Third Bridge (Ghost Bridge)

This is one of those stories that begs the question: Does the ghost story make the ghost, or does the ghost make the ghost story?

The Third Bridge is out on County Line Rd., east of Aurora. To me, the surroundings around the bridge are creepy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by twisted old Cottonwood (I think?) trees. There are a couple of houses nearby, but it feels like you are the only person alive out there. I was there in the middle of the day when I drove out to check it out, and it may be my urban roots showing, but I was unnerved by the silence.

The original story of the Third Bridge is that of a Native American massacre. It is said one can hear drums that get louder the longer you sit on the bridge. There are also stories af a ghost rider in the trees or riding along the bridge. I can’t find any information to support either of those stories, but that doesn’t stop people from driving out there looking for a cheap thrill.

The desire to see the ghost rider and hear the drums is what may have caused the real tragedy at the Third Bridge. In June, 1997 a horrific car accident happened on the bridge. Two cars, holding 15 teens and one pre-teen between the two of them, raced into the night to go see the area. The first car crested the hill, lost control and smashed into the guard rail. The driver of the second car, after seeing the first car wreck, tried to stop, but accidentally pressed the gas pedal instead of the break. They also lost control and smashed into a tree. In the end, two teens were killed and the driver of the first car is permanently disabled.

The Third Bridge or Ghost Bridge is primed for a haunting after the horrific tragedy to happened there in the summer of 1997. I don’t know whether or not it is actually haunted, because I have not spent much time out there. What do you think? Do the ghosts of those teenagers still hang around the bridge? Are there really any Native American spirits? What about the ghost rider? If the bridge is indeed haunted, it is doing a good job keeping its’ secrets.

 

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  • Zcmods

    I have a video of the horse/ghost rider

    read the video description on where the horse is

    • admin

      That is a really interesting video. Do you mind if I add it to the post?

  • Lukkyu

    I have been there, early 90′s so before the car accident. I saw no ghosts but I DID hear the drums!

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      That’s cool. I guess whatever might be at the bridge just hasn’t wanted to come out to play the few times I’ve been out there.

      Though to be fair, my first visit shouldn’t count. The guy I was dating at the time drove me to the bridge, telling me about the legends the whole way there. I was so creeped out I refused to get out of the truck!

      • Blueline

        I think what you need to do is take someone out there who hasn’t heard the ghost stories and see what they think they see. I think if you go out there expecting drums you will hear drums.

        Just what I think :-p

        • wtfdenver

          I’m going tonight with a car full of friends from columbine hs … sorta like a graduation thing lol . pretty sketch about it cause Im definatly not a fan of anything scary or evil… hopefully I don’t have a heart attack the moment we get out of the car. lol

          • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

            Congratulations on graduating! Have fun out at the bridge. :)

        • MrEyedea

          I just went to the one on quincy last night and the one on county line the night before, i went with one of my friends who didnt know about the ghost stories until we were on our way back last night. We went to both of them to try to figure out which one was the right one but weird stuff happened at both of them. Like i said, my friend never heard the stories of the drums or anything like that but right when we got out of the car on county line we both heard what sounded like drums. It only lasted a few seconds tho, another weird thing that happened there was i went to take a leak under the bridge and riiightt when i started pissing *crash!!* it sounded like a bunch of ice smashing(everything was frozen) but again, weird stuff happened at both bridges so im still not sure which one is the real one. So you guys think its the one on county line or what?

      • wtfdenver

        Kkkkk I’m going tonight with a car full of friends from columbine hs … sorta like a graduation thing lol . pretty sketch about it cause Im definatly not a fan of anything scary or evil… hopefully I don’t have a heart attack the moment we get out of the car. lol

  • Cpg1229

    There are people who say they hear drumbs in the distance but what I heard was no drumb. I was out there with a big group of friends only a few nights ago and as we sat in the silence of the car with the widows down we heard the sound of tribal calls in the distance. With spinning tires we were gone in seconds. We found the courage to turn around and go sit in the same spot for a few more minutes. After a very uncomfortable silence we were off and in the morning on the side of my door above the dirt and grime were two small hand prints on the door. I don’t think I will be visiting again any time soon.

    • Kin

      So a buddy was telling me about his experience out there years ago – they heard the drumming and off in the distance he saw what appeared to be tee-pees. After looking out at that he saw what he describled as ‘lightish shadows’ of people walking about 50 yards away. As he looked closer one of them turned around and ran straight at him. He took off and so did the rest of his group jumping in the truck and speeding off down the dirt road. They didnt stop till they got back home in Edgewater. When he got out of the truck he saw what looked like streaks of hand prints in the dust dragging down the side of the truck like something was trying to grab at them as they sped out of there. He wont go back.

