In Henderson County, Texas, near the small town of Athens, a certain railway bridge has picked up a creepy nickname among locals: Monkey Bridge.
The history behind it is even creepier than the name itself: according to local lore, the derailment of a circus train in the 1960s freed dozens of monkeys from their cages, and the escapees then took revenge by killing their owners. Other local legends claim the bridge was the site of bizarre occult rituals, and the monkeys were intended as sacrificial offerings.
According to a news story on CBS affiliate KYTX, some residents of Athens believe the bridge is haunted by the victims — as well as the animals that killed them — and for decades, kids have dared each other to visit the site at night, where people have reported hearing the disembodied screams of monkeys and men.
“As creepy as it was, it was just something that was fun to do,” Athens resident Christopher Reyes told CBS 19. He recounted how he and his cousin used to play in the area when he was younger, until something happened there which scared him away for good.
Reyes said they were approached by a mysterious man wearing a mask, who yelled at them and chased them off the bridge. He hadn’t returned to that area for 30 years… and even during the interview, he’s clearly uncomfortable there.
“I just don’t feel safe,” Reyes said, eyeing his surroundings. “It’s almost as if I’m on someone’s territory.”