The Travel Channel has a show called Most Terrifying Places in America. They’ve been on for a couple seasons now, and they’ve finally gotten around to the most terrifying place I know of – Stuckey’s Bridge.
I was born in Meridian, Mississippi, near the bridge, and heard the creepy legend of the man locals refer to as Ole Man Stuckey my whole life.
Legend has it he was a member of the notorious Dalton Gang, but he was so evil, he was kicked out. He found his way to Lauderdale County, Mississippi where he opened an inn on the Chunky River.
At that time, the river was used to transport goods and produce down to the gulf. Ole Man Stuckey was known to pace the old bridge every evening at dusk, waving his lantern, and offering travelers a warm meal and a soft bed.
In 1901, the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company began rebuilding the 50-year-old wooden bridge. During the project, they discovered bodies buried on the banks.
The townsfolk were suspicious about the creepy man who ran the inn and rounded up a posse to go find him. The mob took him down to the bridge, tied a noose around his neck, and hung him from the new iron rails of the bridge.
His body dangled over the river for five days. When the sheriff cut him down, he splashed into the river below.
Strangely enough, the ghosts around Stuckey’s Bridge today don’t seem to be the victims. The ghost seems to be Ole Man Stuckey, himself. Unexplained lights are witnessed. Footsteps on the bridge and loud splashes into the water below are heard. An apparition of a man walking across the bridge, waving a lantern, is occasionally seen.
We taped the episode for the show last week, and in typical Stuckey-style, there were a few strange occurrences while we were there. A couple phones when crazy for a few minutes. A drone used to take footage of the river and the bridge crashed. We all heard it splash into the water, but when we ran onto the bridge to look over the railing for it, we saw it up in a tree. I wonder what the splash was…
I’ve written three books about the legend (available at Amazon, click here). That’s why they asked me to participate in the show. It was fun to go back home for the day, and I loved being out there again. It’s a cool place and it was a beautiful spring day! I’m very grateful my part of the show was wrapped up before nightfall.
Here’s my cousin dressed up to play the part of Ole Man Stuckey! This picture was taken long after I skedaddled out of there by Stuckey Bridge Canoe and Kayak