Weird “Dog Suicide Bridge” In Scotland
By James Donahue
A strange phenomenon of dogs jumping to their deaths from a gothic stone bridge near Dumbarton,
Scotland, has kept occultists and researchers scratching their heads for years. It is said that over the past 50 years, more
than 50 dogs have apparently committed suicide by jumping over the side of Overtoun Bridge to the rocks some fifty feet below.
Because of the strangeness of the number of dogs, and the way in which they have all jumped from
the same place and on the same side of the bridge, natives have dubbed it the “Dog Suicide Bridge.” During one
six-month period in 2005, five dogs leaped off the bridge to their deaths. Sometimes the dogs are accompanied by their owners
when they jump unexpectedly.
The ornate 110-year-old Victorian granite structure arches 50 feet over Overtoun Burn.
Because of its reputation as a death trap for dogs, local dog owners no longer walk their animals
on the bridge. But the bridge is attracting a number of researchers from all over the world who are trying to find out why
the bridge lures so many dogs to their deaths.
Some people in the area say the bridge is haunted. There is a story that a local man, Kevin Moy,
tossed his baby off the bridge in 1994. He claimed that he was the Antichrist and that the baby was Satan. Moy then jumped
off the same bridge but survived the fall. He remains today a patient in the maximum-security psychiatric ward of Carstairs
There is another old Scottish myth that the bridge is located in what the Celts called a “thin
place,” or a place where two worlds, that of the present and the world of the spirits, meet. Many of the old Scots,
still linked to Celtic mythology, believe there are various places in the world where the veil between this world and the
“other world” is so thin that it is possible for men and spirits to pass from one to the other. They say that
when the two worlds meet, time stands still.
The theory is that dogs are more sensitive to the spiritual aspects of being near a “thin
place” and are spooked by some supernatural or external force. This causes them to jump over the side of the bridge
and fall to their deaths.
Other researchers refuse to believe in Celtic mythology and other spiritual hocus-pocus, and look
instead for a more logical solution to this mystery.
One such theory is that the dogs are committing suicide because they are picking up on the depressed
mental state of their owners. Dumbarton, the community near where the bridge is located, is experiencing a severe economic
decline. Some say it is among the most depressing places in the UK to live. Suicide among adults has risen 200 percent in
recent years and is now the leading cause of death among young men in the area.
Researchers that have tested the suicide theory have found, however, that the owners of dogs that
jumped from the bridge were not having suicidal thoughts prior to the event. So are the dogs picking up signals from other
people in the area?
Dr. David Sands, a contemporary “dog whisperer” professionally known as a canine psychologist,
tested the bridge by walking the only dog known to have survived the fall back over the bridge, and “tuning in”
on the thoughts and behavior of the animal.
Sands reported that the dog first walked happily across the
first part of the bridge until it reached the place where all of the animals make their death leap. At that point,
Sands said this dog grew tense and it was obvious that something had captured
its attention. But what was it?
David Sexton, billed as an animal habitat expert, next visited that spot on the bridge. Special
equipment was used to test the possibility that ultra low or high sounds audible only to dogs. But acoustic experts found
nothing that might explain what was causing the dogs to jump off the bridge.
laid bait in the undergrowth below the bridge and found that mice, squirrels and mink were living there. Next he put odor
from all three species in a field and unleashed ten dogs. All but two of the dogs went straight for the mink.
of that test, a new theory has emerged. Researchers think it is possible that the dogs are attracted to the smell of the mink
and that this is the catalyst that is causing the dogs to behave so strangely while crossing that bridge.
it possible that the smell of mink is luring dogs to jump to their deaths on the bridge? If so, why is it that all of the
dogs have jumped at the same place and on the same side of the bridge. The mink are found throughout the area.