MONROE STREET BRIDGE

218 North Monroe Street, Spokane, WA

Status: Deck Arch Bridge Over the Spokane River: Suicide Bridge

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All Photos are Courtesy of Craig M


History

The current bridge – built in 1911 – is the third bridge that has crossed the Spokane River at this point.

The first bridge was made of wood – and rather rickety – was built in 1889. It was closed for a lot of the time of it’s limited existence over arguments around who actually owned it and who really had to right to pass over it. It burned down on July 22, 1890.

The second bridge – made of steel – was opened on June 27, 1892. It wasn’t particularly safe in that it had a noticeable dip in the center and vibrated when someone went over it. In 1905 it deemed unsafe and closed.

The third bridge – the one that still exists – is made of concrete. It is a copy of a bridge in Cleveland; that one being a copy of a bridge in Philadelphia and another further copy of one in Luxembourg in Europe. When it opened, in November of 1911, it was the longest concrete arch bridge in the United States and the third longest in the world.

In 1925 the lamps on the bridge were converted to electricity and in 1934 the tracks for the electric railways were removed. In January of 2003 the bridge was closed for the first time in it’s history in order to be modernized. It opened again in September of 2005.

It is known as a suicide bridge; the 135 foot (41.5 metres) fall into the river generally results in death or catastrophic injury. Between the speed – the bridge is at the bottom of the Spokane Falls – depth (150 feet) and temperature of the river most survivors either drown or die of hypothermia.

As of 2022 there are no actions being taken to prevent suicides here.

 

Paranormal Activity

Between 2006 and 2018 an average of 2.4 people – not 204 as has been reported on some websites - jumped from the bridge each year. During this same period 9 out of the 13 suicides in Spokane captured on video were at the bridge. The Spokane Police get an average of 20 calls a year concerning possible jumpers on the bridge.

The original ghost of the bridge is a man dressed in obviously out-dated clothing. He is usually seen on the bridge and asks people where all the natives have gone. If approached he will throw himself off the bridge but disappear before hitting the water. He is generally thought to be a construction worker who died building the first bridge.

There were also 2 men over 50 who died building the third bridge who are also thought to haunt the bridge and may be mistaken for the original ghost.

There is also a story of a murdered policeman who was murdered by being drowned after receiving numerous blows to the head. The story says he was drowned in the river below the bridge and haunts the shore to this day. There are a few reports of people seeing his apparition on the rocks below the bridge.

There is also a legend of a priest hanging himself from the bridge – although this cannot be historically collaborated – who haunts the bridge as well.

Shadow figures are seen lurking on the bridge on in the trees and shoreline below the bridge. These are thought to be the ghosts of the numerous suicide victims who ended their lives by jumping.

Below the bridge people have reported hearing disembodied voices and cries, seeing light anomalies and suddenly feeling as if they were no longer alone.

Personal experiences: I did not know the that the bridge was even haunted when I was below it or on it. There is definitely an unearthly energy both below the bridge and in places on it – a strong feeling of something just not of our reality as well that just makes you uncomfortable and chilled. I also felt as if there was something not living watching me below the bridge; again, I was left with a chill and a feeling of not being completely comfortable.