      • Flaronix

        I know of somebody who had a similar story. Im visit my cousins here in Denver colorado and the oldest cousin said she and her friends went to Third Bridge. She didn’t go into much detail about her trip to Third Bridge (i think she said nothing interesting happened) but one of her friends on that trip went a separate time. They all met up at that one huge mall place that I don’t remember the name of but they met up so they could all get into the same car. So they left 1 car at the mall and drove in the girls car. If i remember correctly, it was her friend (the girl) and 3 other guys. My cousin said they never rolled their windows down because they were scared and never got out of their car. I don’t think she said anything happened while her friend was there but when they went back to the mall to get in their right cars, the girl noticed similar hand marks on the back of her trunk around the back license plate. My cousin had seen them when she went to this girls house so she described them to me. The hand prints were VERY tiny, she said almost like baby fingers. There were streaks of dirt going downwards as if somebody was trying to crawl onto the car but couldn’t get a grip. Again, the fingers were very very tiny. They all held their fingers up to the prints and they looked less than half their finger size. It was bizarre because nobody got of the car and nobody else was on the bridge that night. When my cousin went, she said it was a full moon and you could see everything from the moonlight. She said it didn’t look creepy at all she said it look really pretty. That might have something to do with why nothing happened to her that night? I asked my cousin if they took pictures of the finger prints but she said they tried and it wouldn’t show up on the camera… This part seems really generic but I guess I trust my cousin. She told me this story because she first says “I need to take you guys to Third Bridge” (You guys = Me, my brother, my cousin (Driver), and the younger cousin). Hopefully i’ll get to go before I leave for home in 5 days. Ill post anything here if something happens and I want to be able to qualify that this isn’t any bullshit so when and if something happens when we go ill do my best to take pictures. Im excited to have a real creepy story to tell. I’m interested with Creepypastas so it would be awesome to have something happen to me first hand. Although most Creepypastas are made up… Anyways, Ill post back my findings.

        • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

          I’ll be interested to hear your experience at the bridge. Good luck!

          • Flaronix

            Ok so it looks like we’re not going to be going to third bridge. Im extremely angry about this. During desert after our thanksgiving dinner (we’re planning to go tonight but didn’t ask all the adults), i brought up the idea of going. My mom was ok with it and my cousin (the oldest one that mentioned third bridge to me in the first place) was being questioned about the idea by her mother. She began by saying “weeeelll, THEY want to go to..” when it was HER idea in the first place. Her mother asked why and she just said “I don’t know its supposed to be scary but…” and all these things as if she didn’t care or was too cool for it. I’m extremely disappointed and pissed off that my cousin would straight up lie about it saying that “nothing happened when we went before theres really no point”. I don’t know why she did that but I’m leaving tomorrow and won’t be able to go at the late times we were expected to go. Then next closest time i’ll be able to go is next year so lets hope it works out. Sorry guys…. maybe next time.

          • curizen

            a lifetime of experience with the paranormal has taught me that most people tend to believe and tell their personal stories about such strange occurrences in private, but in the “larger” more public setting, they up and down deny they believe such nonsense. Its usually to cover up their own fear or they dont want to look stupid in front of people who dont believe in the supernatural. thats a bummer you couldn’t go but there are spirits everywhere you just have to keep an eye out for them :)

  • therook1110

    Went there when I was in high school and walked all the way to the “drums” it was just an oil pump’s generator that was running really shitty. No indians were seen just cows and piles of sh1t.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      I haven’t heard the drums either. I’m afraid the “Native American masacre” part of the story is just an urban legend.

  • ConnorMC

    Went tonight because of recent hype. Came in skeptical, but I have to say, I have absolutely no explanation for what happened. The drums were faint at first, and it was pretty quiet. We took flash lights and investigated. As we went further across the plain, the drumming got louder and it seemed like it was coming from a very specific location. As we got closer, the drum got louder until we got to the spot where it sounded like it was coming from, it stopped. It then restarted faintly from another location. As we neared it, again it got more aggressive, and then silenced as we got to the exact location. The most eerie part was that after the second time it silenced, it got incredibly aggressive sounding and it sounded like it came from 3 different spots all at the same time with same rhythm! Most people refuse to walk out as far as we did. There was no “oil rig” although that seems to be what most people dismiss these noises as.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      That’s awesome. I really need to get back out there to see if I can experience anything for myself.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      That’s great you were able to experience some activity.

  • Mmontg21

    I went a couple years ago with a few friends when i was in high school. pretty creepy place. definitely an interesting story. im trying to write a feature story about it for one of my journalism classes but cant seem to find any hard evidence that teens were killed there. Do you know where I could find like an article about it or something? All that seems to be online are more ghost stories. Thanks!

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      Yes. The original information are located in the Rocky Mountain News archives. You can find them at the Denver Public Library. You can also view them online through the library, but you have to sign up for a library card if you don’t already have one. I had to dig through the stories to find the facts as well. Good luck with your journalism class!

