The Legend of Hell's Bridge

Hell's Bridge - "they say you can hear the devil laughing..."


A group of teenagers are hanging out at Hell’s Bridge on a cold October night, waiting for something to happen. They glance at their cell phones and see the time fast approaching midnight. It’s at midnight they heard you are supposed to hear the Devil laughing if you are standing on the bridge. They wait quietly, straining to hear any sound in the darkness around them. The only ghostly thing they see is their own breath floating above them in the cold air. Suddenly, one of them grabs the other and hurriedly states in a frightened whisper, “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” the others respond with the same hushed whisper.

“I heard someone laughing!” Someone else chimes in with, “I think I heard a kid cry!.”

Everyone looks at each other for a few moments and gets quiet again. Something in the woods is heard but it’s unclear what’s making the sound. At that point, everyone flees the bridge, gets in their car and leaves the Devil and his laughter behind. They pull up to a Denny’s and discuss it amongst themselves and tell other’s how they heard the “Devil laughing” and “kid’s crying” while at Hell’s Bridge. And the legend continues on...

Hell’s bridge is a popular urban legend around west Michigan and tells of the “demon possessed child killer”, Elias Friske. “Hell’s Bridge” is a small, not so special metal bridge found in Algoma Township, crossing the Rogue River. The legend says that a man named Elias Friske murdered seven children, blaming it on a demon. According to the story, he threw their bodies in the stream where the bridge is located. Paranormal teams around the area have looked into this legend, each one having a different experience. Some teams felt there was nothing there and the haunting was exaggerated, while others were convinced that the area was rampant with paranormal activity and they could hear the screams and whimpers of the murdered children. Some say the bridge is further down and not the one everyone photographs.

Out of curiosity, I checked the census records for a man named Elias Friske in the Algoma area. The legend states the murders happened in the late 1800’s sometime, but the Friske family doesn’t show up in the Algoma area until the 1910 census and there’s no one by the name of Elias Friske. Now that doesn’t mean he didn’t exist. The census records were not perfect by any means, but it does give further fuel to this story being just another haunted legend in Michigan.

No matter how much truth you can expose about a legend, they have a way of weaseling around that truth and still getting into the minds of the curious, possessing them like poor Elias Friske to find out if there’s anything real to the stories.

Reader Submissions

Have a story to share? Think you experienced something at Hell's Bridge? Make your own opinions about submissions. Are they over active imaginations? Or is it the absolute truth...

September 2010

"My two friends and I just got back from Hell's Bridge. We walked about 14 feet down the path when another car pulled up with about 5 or 6 people in it. It was pretty eerie so we just decided to all group up. The setting was perfect...pulling onto Friske Drive and watching all the fog rise from the damp street. The atmosphere alone was freaking us all out.
We trekked further into the words until we came to the bridge. We got there at about 5 minutes to midnight. As soon as someone said that it was 12:00 we heard an ominous laugh come from the woods. We all looked at each other and me, along with 4 of the other people there, walked onto the bridge. For a while it looked like someone was walking on the water towards us and the girls there had to leave after that. Everyone there heard what sounded like children faintly screaming and whimpering. Me and the guy next to me looked down at the water and saw a kid floating there. That's when we got the *%&^% off that bridge. The second party of people left while me, my two friends, and my brother stayed back. I got my brother to come onto the middle of the bridge with me to see if we could hear anything else before we left. I pointed to the spot where that other guy and I saw the kid. When we both looked, we saw two kids with rope around them floating in the water. We hauled ASS out of those woods."


Written by Amberrose Hammond

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