Monday, March 3, 2008

The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge - Conclusion

This is the final part of an eight part series on the story behind Jackson County's famed "ghost of Bellamy Bridge" legend. To read the other parts first, please scroll down the page.
As promised, here is an actual photograph of the "ghost" at Bellamy Bridge.
To be completely honest, I'm not exactly sure what this photograph shows. It was taken from the old boat ramp by the bridge in December of 2005. You can see the iron frame of the bridge in the background and in the lower right, there is a strange white "mist." Of over 100 photographs taken that day, this was the only one that resulted in anything unusual.
My own opinion is that it is probably a light effect picked up by the camera, but I would be interested in hearing what you think.
As I've explained over the last week or so, the "legend" of the "burning bride of Bellamy bridge" doesn't match very well with the actual facts of the history, but the story of a ghost being seen around the old bridge has been a part of Jackson County's folklore and culture for well over 100 years. I guess in the end it all comes down to what you believe or don't believe. Personally, I don't believe in "walking spirits of the dead," but that is not to say that people aren't actually seeing something out at Bellamy Bridge. There are a number of explanations for what ghosts could be and what causes them.
Regardless of what you believe about them, such stories make up an interesting part of our culture as Southerners. We remember these stories today because our ancestors used to sit around fireplaces long before radio or television and entertain themselves by telling tall tales, legends and more. It is for the most part a lost art today, but it is part of the foundation of who we are as Southerners. That, to me at least, makes the stories worth remembering and fun to hear about.
You can read more about the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge by clicking here. The complete true story behind the legend is also included in my book, Two Egg, Florida: A Collection of Ghost Stories, Legends and Unusual Facts. It can be purchased at Chipola River Book and Tea in downtown Marianna or through, for by order through most bookstores.

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