RE:SEARCH logo
University of Detroit Mercy Libraries / Instructional Design Studio
UDM HOME BLACKBOARD MY UDMERCY
RESEARCH HOME / FIND / SPECIAL COLLECTIONS / THE JAMES T. CALLOW FOLKLORE ARCHIVE /
James Callow Folklore Archive

Collection Home

About Dr. James T. Callow

Dr. James T. Callow publications

Collectors

Browse by

Subject heading

Keyword

Location

Questions or comments on this site? Please email davidsor@udmercy.edu.

The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

search for

Content filter is on

Your search for M885 returned 22 results.

prev | items 1 - 21 | next

THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

LATE IN THE 1950'S, CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON A BRIDGE ACROSS THE
ALLEGHANY RIVER LINKING DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH WITH THE CITY'S
NORTHSIDE. THE BRIDGE WAS BUILT AT GREAT EXPENSE, OR IT SHOULD
BE SAID THAT IT WAS ALMOST BUILT. ABOUT TWO YEARS AFTER CONSTRUC-
TION BEGAN, IT ENDED, SOME 40 FEET SHORT OF THE OPPOSITE BANK.
NOT ONLY WASN'T THERE ANY ROAD ON THE OTHER SIDE TO CONNECT THE
BRIDGE TO, BUT RIGHTS-OF-WAY HAD NOT YET EVEN BEEN PURCHASED.
THE BRIDGE REMAINED UNCOMPLETED FOR 14 YEARS, AND QUICKLY ASSUMED
THE NAME OF THE "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE." THE BRIDGE BECAME A SYMBOL
FOR INEFFICIENCY IN GOVERNMENT AND THE TARGET FOR NUMEROUS JOKES.
MANY STORIES ARE TOLD ABOUT PEOPLE DRIVING OFF THE END OF IT
(SOME ACTUALLY DOCUMENTED). THE BRIDGE WAS FINALLY COMPLETED IN
1970 AND OFFICIALLY NAMED THE FORT DUQUESNE BRIDGE, BUT PITTSBURGH
RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO REFER TO IT AS THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Plan, design, color, building material, and technic
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-02-1971

View just this record

THE HEN-PECKED DEVIL

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO THE MAYOR OF HAMBURG, GERMANY,
CONTRACTED TO HAVE A BRIDGE BUILT OVER THE ELBE. THE CONTRACTOR
PROMISED TO HAVE THE JOB COMPLETED BY A CERTAIN DATE, BUT,
BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, HE WAS HOPELESSLY BEHIND SCHEDULE.
SINCE THE BUILDER KNEW THAT THE MAYOR WOULD NOT FULFILL HIS END
OF THE CONTRACT UNLESS THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE
SPRING FESTIVALS, HE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL FOR ITS COMPLE-
TION. THE DEVIL WOULD COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION IN RETURN FOR THE
SOUL OF THE FIRST PERSON TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.
WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED AND TO BE DEDICATED, THE MAYOR AND
BUILDER ARGUED WITH ONE ANOTHER ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO
WALK ACROSS THE SPAN. THE MAYOR, SUSPECTING SOMETHING WAS AMISS
BECAUSE OF THE JOB'S RAPID COMPLETION, INSISTED THAT THE BUILDER
PROCEED FIRST. IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS, THE BUILDER HAD TUCKED
A HEN UNDER HIS COAT. WHEN HE APPROACHED THE MIDWAY MARK OF THE
BRIDGE WHERE THE DEVIL WAS LURKING BEHIND A COLUMN, HE THREW THE
HEN OUT TO HIM. THE DEVIL SEIZED THE BIRD, BUT WHEN HE SAW THAT
HIS CATCH WAS ONLY A HEN, HE THREW IT DOWN IN DISGUST. THE
DEVIL'S ANGER WAS SUCH THAT THE HEN WENT CLEAN THROUGH THE BRIDGE,
AND TO THIS DAY THERE IS A HOLD IN THE BRIDGE WHICH WILL NOT BE
FILLED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A GERMAN PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT
GANNON COLLEGE, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE ; GANNON COLLEGE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-23-1965

