It’ll take a quick hike to get to this creepy walking bridge tucked into the Michigan forest, but Hell's Bridge is sure to scare the crap out of you. Legend says in the mid 1800s a seemingly friendly older man named Elias Friske went on a murderous rampage killing several children, and the demons that “made him do it” still haunt Hell’s Bridge.
The story says when multiple children went missing, Friske was asked to watch the rest of the town’s children while the more able-bodied searched for the missing kids. Friske tied the children together by the waist and told them he was just making sure they didn’t lose anymore. Then he had them march into the woods…
As the children marched through the woods they soon detected a horrifying stench… Friske tied the group to a tree and moved a pile of leaves to expose what the stench was… the rotting flesh of the missing children. The tethered children screamed and cried, but Friske knew their parents were searching for the other missing kids in the opposite direction. Friske took to butchering the children, one by one, until he’d killed them all. He then threw the bodies into the Rogue River and ran deeper into the woods.
When the adults on the search party returned to town, it was obvious something was wrong. No Friske. No children. The townspeople quickly returned to the woods, this time in search of Friske and the rest of the town’s children.
The search eventually led them to a newly constructed bridge. Under it, in the icy waters of the Rogue River, were multiple bodies- the murdered children. While most were overcome with grief, one man saw a set of footprints going up into the woods. It didn’t take long for the man to find Friske, covered in blood, claiming the devil made him do it…
Whether the devil made Friske do it or not, the townspeople didn’t care. They grabbed the rope he’d used to tie up the children and instead hung him off the bridge with it. Legend says after he died the waters swelled, snapped the rope, and took his body away forever.
The river may have taken Friske’s body far away but the evil spirits that supposedly made him kill the children seem to still lurk in the woods and waters around Hell’s Bridge… Folks floating in inter-tubes down the Rogue River claim they feel hands grabbing their feet, trying to pull them into the water.
And for the bridge Friske was hung from? It’s since been rebuilt with modern steel and earned the nickname “Hell’s Bridge.” The bridge itself, with its lack of rails, is somewhat scary to cross, but the spirits surrounding it make the bridge particularly terrifying… Explorers claim they’ve heard children both laughing and screaming as well as phantom footsteps around the bridge. Supposedly, the bridge becomes scariest around midnight with the sounds of dark, demonic laughter. Some even claim glowing red eyes move through the woods, and a ghost with those same eyes sometimes shows up on the bridge itself.
More rad stories from Roadtrippers: