There are a lot of scary bridges in Maryland. I mean, you can actually pay someone 30 dollars to drive you across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge if you can’t stomach the howling winds and the sharp turn on the western side. But hands down, the scariest bridge is Decoursey Bridge over a small river in Greenbriar Swamp.
Being the paranormal junkie that I am, I had convinced a friend, let’s call him Jack, to finally take me to the Seven Gates of Hell. Located on a barely there dirt road that would sometimes be flooded out by the tides, the Gates are a local legend. Now I know a bunch of states have their own version, but ours has the particular distinction of also being a favorite haunt of Big Liz, the Ghost of a decapitated slave, and to even reach the Gates you have to travel a few miles along a road haunted by ghost lights. Spooky, right? Well this summed up our itinerary for that particular summer night. But we had one issue, neither of us had a car at the time.
So we contacted a mutual friend, Mary for the sake of her anonymity, and convinced her to take us to the Gates. I was a little nervous about asking Mary to take us as she’d always been sensitive to emotions and spirits in a way that made my own sensitivity pale in comparison. But she and Jack said that she would be fine. So off we went into the night.
As we neared the road leading towards the Gates, Jack mentioned that he wanted to see if he could summon Big Liz. To do so, we’d get onto the road, stop on the small bridge over the river, honk our horn three times, flash our lights twice, and shut off the car. We waited for nearly a half hour, but no Liz holding onto her head with glowing red eyes came from the mist. Feeling a bit disappointed, we decided to press on. We looked to Mary to tell her to drive and I’ll never forget the look on her face.
Mary stared ahead with eyes that had rolled completely back into her head. “M-Mary?” I called out softly. As if a switch flipped, her eyes snapped forward and she started the car, revving her engine as if it were a manual and not an automatic. I was surprised that her poor little Fiesta survived when she slammed on the gas and we took off. Jack and I yelled in horror as we looked down the stretch of road. I glanced at the rapidly climbing speedometer and then back at Mary. Her eyes locked onto mine. They were glazed over as she smiled at me, not looking at the road at all. I swore that I was going to die that night when suddenly she slammed on her brakes. I felt whatever had possessed her leave thought the windshield and continue down the road. Mary somehow kept control of her screeching, slightly fishtailing, car and we came to a stop.
With tears in her now normal looking eyes, she threw the car into reverse, pulled the fastest three-point turn I’ve ever seen, and sped back up the road. Suddenly Jack cried out. I glanced in the rearview to see two pinpoints of light that hadn’t been there before following us. Mary’s tiny car sped along the road with the ghostly car tailing us. Once we passed the bridge, the lights faded away into nothingness and she continued to speed back the way we’d come. Jack, Mary, and I sat in silence all the way back to Cambridge, the nearest town.
Only once we were back along familiar roads did Jack and I begin to ask Mary what had happened. And we were met with stony silence. I worriedly asked Jack about other spirits along the road. That’s when he told me about the origins of the ghost lights. Apparently a man had taken his car out to that road to practice racing. Unfortunately, he hit a wet patch of road near the bridge and hydroplaned off the asphalt, hitting a tree and dying instantly. I can’t say for certain that the ghost driver possessed my friend, but I do know that I won’t be taking Mary back there in a hurry.