View just this record

FOLK TALE

THIS IS SAID TO HAVE HAPPENED IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN SOME 25 YEARS
AGO. LATE ONE NIGHT FOUR YOUNG MEN WHO WERE DRIVING ALONG IN A
CAR STOPPED BY A BRIDGE AS A MYSTERIOUS LIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE
CAUGHT THEIR ATTENTION. THREE OF THEM WALKED TO THE OTHER SIDE
WHILE THE OTHER WAITED. SINCE THEY WERE GONE FOR A LONG TIME AND
THE LIGHT HAD DISAPPEARED, THE FOURTH MAN WENT LOOKING FOR THEM
AND FOUND ALL THREE DEAD AND THEIR BODIES BADLY MUTILATED. HE
WENT TO GET HELP AND WHEN THEY RETURNED TO THE BRIDGE, THE LIGHT
WAS AGAIN THERE. AS THEY STARTED ACROSS, THE LIGHT STARTED COMING
RAPIDLY TOWARD THEM. A SHORT WHILE LATER A PASSERBY CAME UPON A
NUMBER OF MUTILATED BODIES ON THE BRIDGE. ALL THE MEN WERE DEAD
EXCEPT ONE, WHO TOLD HIM ABOUT THE LIGHT BUT DIED BEFORE HE COULD
EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. TO THIS DAY, THE LIGHT WAS NEVER
SEEN AGAIN AND NO ONE HAS SOLVED THE MYSTERY OF THESE MURDERS.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 11-05-1969

View just this record

GHOST BRIDGE

DRIVE DOWN CHERRY HILL ROAD IN DEARBORN UNTIL YOU'RE WAY OUT IN
THE COUNTRY. YOU WILL COME TO A SMALL BRIDGE. WHEN YOU CROSS IT,
YOUR HEADLIGHTS FLICK OFF AND ON SEVERAL TIMES. TURN THE CAR
AROUND UNTIL YOU ARE FACING IN THE DIRECTION IN WHICH YOU CAME
AND LOOK FOR A RED LIGHT IN THE SKY AND FOLLOW IT. SOMETIMES
WHILE YOU'RE STOPPED ON THE BRIDGE SOMETHING WHITE LIKE A DUMMY
COMES FLYING OUT IN FRONT OF THE CAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WENT THERE--LIGHT FLICKED, AND SAW WHITE FIGURE AND RED
LIGHT, BUT DID NOT FOLLOW LIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

View just this record

LEGEND

IN ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MARYLAND, ON A WINDING ROAD DURING WORLD WAR
II, THERE WAS AN ACCIDENT IN WHICH A CAR, GOING OVER A BRIDGE,
CRASHED. IN THIS ACCIDENT, A BABY WAS KILLED INSTANTLY AND THE
MOTHER DIED LATER IN THE HOSPITAL. IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU
DRIVE OVER THIS BRIDGE AT NIGHT, YOU CAN HEAR THE BABY CRYING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

View just this record

FROG CITY

THERE'S A HOUSE ABOUT 2 MILEES OUTSIDE THE COUNTY, NEAR
ZIONSVILLE, THAT HAS ALL SORTS OF STRANGE THINGS. IT IS
SURROUNDED BY ROLLED BARBED-WIRE. THERE IS AN ARMED GUARD ON ONE
SIDE OF A DRAWBRIDGE WHICH CROSSES A SMALL CREEK. THERE IS A SIGN
WHICH READS, "CAUTION, MINEFIELD--SURVIVORS WILL BE PROSECUTED."
THERE ARE STREETLIGHTS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CORNFIELD BELONGING
TO THE HOUSE. I BELIEVE THIS BECAUSE I'VE BEEN THERE AND HAVE
SEEN THEM. NO ONE KNOWS WHO LIVES THERE.

