Overtoun Bridge holds a special place in mythology as the place where the worlds between the living and the dead are particularly thin, but there is a long standing 50 year phenomenon that has left many people mourning the loss of their dogs and authorities are at a loss to explain the canine bridge jumpers that repeatedly leap to their deaths with seemingly no provocation whatsoever.
In the past fifty years fifty dogs have leaped to their deaths into the running river and the rocks below. The animals seemingly will be walking normally with no sign of unusual behavior and then will suddenly turn, looking over the bridge as though something is suddenly calling to them and leap over the edge often to their deaths. On occasions where the animals survive they will then seek out the bridge, even running away from home in order to get to it and leap off again, repeating until the bridge claims their lives.
Experts have been called in to determine if the bridge emits an unusual acoustic vibration audible only to them, but even as the spectrum of sound was explored beyond the human range of hearing nothing comparable to a dog whistle to draw the animals into the water was discovered. The answer was simply a mystery.
But the mystery gets even deeper as the details arise. Apparently every single of the dogs have leaped between the final two parapets as pedestrians cross. The entirety of the rest of the bridge seems perfectly safe, and only these two points actually drive dogs over the edge and into the waters below, despite the fact that they are exactly the same as the rest of the bridge.
There was a theory proposed by Dr. David Sands contending that the extremely potent scent glands from mink, first introduced in 1955 to the area by trappers, may have something to do with the deaths. If sight and sound are obscured, Dr. Sands suggests, the dog’s sense of smell may be the only thing driving it. But then why would they only jump at the one point on the bridge? And why would those who escaped the fate once show such an intention of returning in order to commit the same act yet again?
Unless these final factors are fully explained, there will be a presence of voices suggesting the dogs are overcome by something else that happens on the bridge – something beyond the understanding of humans that drives them to sacrifice themselves. Given that the area has such a reputation as being close to the afterlife or the world of ghosts, is it possible these dogs are being beckoned into the unknown by spirits only they can see?
Any of these theories are still small comfort for the owners of the 50 dogs that have leaped over the edge throughout the years. And the troubling mystery is ever more disturbing with each new dog that leaps from the bridge.