Skip to main content

Bedford County's Haunted Bridge

Kinton's Bridge, also known as the Heirline Bridge

In Harrison Township, Bedford County, stands an old covered bridge spanning the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River. Built in 1902 this bridge, known to locals as Kinton's Bridge (also known as the Heirline Covered Bridge), is the longest covered bridge still standing in Bedford County. It stands on the site of an earlier bridge, which was reputed to be haunted.

Here's the story of the haunting of Kinton's Bridge, which first appeared in the Jan. 30, 1874 edition of the Bedford Inquirer:

And now we stumble upon a mystery in Harrison Township. About six miles west of this place is a bridge known as Kinton's bridge, which spans the Juniata, and is a spot of no mean significance in the history of the township. By many of the citizens, for many years, this bridge has been dreaded, and there are those who rather than cross it, would wade the sparkling stream at a temperature of 20 degrees, not that the superstructure is faulty, nor that there is any petty jealousy because Smith or Jones built the bridge, but because it is believed that the devil or some other body or thing who has not the interests and happiness of the citizens at heart, wields a terrible, evil, magic influence over it.

Many wonderful, and if they did not come from men of unquestionable veracity, we would say slightly incredible, stories are told concerning what has happened in this famous bridge, but as we have not the space to recount them all, we will give the latest sensation.

One afternoon, some time since, a farmer started with a load of corn to Mann's Choice, and on his way had to pass through the bridge. He was a man not given to fear nor to the belief in spooks, ghosts and hobgoblins. He arrived at the town in safety, unloaded his corn and started for home. Just as the sun was disappearing in the western horizon, his wagon, drawn by two powerful horses, entered the bridge, when all of a sudden they came to a halt-- whack went the whip about the legs of the fiery steeds, who strained every nerve to go forward, but it was a dead stall. The driver dismounted and examined the wagon, found that it had not caught against anything, and proceeded to lead his team, but to his great astonishment the wagon would not move.

He unhitched the horses, led them out of the bridge and tied them to the fence. He then returned with the intention of backing the wagon out, but he found that the wheels were firmly set, the tongue was immovable, and the light bed which he had handled many a time without assistance, was so solidly fixed that he could not move even the one corner. Night came on, and with it anathemas loud and deep. He declared he could not go home without his wagon, to be laughed at by his neighbors. The services of a man and boy who lived near the bridge were brought into requisition. They had a lantern. The trio did all in their power to loose the wagon, but it remained as stationary as though it were a part of the bridge. Finally they gave up in despair. The farmer had already mounted his horse preparatory to starting for home, when the chains attached to the tongue rattled. He went back-- the magic spell was broken, and the wagon followed in the wake of the horses as though nothing had occurred. The affair created a wonderful sensation in the neighborhood, and to this day is a dark mystery.

So late as one night last week two young men in a buggy, drawn by a powerfully built family horse, approached the bridge, and when about two-thirds through, their progress was suddenly and mysteriously stopped. The horse put forth his best licks, but the buggy remained firm. The gentlemen alighted and discovered that their vehicle had grown fast to the bridge and would not give anywhere. After half an hour's pulling and tugging, they concluded to unhitch and go home. When the horse was about half unhitched the buggy became loose and they went on their way rejoicing. We do not pretend to give any reasons for these mysteries, but we are willing to swear that we get our information from as reliable men as Bedford County can produce, and that they are candid in their conviction.

It seems that whatever mysterious entity haunted the old Kinton's Bridge was removed when the new bridge was built in 1902. Or was it? If you have any information or stories about the haunted bridge, drop me a line at I'd love to hear about it!

Popular posts from this blog

Mount Carmel's Mysterious Suicide Cell

Tucked away at the head of North Oak Street in Mount Carmel is a quaint shop housed in a tiny historic brick building. The Shop at Oak & Avenue is a must-see destination for visitors, offering an impressive variety of gifts and handmade jewelry. It is a gem in an otherwise drab coal town whose glory days faded away with the demise of the steam locomotive and the trolley.

While this quaint small town gift shop gives off a pleasant appearance, the history of the building-- one of the oldest in the borough-- is tinged with horror and death. For this tiny building, erected in the 1880s, served as Mount Carmel's first city hall and jail, and this jail had a rather dark distinction of being the site of the cursed and mysterious "suicide cell".

History records six suicides taking place in the basement cell, along with scores of other attempted suicides. For a reason that has defied explanation, this tiny jail in this tiny town seems to bring out the darkest demons lurking wi…

The Lutz Axe Murder

A small two-story house standing at the corner of Franklin and Montgomery streets in West Pittston presents a humble appearance. Simple in design and white in color, it is remarkable only because it is so unremarkable. A local resident may drive by the house every day for years without ever noticing it, or thinking about it. Certainly, from its understated appearance, nobody would ever guess that this humble house was the home of John Lutz, who, in 1899, committed of the most heinous murders in the history of Luzerne County.

The tiny house at the corner of Franklin and Montgomery is, in fact, a murder house. It is the scene of a gruesome crime that took place more than a century ago. What you are about to read is the story of that house and the killer who lived inside.

On November 29, 1899, John Lutz came home to his 31-year-old wife, Augusta, and their five young children. Lutz, who was nearly ten years older than his wife, was said to have been suffering from feelings of jealousy. Th…

Natalie, Pennsylvania: A Murderer's Paradise

When a miner named Michael Wanzie was murdered in June of 1905, it was evident that something wasn't quite right in the tiny village of Natalie. Although the scenic mountain village had a population of less than two hundred, the slaying of Michael Wanzie was the fourth murder committed in the village in less than a decade.

By 1924 the population had nearly doubled, thanks to a building "boom" that saw the construction of 40 new homes during the preceding year by builders employed by the Colonial Collieries Company, owners of the Natalie Colliery. Twenty of these homes, many of which still stand today, were built by the Evert Construction Company of Kulpmont. In 1923 there were 56 homes in the village, housing 375 residents. By April of 1924 that number would swell to just under 400 residents and 93 homes.

Although the building boom lent a measure of respectability to the village, Natalie was still imbued with a notorious reputation as being one of the most lawless places …