Where learned: INDIANA ; INDIANAPOLIS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Permanent and Temporary Dwelling
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

View just this record

LEGEND

A MAN ON HORSEBACK WAS KILLED WHILE CROSSING A BRIDGE. THE HORSE
RAN OFF AND FROM THAT TIME ON WOULD NEVER SET HOOF ON THE BRIDGE.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER TOLD MY FATHER THIS STORY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- B443
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

View just this record

THE MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE

THE RIVER CAM RUNS BEHIND SOME OF THE COLLEGES AT CAMBRIDGE-
QUEENS' COLLEGE HAVING A WOODEN BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER. THE
LEGEND GOES THAT IT WAS DESIGNED AND BUILT BY SIR ISAAC NEWTON
WHO ATTENDED COLLEGE THERE. THE BRIDGE WAS SUPPOSEDLEY DESIGNED TO
STAND UP BY ITSELF WITHOUT NAILS, SCREWS, OR BOLTS. UPON CLOSER
EXAMINATION, IT DOES HAVE SCREWS AND BOLTS WHICH ARE EXPLAINED
BECAUSE THE BRIDGE WAS TAKEN APART SOME YEARS AGO TO BE REPAIRED
AND THEY COULDN'T GET IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN THE RIGHT WAY.

Submitter comment: THIS LEGEND HAS STUBBORNLY PERSISTED FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS
DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT SIR ISAAC NEWTON HAD
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BRIDGE AND THE DETAILS ABOUT IT CONCERNING
THE ORIGINAL BUILDER CAN BE LOOKED UP IN ANY CAMBRIDGE HISTORY
BOOK. IT'S PROBABLY SAFE TO SAY THAT THE YOUNG MEN WHO RENT PUNTS
AND/OR CHAUFFEUR TOURISTS ALONG THE RIVER ARE CHIEFLY RESPONSIBLE
FOR MAINTAINING THE LEGEND.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; CAMBRIDGE

James Callow Keyword(s): ARCHITECT ; ARCHITECTURE

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 07-00-1982

View just this record

THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

LATE IN THE 1950'S, CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON A BRIDGE ACROSS THE
ALLEGHANY RIVER LINKING DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH WITH THE CITY'S
NORTHSIDE. THE BRIDGE WAS BUILT AT GREAT EXPENSE, OR IT SHOULD
BE SAID THAT IT WAS ALMOST BUILT. ABOUT TWO YEARS AFTER CONSTRUC-
TION BEGAN, IT ENDED, SOME 40 FEET SHORT OF THE OPPOSITE BANK.
NOT ONLY WASN'T THERE ANY ROAD ON THE OTHER SIDE TO CONNECT THE
BRIDGE TO, BUT RIGHTS-OF-WAY HAD NOT YET EVEN BEEN PURCHASED.
THE BRIDGE REMAINED UNCOMPLETED FOR 14 YEARS, AND QUICKLY ASSUMED
THE NAME OF THE "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE." THE BRIDGE BECAME A SYMBOL
FOR INEFFICIENCY IN GOVERNMENT AND THE TARGET FOR NUMEROUS JOKES.
MANY STORIES ARE TOLD ABOUT PEOPLE DRIVING OFF THE END OF IT
(SOME ACTUALLY DOCUMENTED). THE BRIDGE WAS FINALLY COMPLETED IN
1970 AND OFFICIALLY NAMED THE FORT DUQUESNE BRIDGE, BUT PITTSBURGH
RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO REFER TO IT AS THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Plan, design, color, building material, and technic
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-02-1971

View just this record

THE HEN-PECKED DEVIL

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO THE MAYOR OF HAMBURG, GERMANY,
CONTRACTED TO HAVE A BRIDGE BUILT OVER THE ELBE. THE CONTRACTOR
PROMISED TO HAVE THE JOB COMPLETED BY A CERTAIN DATE, BUT,
BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, HE WAS HOPELESSLY BEHIND SCHEDULE.
SINCE THE BUILDER KNEW THAT THE MAYOR WOULD NOT FULFILL HIS END
OF THE CONTRACT UNLESS THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE
SPRING FESTIVALS, HE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL FOR ITS COMPLE-
TION. THE DEVIL WOULD COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION IN RETURN FOR THE
SOUL OF THE FIRST PERSON TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.
WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED AND TO BE DEDICATED, THE MAYOR AND
BUILDER ARGUED WITH ONE ANOTHER ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO
WALK ACROSS THE SPAN. THE MAYOR, SUSPECTING SOMETHING WAS AMISS
BECAUSE OF THE JOB'S RAPID COMPLETION, INSISTED THAT THE BUILDER
PROCEED FIRST. IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS, THE BUILDER HAD TUCKED
A HEN UNDER HIS COAT. WHEN HE APPROACHED THE MIDWAY MARK OF THE
BRIDGE WHERE THE DEVIL WAS LURKING BEHIND A COLUMN, HE THREW THE
HEN OUT TO HIM. THE DEVIL SEIZED THE BIRD, BUT WHEN HE SAW THAT
HIS CATCH WAS ONLY A HEN, HE THREW IT DOWN IN DISGUST. THE
DEVIL'S ANGER WAS SUCH THAT THE HEN WENT CLEAN THROUGH THE BRIDGE,
AND TO THIS DAY THERE IS A HOLD IN THE BRIDGE WHICH WILL NOT BE
FILLED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A GERMAN PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT
GANNON COLLEGE, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE ; GANNON COLLEGE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-23-1965