  • Julzann1799

    I went tonight but I didn’t really know which bridge was the right one, but passing one of them I hit this huge patch of fog that just sat there. and then going back the other direction through the same bridge there was more fog. The entire drive there was just scary and eri, and along with it there was a dark cloud over the moon. I believe something is lingering out there and it isn’t happy.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      I love how fog makes everything feel more eerie and creepy, although I’m sorry you had a rough time finding the bridge.

  • A FRIEND OF THE FALLEN

    If any of you go out there agen it is actually off of smokyhill rd and please show a little respect for the kids that where injured and died there, they where and still are my friends. The storys might be creepy but a real tragedy happend there and we lost two amazing young ladies. Please be respectful and always be aware of your surroundings, it is dangerous out there!

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      I don’t think anyone meant any disrespect. You are correct: It is off Smoky Hill Rd. However, it is located on County Line (which I suppose is off Smoky Hill by way of another street.) I don’t want to give street by street directions to the site, because it doesn’t really have anything to do with the story. Thanks for sharing, and I’m sorry you lost one of your friends in the accident.

      • FunkyFish25

        Actually it’s off Quincy rd. @ sand creek several miles passed the Aurora Reservoir. I’ve been out there. I didn’t know about the ghost rider prior to being out there, until I saw it… But what I saw was a blue flaming horse at a gallop that stumbled and fell and the disappeared.

        • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

          You are thinking of a different bridge with its own set of stories. It is often (mistakenly) referred to as the Third Bridge.

    • Ladybug

      how did your friends die there.? me and my bestfriend went there with two of our guy friends and they were telling us stories about the bridge. im sorry for the loss of your friends.

    • anthny

      Im sorry for your lost

  • lalala

    I went there a year ago and it was pitch dark with no other cars and when we go to the third bridge there was a cup standing straight up. We stopped right at the end of the bridge i didnt hear ANY drums but my friends did they didnt know if it was happy drums or sad ones or angry ones. I like to believe that they were happy ones because they are happy to get visitors but anyways when we were driving back and the cup i mentioned earlier was turned upside down and standing straight up in the EXACT same place. I kept seeing ghosts coming out from behind trees but i couldnt see there face and then they were gone.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      What a great story! Thanks for sharing!

  • resident

    I have experienced CRAZY things at Third Bridge and have had a keen sense for the paranormal for the majority of my life. I will probably never visit again after my experiences there.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      Do you mind sharing some of your experiences? I’m interested to hear your story.

  • for megan

    To who ever wrote this I am thankful for the respect to the ones we lost. it just so happens that my sister is 1 of the the 2 that lost there lives that night in 1997. If you have any brains in your head you will stay AWAY? This is real life not a joke. To a friend of the fallen. I found no disrespect and I think I am a better judge than you.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      I am sorry you lost your sister in the accident. I only have one sibling, and can’t imagine what I would do if I lost him. Thank you for your input.

  • RIP Nate

    one of my friends, his sister, and one of her friends died at third bridge in 1999 because of a paranormal sightings which led to a really bad car crash.

    • Elijah Howard

      It was not a paranormal sighting that led to Nate’s crash

  • unknown

    i just visited last night. it was pretty wet and scary and we did hear drums the whole time. i dont know if anyone else has tried to follow the noise of the “drums” but we did. it ended up being an oil rig making the drumming noise. there are many oil rigs surrounding the bridges the ghost stories ARE NOT real

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      I’ve heard of an oil rig being an explanation for the drums before. I think that’s logical.

  • Lissa

    Is it a heavily patrolled area? I’m new to Aurora and I wouldn’t mind driving to this area, but I’m concerned about getting in trouble or ticketed. The urge to explore is strong but it would be awful to be a nuisance.

    • Kipperyom

      I’ve been hunting about a mile east of the 3rd bridge for 10 years and can easily explain the sound of what appears to be drum beats that resonate throughout the area. The sounds are produced by an oil or natural gas pump and can be easily heard when atmospheric conditions are perfect. With the being said, during a recent midnight trip to the bridge I captured on my IPhone what appears to be the misty image of a horse. What I found strange was that the image of the horse is absent in the image I took seconds before. Need to find a way to get these images posted online for you consumption. Any recommendations?

      • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

        That’s pretty interesting. You are more than welcome to email the image to me at contact@paranormalstories.com and I will be happy to upload it here for everyone to see.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      I don’t think the area is heavily patrolled, however, I’m pretty sure the land on either side of the bridge is private property. I don’t recommend exploring off the road without permission first.

  • EHH

    I visited tonight… I was out there for about an hour and experienced absolutely nothing… Maybe I set my hopes too high? A few girls I was with said they saw a bunch of little kids in the distance to the North East end of the bridge. I looked for about ten minutes wondering if their eyes were cross eyed or squinted? I went out there to get a real scare but that didn’t do it.

