...

These deaths definitely caught my attention when I read an article in People magazine, that I subscribe to. I am from America, so I obviously have not gotten the chance to visit the area and pick up on any energy's- whether good or bad. I am an anti-suicide activist and have been haunted with all of the loss of life this community has had to endure.
My grandma, whom raised me, told me of a story that occurred back when she was in her teens. That puts it to be in the 1930's-1940's. In the small community where she was raised, a man suicided just a few doors down from her childhood home. Many of the towns people heard the gun and rushed to the aid of the wounded man, including my grandma. She said that after his death was ruled a suicide that for a couple to a few weeks that she felt a heaviness, a sense of oppression, an "air" all around the home and surrounding area, where that man had taken his life. I don't think it is so far fetched to believe that a spiritual side, even the Devil could very well have some type of a hand in these losses of life. After all, the Devil seeks to steal, kill and destroy. What does one think that a loss to suicide does to those who are left? Pretty much everything that evil adores. Find me on Facebook, those who are invested in these puzzling suicides and in pursuit to understand a cause or answer, Why? I'm Leslie Clark and I live in Illinois. Perhaps find my page titled "Depression and Suicide Stigma" and message me there. Thank you! I used to be a reporter but have taken a break. My sole wish to be involved simply stems from wanting a better understanding of the precious lives that have been lost in bridgend, that's not only affecting their community and country but is affecting our world.

Persephone said...

BioTec is in that town right? There are studies that show industrial runoffs can filter into the water system or other areas I suppose can this be what is happening here? Read Dr. Healy on this subject.

Bridgend Industrial Estate
Bridgend CF31 3RT, UK -

See more at: http://davidhealy.org/left-hanging-suicide-in-bridgend/#comment-113690

Ryan Howard said...

I would dedicate the rest of my life to help these families find closure. Something is going on. These families deserve truth.

Ryan Howard said...

Leslie as your post is older , are you still keeping up on this matter?

Hoshiko said...

I'm willing to buy the cluster theory but a couple of things bother me. The first is that the victims are found with their feet or knees touching the ground, and quite a few hang themselves with jackets, etc. in public places. This is a very specific type of hanging that is not always effective, yet nearly everyone has chosen this method. The second and more troubling thing are the lack of notes. Over 110 suicides and only one note left? Statistics for note leaving are about 25-50%. I understand that cultural differences and the copycat nature of the suicides might bring that down, but a less than 1% suicide note rate is hard to believe.

Kim Cramer said...

I just watched this documentary and I am so heartbroken for this whole town! I just want to go there and start programs in the schools or something. Anything. Seems the police, doctors, schools are not doing anything to educate, prevent, or treat this town of people that are slowly imploding. What is going on?!?! Are they all in cohoots with each other to promote this? Is there something in the water? Is this town being used as guinea pigs? I totally agree. To hang yourself with your knees touching the ground would defeat the purpose of hanging. I.E. You need the weight of your body to hang, also wouldn't it be like holding your breath till you die? It's not possible. To have your body resting on the ground yet not save yourself? And to hang with a coat?? To not leave notes?? That just doesn't make sense. Too many question marks in this story. Something is definitely not right.

Small Town Girl Big City Heart said...

Yes, please google: bridgend wales suicides frequency waves.
I think you'll all be quite shocked, possibly at what they are saying is the true culprit in many of the suicides there. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Small Town Girl Big City Heart said...

I must add, that when I read about the bridgend suicides in the magazine "People", the number of suicides there, at one point, totaled 70+. Very disturbing.

Small Town Girl Big City Heart said...

May I ask, Have you shared what you've unearthed? And if so, Would you please share it with us?

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