View just this record

FOLK TALE

THIS IS SAID TO HAVE HAPPENED IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN SOME 25 YEARS
AGO. LATE ONE NIGHT FOUR YOUNG MEN WHO WERE DRIVING ALONG IN A
CAR STOPPED BY A BRIDGE AS A MYSTERIOUS LIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE
CAUGHT THEIR ATTENTION. THREE OF THEM WALKED TO THE OTHER SIDE
WHILE THE OTHER WAITED. SINCE THEY WERE GONE FOR A LONG TIME AND
THE LIGHT HAD DISAPPEARED, THE FOURTH MAN WENT LOOKING FOR THEM
AND FOUND ALL THREE DEAD AND THEIR BODIES BADLY MUTILATED. HE
WENT TO GET HELP AND WHEN THEY RETURNED TO THE BRIDGE, THE LIGHT
WAS AGAIN THERE. AS THEY STARTED ACROSS, THE LIGHT STARTED COMING
RAPIDLY TOWARD THEM. A SHORT WHILE LATER A PASSERBY CAME UPON A
NUMBER OF MUTILATED BODIES ON THE BRIDGE. ALL THE MEN WERE DEAD
EXCEPT ONE, WHO TOLD HIM ABOUT THE LIGHT BUT DIED BEFORE HE COULD
EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. TO THIS DAY, THE LIGHT WAS NEVER
SEEN AGAIN AND NO ONE HAS SOLVED THE MYSTERY OF THESE MURDERS.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 11-05-1969

View just this record

GHOST BRIDGE

DRIVE DOWN CHERRY HILL ROAD IN DEARBORN UNTIL YOU'RE WAY OUT IN
THE COUNTRY. YOU WILL COME TO A SMALL BRIDGE. WHEN YOU CROSS IT,
YOUR HEADLIGHTS FLICK OFF AND ON SEVERAL TIMES. TURN THE CAR
AROUND UNTIL YOU ARE FACING IN THE DIRECTION IN WHICH YOU CAME
AND LOOK FOR A RED LIGHT IN THE SKY AND FOLLOW IT. SOMETIMES
WHILE YOU'RE STOPPED ON THE BRIDGE SOMETHING WHITE LIKE A DUMMY
COMES FLYING OUT IN FRONT OF THE CAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WENT THERE--LIGHT FLICKED, AND SAW WHITE FIGURE AND RED
LIGHT, BUT DID NOT FOLLOW LIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 06-00-1963

View just this record

LEGEND

IN ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MARYLAND, ON A WINDING ROAD DURING WORLD WAR
II, THERE WAS AN ACCIDENT IN WHICH A CAR, GOING OVER A BRIDGE,
CRASHED. IN THIS ACCIDENT, A BABY WAS KILLED INSTANTLY AND THE
MOTHER DIED LATER IN THE HOSPITAL. IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU
DRIVE OVER THIS BRIDGE AT NIGHT, YOU CAN HEAR THE BABY CRYING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-13-1969

View just this record

FROG CITY

THERE'S A HOUSE ABOUT 2 MILEES OUTSIDE THE COUNTY, NEAR
ZIONSVILLE, THAT HAS ALL SORTS OF STRANGE THINGS. IT IS
SURROUNDED BY ROLLED BARBED-WIRE. THERE IS AN ARMED GUARD ON ONE
SIDE OF A DRAWBRIDGE WHICH CROSSES A SMALL CREEK. THERE IS A SIGN
WHICH READS, "CAUTION, MINEFIELD--SURVIVORS WILL BE PROSECUTED."
THERE ARE STREETLIGHTS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CORNFIELD BELONGING
TO THE HOUSE. I BELIEVE THIS BECAUSE I'VE BEEN THERE AND HAVE
SEEN THEM. NO ONE KNOWS WHO LIVES THERE.

