The town of Wauchula, Florida is shrouded in a horrific and intriguing legend, and it all starts and ends with Bloody Bucket Bridge. Before the Civil War, a slave in the area acted as the local midwife. Some speculate that this woman was concerned with how many babies each family could actually afford to provide for.
The Wauchula Midwife Legend
Others believe she was distraught by bringing babies into the world when she had to leave hers behind due to slavery. Whatever the motive, the midwife decided to smother the children immediately after birth and claim that they were stillborn. As the family mourned, the midwife took the dead baby and buried it underneath this now infamous bridge.
Births are messy affairs. When the midwife would take the dead baby to bury, she would also bring a bucket full of birthing blood and fluids to toss into the river. According to the story, this went on for many years.
Over time, the midwife seemed to regret her evil deeds. She began to note in horror that her bucket would sometimes fill up with blood of its own accord. And when she would take it to the bridge to throw overboard, she would be tormented with the sounds of a hundred babies crying.
On one of these trips to the bridge it is said that the midwife lost her footing and fell into the river below. Unable to swim, the woman quickly drowned. Today, Wauchula residents claim that when the moon is full, the river will run red with blood.
When Andy first heard about the legend, he was more grossed out than scared. “Even as an adult, the details and mechanics of childbirth are rather vomit-inducing. My nine year old self certainly couldn’t handle the idea of buckets of warm birth blood, no way,” he said, making a face.
“I thought about that story for a few days then promptly forgot all about it. It wasn’t until last year, as I drove near the bridge, that I suddenly recalled the gruesome legend. Where did it originate and who would come up with something so brutal?
“That night I dreamt about bridges. Not just Bloody Bucket, but many bridges, like a movie montage. It was creepy, without a doubt…but I felt compelled to visit after that,” he said.
The sun had set, and the sky was a beautiful orangey pink hue. I parked my car off to the side and made my way to the middle of the bridge on foot. It’s a modern structure now, but I tried to picture how it would have looked during the 1800s.
“My thoughts turned to the midwife when my cellphone rang. “’Hello?’ I asked. At first all I heard was a lot of static… but then I heard the soft cry of a baby.
“I immediately shut my phone off and put it back into my pocket, trying to reason with myself that it was a creepy coincidence, nothing more. Whoever was on the other end had a baby, and dialed the wrong number. That was it,” Andy said.
“But then I heard the sound again…coming from my phone, which had been completely shut off,” he added, solemn. That’s when I realized, with a churning of my stomach, that Bloody Bucket Bridge really is haunted.”