  • erick

    I been there a lot of times recently, my first few visits I never experienced anything of the paranormal sort, but two weeks ago, I went there with my little group of friends and i heard drums really loud and clear coming from the planes to the right of the bridge, we stayed there for over an hour and the drums never stopped, we also heard a hawk circling around the area and it seemed to be closer every time. I’ve never checked for hand prints on my car but next time i will, when we go again we are planning to walk toward the sound and check it out. i tried recording it but i only got faint sounds of the drums.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      That’s cool you were able to experience something.

  • Crash 15 survivor

    Actually, the second car never saw the first car wreck. I am the driver of that second car. What happened was I was traveling 95 mph to keep up with my friend and as I came over the crest of a large hill, an unexplained construction sign was all of a sudden in the road! Probably a result of paranormal activity maybe? I swerved to miss it and ended up flying 50 ft into the forest and plowing into a huge broken down tree. We later found our friends wrecked off the bridge and I have never been the same since. That place is eerie!! May the girls rest in peace and not haunt that awful place!
    Respectfully, crash 15 survivor

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      Thank you for the clarification! I looked up the details of the crash in the Rocky Mountain News archives, so that’s where I got the information. I’m glad you survived the crash, and I’m sorry for your friends.

    • Shannon Petre

      my parents were two of the first fire fighters on the seen of that wreck it was one of the worst my parents had seen in all their yrs as firefighters. I remember the crash and the stories about it like it happened yesterday. I am sorry that you lost your friends in the wreck I have lost several in the last few years I would like to speak with you if you would contact me at muddendoc1082@gmail.com. I lived only a few miles from ghost bridge and it has a way of looking creepy but then again I grew up riding horses and driving cattle all threw there so nothing really bothered me out there. Please contact me.

  • the after life

    We are going tonight, we went this afternoon to make sure we could find it, on the other side of the bridge is a house and barn on the right side right?

  • Morgaine

    My family has some crazy stories about this place, I know i’m only 12 but before I was born my mother, father, and uncle chris went there and my mom passed out and wasn’t breathing. At the time sh wasn’t dating my dad. He was a little farther ahead and he started meditating with a native american teardrop hen it flew up and starting spining. On the way back on the bridge the car wheel started turning off the cliff. My dad ha to stop the car or they would of died. After that my mom woke up and my dad saw a ton of pure white barn owls on the road! I think its crazy but i believe him, Our family has alot of ghost stories i could tell.

  • Mallory Snipe

    Third Bridge is scary and when we got there, we saw orbs

  • Frege

    When I was a teen we used to race out in that area, ending at the bridge. We also used to shoot fireworks on fourth, because of its secluded location. Never heard any drums. Although, I’ve heard that there is an abandoned asylum near by.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      An abandoned asylum? I’ve never heard that one before. Do you have any additional information about that? I love a good asylum story ;)

  • EyedealSkeptic

    I know this is an older post but I have a question, you said the bridge on Quincy is a different bridge with its own set of stories. Can I ask what those stories are? And how you know which bridge is the right one? I live in aurora and my friend and I weren’t sure which bridge was the right one so we went to both a couple weeks ago(not on the same night). But we still aren’t sure which one is really haunted, strange things happened at both. On County line we heard the “drums” and I realllllly had to go to the bathroom and that place is in the middle of nowhere so I couldn’t exactly hold it, so right when I started taking a leak *CRASH!* it sounded like someone smashed a bunch of ice. Now that isn’t enough to convince me it’s haunted so the next night we went to the one on Quincy. Some pretty weird stuff happened there too, my camera would glitch out and have a bunch of lines when I would take a picture in certain spots(which it’s never done before) and I may have caught some orb pictures. Now the weirdest part was when we decided to test the handprint thing, I drove over the bridge real slow and we started hearing the weirdest noise I’ve ever heard, I can’t even explain it. At first we thought it was sirens but it was coming in the direction of the field so their’s no roads out there, as it got closer it almost sounded like some sort of chant or coyote making some very odd noises, like I said I can’t explain it but it didn’t sound natural.

    I’m sorry for the long post but I would really like to know more about these bridges, thanks for the help.

    • http://www.paranormalstoriescolorado.com Paranormal Stories Colorado

      The Quincy Bridge stories are all urban legend related. I’m almost positive the stories exist because people get confused between the Quincy Bridge and the Third Bridge on County Line.

      I know which bridge is correct because I’m married to someone who grew up in Aurora, and I did the research regarding the crash I wrote about in the post. You can look it up yourself in the Rocky Mountain News archives which are located at the Denver Public Library.

      I’m glad you were able to experience something at the bridges. I’ve never experienced anything at either bridge.

  • DroidRazr

    How did the Native American die?