Where learned: INDIANA ; INDIANAPOLIS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Permanent and Temporary Dwelling
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 05-00-1970

View just this record

LEGEND

A MAN ON HORSEBACK WAS KILLED WHILE CROSSING A BRIDGE. THE HORSE
RAN OFF AND FROM THAT TIME ON WOULD NEVER SET HOOF ON THE BRIDGE.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDFATHER TOLD MY FATHER THIS STORY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- B443
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 03-25-1970

View just this record

THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE

LATE IN THE 1950'S, CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON A BRIDGE ACROSS THE
ALLEGHANY RIVER LINKING DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH WITH THE CITY'S
NORTHSIDE. THE BRIDGE WAS BUILT AT GREAT EXPENSE, OR IT SHOULD
BE SAID THAT IT WAS ALMOST BUILT. ABOUT TWO YEARS AFTER CONSTRUC-
TION BEGAN, IT ENDED, SOME 40 FEET SHORT OF THE OPPOSITE BANK.
NOT ONLY WASN'T THERE ANY ROAD ON THE OTHER SIDE TO CONNECT THE
BRIDGE TO, BUT RIGHTS-OF-WAY HAD NOT YET EVEN BEEN PURCHASED.
THE BRIDGE REMAINED UNCOMPLETED FOR 14 YEARS, AND QUICKLY ASSUMED
THE NAME OF THE "BRIDGE TO NOWHERE." THE BRIDGE BECAME A SYMBOL
FOR INEFFICIENCY IN GOVERNMENT AND THE TARGET FOR NUMEROUS JOKES.
MANY STORIES ARE TOLD ABOUT PEOPLE DRIVING OFF THE END OF IT
(SOME ACTUALLY DOCUMENTED). THE BRIDGE WAS FINALLY COMPLETED IN
1970 AND OFFICIALLY NAMED THE FORT DUQUESNE BRIDGE, BUT PITTSBURGH
RESIDENTS CONTINUE TO REFER TO IT AS THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Plan, design, color, building material, and technic
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-02-1971

View just this record

THE HEN-PECKED DEVIL

SEVERAL HUNDRED YEARS AGO THE MAYOR OF HAMBURG, GERMANY,
CONTRACTED TO HAVE A BRIDGE BUILT OVER THE ELBE. THE CONTRACTOR
PROMISED TO HAVE THE JOB COMPLETED BY A CERTAIN DATE, BUT,
BECAUSE OF INCLEMENT WEATHER, HE WAS HOPELESSLY BEHIND SCHEDULE.
SINCE THE BUILDER KNEW THAT THE MAYOR WOULD NOT FULFILL HIS END
OF THE CONTRACT UNLESS THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED IN TIME FOR THE
SPRING FESTIVALS, HE MADE A PACT WITH THE DEVIL FOR ITS COMPLE-
TION. THE DEVIL WOULD COMPLETE CONSTRUCTION IN RETURN FOR THE
SOUL OF THE FIRST PERSON TO CROSS THE BRIDGE.
WHEN THE BRIDGE WAS COMPLETED AND TO BE DEDICATED, THE MAYOR AND
BUILDER ARGUED WITH ONE ANOTHER ABOUT WHO SHOULD BE THE FIRST TO
WALK ACROSS THE SPAN. THE MAYOR, SUSPECTING SOMETHING WAS AMISS
BECAUSE OF THE JOB'S RAPID COMPLETION, INSISTED THAT THE BUILDER
PROCEED FIRST. IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS, THE BUILDER HAD TUCKED
A HEN UNDER HIS COAT. WHEN HE APPROACHED THE MIDWAY MARK OF THE
BRIDGE WHERE THE DEVIL WAS LURKING BEHIND A COLUMN, HE THREW THE
HEN OUT TO HIM. THE DEVIL SEIZED THE BIRD, BUT WHEN HE SAW THAT
HIS CATCH WAS ONLY A HEN, HE THREW IT DOWN IN DISGUST. THE
DEVIL'S ANGER WAS SUCH THAT THE HEN WENT CLEAN THROUGH THE BRIDGE,
AND TO THIS DAY THERE IS A HOLD IN THE BRIDGE WHICH WILL NOT BE
FILLED.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A GERMAN PHILOSOPHY PROFESSOR AT
GANNON COLLEGE, ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; ERIE ; GANNON COLLEGE

