I got a call from this reporter a couple weeks ago about my book and the making of this segment, but I was nowhere around the county to do a live interview, so alas, no publicity for me. It’s a cool story none-the-less. My book “The Legend of Stuckey’s Bridge” is based on this story.
Click here to see the video segment – Channel 12 WJTV Jackson, MS – The transcription below is from their website.
In Lauderdale County, no one knows what “Stuckey’s” first name is but people know where to find his bridge over the Chunky River. Now it’s mostly used for a Halloween party spot but local legend holds it’s also the site of Stuckey’s lynching and haunting. NEWS CHANNEL 12’S Jacob Kittilstad looks for signs of ghosts -where dozens have been reported – in this week’s MYSTERY MONDAY.
Wayne Smith said he lives (with his dog Joe) on the property Stuckey is said to have owned in the mid-1800’s. “Everyone that comes here that does see something, They’re frightened by it. And they’ll tell you that they’re frightened,” Smith said. “Murdering people, disposing of their bodies, gold buried along the banks of the river,” Smith said – shortly summing up the story. “We have found through the years of talking to people that he was probably a serial killer,” Smith said.
Legends tell that “Stuckey” operated an inn where he killed as many as 20 people who were waiting to ferry across the Chunky River. After the bridge was built and his crimes discovered, locals held a Kangaroo Court and made an example of the former Dalton Gang member, according to local legend.
“They hung the man and his helper from the bridge. Left him and come back after three or four days to cut the bodies down. And they splashed into the water of the river,” Smith said.
Some people say they can still here that splash nightly (although beavers are the suspected noise-producers). But it’s the other sounds and sighting that are more disturbing.
“It’s more mist-like with a silhouette of a human being or you’ll see a mist with a face in it,” Smith said.
“There have been people who have heard women screaming. And it normally occurs at night,” Smith said.
Paranormal Investigation groups have shared what they call evidence of violent spirits online but some neighbors dismiss the videos as staged. Then there is also the fact that the bridge was built after that story would have taken place. At that point, the legend starts to fall apart but the myth carries on.
(Note from Lori: the bridge was built in 1901, REPLACING the original wooden bridge built around 1850.)
“People come here and they see, well, we have had some sightings here. One as recent as this weekend,” Smith said. “You have to live here to see what we see and hear what we hear because when we first come here we were skeptical. There’s something here that people are seeing and feeling and when we come to the bridge, We feel it,” Smith said. “I haven’t seen anything but we feel it,” Smith said.
Other neighbors tell NEWS CHANNEL 12 that they have actually met relatives of “Stuckey” who claim their ancestor was accused of murder after a dispute over a hog. But, again, the evidence is lacking.