Sunday, May 3, 2009
The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge - Marianna, Florida
One of Florida's most intriguing ghost stories centers around an old iron frame bridge that spans the Chipola River north of Marianna.
The tragic tale of the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge has been known in and around Jackson County for generations. As the story goes, the ghost is the restless spirit of a young woman named Elizabeth Jane Bellamy. She was the young bridge of a prominent early Floridian, Dr. Samuel Bellamy, and according to legend she died on her wedding night in a horrifying incident.
Generations of residents in and around Marianna have been told the story of Elizabeth Bellamy and how, shortly after her wedding, she somehow came into contact with an open flame in the beautiful mansion her husband had built for her. It is said that her elaborate wedding gown burst into flames and the young women burst from the house in panic. Before her husband and other guests could wrestle her to the ground, the fire claimed her life. She was buried in a small family cemetery near the later site of Bellamy Bridge.
Over the years many people have reported seeing or photographing strange things at Bellamy Bridge. There are claims of sightings of the spectral image of a young woman roaming the swamps near her grave. Others have described seeing balls of fire at the bridge, which is no longer accessible by land but can be seen by boat on the river.
So what is the truth behind this unusual legend? You might be surprised to find out! Because the story of the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge deals with real people and an alleged real event, it was fairly easy to research and an interesting antebellum tale unfolded. To learn more and see an actual photograph of the ghost, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/bellamybridge.