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 10-23-1965

View just this record

FOLK TALE

THIS IS SAID TO HAVE HAPPENED IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN SOME 25 YEARS
AGO. LATE ONE NIGHT FOUR YOUNG MEN WHO WERE DRIVING ALONG IN A
CAR STOPPED BY A BRIDGE AS A MYSTERIOUS LIGHT ON THE OTHER SIDE
CAUGHT THEIR ATTENTION. THREE OF THEM WALKED TO THE OTHER SIDE
WHILE THE OTHER WAITED. SINCE THEY WERE GONE FOR A LONG TIME AND
THE LIGHT HAD DISAPPEARED, THE FOURTH MAN WENT LOOKING FOR THEM
AND FOUND ALL THREE DEAD AND THEIR BODIES BADLY MUTILATED. HE
WENT TO GET HELP AND WHEN THEY RETURNED TO THE BRIDGE, THE LIGHT
WAS AGAIN THERE. AS THEY STARTED ACROSS, THE LIGHT STARTED COMING
RAPIDLY TOWARD THEM. A SHORT WHILE LATER A PASSERBY CAME UPON A
NUMBER OF MUTILATED BODIES ON THE BRIDGE. ALL THE MEN WERE DEAD
EXCEPT ONE, WHO TOLD HIM ABOUT THE LIGHT BUT DIED BEFORE HE COULD
EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. TO THIS DAY, THE LIGHT WAS NEVER
SEEN AGAIN AND NO ONE HAS SOLVED THE MYSTERY OF THESE MURDERS.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 11-05-1969

View just this record

GHOST BRIDGE

DRIVE DOWN CHERRY HILL ROAD IN DEARBORN UNTIL YOU'RE WAY OUT IN
THE COUNTRY. YOU WILL COME TO A SMALL BRIDGE. WHEN YOU CROSS IT,
YOUR HEADLIGHTS FLICK OFF AND ON SEVERAL TIMES. TURN THE CAR
AROUND UNTIL YOU ARE FACING IN THE DIRECTION IN WHICH YOU CAME
AND LOOK FOR A RED LIGHT IN THE SKY AND FOLLOW IT. SOMETIMES
WHILE YOU'RE STOPPED ON THE BRIDGE SOMETHING WHITE LIKE A DUMMY
COMES FLYING OUT IN FRONT OF THE CAR.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT WENT THERE--LIGHT FLICKED, AND SAW WHITE FIGURE AND RED
LIGHT, BUT DID NOT FOLLOW LIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Vehicle propelled by mechanical or other force on land
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge

Date learned: 06-00-1963

View just this record

LEGEND

IN ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MARYLAND, ON A WINDING ROAD DURING WORLD WAR
II, THERE WAS AN ACCIDENT IN WHICH A CAR, GOING OVER A BRIDGE,
CRASHED. IN THIS ACCIDENT, A BABY WAS KILLED INSTANTLY AND THE
MOTHER DIED LATER IN THE HOSPITAL. IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU
DRIVE OVER THIS BRIDGE AT NIGHT, YOU CAN HEAR THE BABY CRYING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-13-1969

View just this record

prev | items 1 - 21 | next

University of Detroit Mercy
4001 W. McNichols Detroit , MI , 48221-3038
This site is endorsed by the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) and supports the views, values, and mission of UDM. The University of Detroit Mercy web site provides links to other web sites, both public and private, for informational purposes. The inclusion of these links on UDM's site does not imply endorsement by the University. Please contact the Instructional Design Studio for any questions regarding this web site.