On Saturday, October 13th, there is a raucous party on the banks of the Chunky River, yards from the infamous Stuckey’s Bridge.

Most of the party-goers keep together at a safe distance from the legendary bridge, but a few have separated from the crowd to attempt climbing it. The bridge-climbers say they’re not there for the party, “We’re on a ghost hunt.”

Stuckey’s Bridge is a 157-year–old structure that crosses the Chunky River in Savoy on the aptly named Stuckey’s Bridge Road. In the 20th century it replaced its long lost function of “bridge” with the new functions “party spot” and “legend manufacturer.” Having been built a decade prior to the Civil War, the bridge, which is made of wooden planks and rusty metal, was never meant for the use of cars. But many people drive across it anyway, oblivious to its loud creaks and moans, paying no mind to the distance between themselves and the water below.

There are many legends surrounding the bridge’s namesake, the most popular casting him as a Norman Bates style innkeeper/serial killer. But the most believable telling of the legend appears in L.N. Fairley and J.T. Dawson’s, Paths to the Past: An Overview History of Lauderdale County, which is published by, and can be found within, the Lauderdale County Department of Archives and History.

That version of the legend begins with the passage through Meridian of the infamous Dalton Gang. The gang is said to have left behind a member by the name of Stuckey. Stuckey, according to legend, “murdered and robbed countless victims in the southwestern corner of the county during the first half of the nineteenth century.” Stuckey allegedly slayed travelers and stole their money, throwing their bodies into the Chunky at the future site of the bridge.

After the bridge was erected in 1850, Stuckey was caught, tried, and hung from the railings of the bridge. Legend holds that Stuckey haunts the bridge to this day, bitter and menacing, angry at having been subjected to the same fate as his victims.

Today, the bridge is covered with the graffiti of years of visitors. Some of the jottings are lighthearted — “Stuckey for President!” says one; “Save the Bridge!” says another. But others are more in keeping with Stuckey’s murderous legacy — “DON’T TURN AROUND!!!!!!” is scratched in black marker along the railings, “Or You Will Die.”

Flippant bits of graffiti may appear alongside the more ominous at Stuckey’s Bridge, but the stories all remain on the sinister (if not always serious) side. “The ghost pulled me off the bridge,” one Clarkdale student claims, lifting his shirt to show the scars that he supposedly obtained in the encounter.

However, the ghost is more commonly reported to manifest itself in the form of visible apparitions or untraceable sounds. According to Roadsites.org’s Lost Highway, many claim to have seen the ghost in the form of an old man carrying a lantern along the banks of the Chunky or to have heard the conspicuous sound, with no apparent source, of a loud splash from beneath the bridge.

Rumor holds that the splashes are echoes of Stuckey’s body hitting the water after being cut from the noose, and that anyone looking in the right spot at the time of the splash will be able to see a glowing spot where his body met with the cold waters of the Chunky river.

Probably the most popular story about Stuckey’s ghost, however, is that on certain nights his corpse can be seen, still hanging from the bridge, and those who see it had better run.

Stuckey’s Bridge was posted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Readers who would like to experience the legend for themselves can find it on Stuckey Bridge Road in Savoy, where it intersects with Meehan-Savoy Road. Just look for the sign that says “STUCKEY BRIDGE CLOSED” in big black letters. A word to the wise: Don’t drive over it.

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