Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Suicide Bridge for Dogs

In Dumbarton, Scotland, the Overtoun Bridge has been the nexus of a strange rash of canine suicides. Yep, you heard me.

For half a century, more than fifty dogs have hurled themselves from not only the same bridge, but the same spot on that bridge over a burn on the Overtoun estate. It seems to be a phenomenon affecting only Labradors, collies, and retrievers.

Many believe the bridge to be haunted, perhaps by a hunter lonesome for companionship on the other side. Maybe by a sprit that doesn't care much for our four-legged friends.

Nearby Overtoun House (featured in the film Cloud Atlas) overlooks Dumbarton and was built between 1859 and 1862 for the wealthy chemical manufacturer, James White. While the house and family certainly have their history, none exists to adequately explain the strange suicides.

Sadly, it hasn't just been dogs. In 1994, a local man threw his infant son from the bridge, believing him to be the devil reborn.

It should be noted that "Overtoun" is explained in some accounts as being Gaelic for "a thin spot," as if to imply that the walls between worlds are thinnest here. This doesn't seem to be true. Overtoun actually means above (Over) a farm or farmlands (T

oun, which has through the centuries become equated with the English "town").

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