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A haunted love story under the 'Amish Bridge' in Sarasota

In Pinecraft, the haunted bridge has several named depending on what it means to you.  Some call it the Phillippi Creek Bridge or even the Amish bridge.  For those who believe in the story of Amos and Ingrid, those who were told the story when they were kids and passed it on to their young, it bears the name of the residents that can’t leave and the story of how their love stretches out across time, much like a bridge.  They call it the Ghost Bridge of Pinecraft, and no matter how many years pass, they root for the young couple to find what they are looking for.
In Pinecraft, the haunted bridge has several named depending on what it means to you. Some call it the Phillippi Creek Bridge or even the Amish bridge. For those who believe in the story of Amos and Ingrid, those who were told the story when they were kids and passed it on to their young, it bears the name of the residents that can’t leave and the story of how their love stretches out across time, much like a bridge. They call it the Ghost Bridge of Pinecraft, and no matter how many years pass, they root for the young couple to find what they are looking for.

Halloween is slithering closer and closer, so we are taking a look at some of Southwest Florida’s lesser-known folklore, legends, and myths.

WGCU’s Tara Calligan sat down with author and folklorist Christopher Balzano to explore a tragic tale of star-crossed lovers.

A warning to listeners – we will be talking about suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

[TRANSCRIPT]

TC: I had no idea that Southwest Florida has our own version of a Romeo and Juliet sort of star-crossed lover type story that ends in tragedy. So, please, do tell me the story of a Amos and Ingrid.

CB: And of course, you have to Amos and Ingrid, because there's like seven or eight Romeo and Juliet hauntings in Southwest Florida, which I think the best one is the Amish Bridge in Sarasota, Florida.

Sarasota is the third largest Amish community in the country. So, you have Pennsylvania you have Indiana, and then you have, when they get cold from being in Pennsylvania and Indiana, they come down to Florida enough that Pinecraft is this huge area of Sarasota which is Amish, but I'd never heard of it till I got an email.

Amos is a celery farmer. One day, his father isn't feeling well. And so, Amos goes to the middle of Sarasota, the Sarasota marketplace, to sell the celery himself. He meets Ingrid, and he completely falls in love.

From that day forward, every full moon especially, they try to get out as much as possible, and they would meet at the Amish Bridge. This this road and this bridge separate the Amish section of Sarasota from the, we'll call it the "English" section of Sarasota. They meet under this bridge, they decide they're going to run away together, because they're absolutely in love.

His dad starts to get like a little hint that something's going on. And so, one night when when Amos is trying to go out, the father kind of holds them back a little bit. So, he's late getting there. While Ingrid's waiting for him, she decides that she's going to pick these lilies that are there. She goes out into the water a little bit, she picks up the lilies, she slips and falls into the water.

amos-and-ingrid-postcard.jpg

She's perfectly fine, except for the fact the rocks have torn her dress and ripped her leg open. That sounds more vicious than it probably was. She decided she's going to run home, she's going to change. And she's going to come back before he gets back there. Unfortunately, there's no texting then. So she can't say like, you know, BRB. So she, for some reason, decides to take off her dress, and she throws it into the water, and she runs back home to get changed and to clean up.

Amos gets away from his father, he gets to the bridge, and he sees the bloody dress there on the water with an alligator right nearby. He assumes that the alligator has killed his beloved. He can't stand it anymore. He goes to the top of the bridge, and he flings himself into the waters below killing himself.

Ingrid's not that long. She comes back. She's now crossing the bridge. She sees him there. She's now struck with grief. She knows he's dead. And she also jumps from the same bridge, killing herself.

It's said that Amos and Ingrid are still at the bridge, that their love is eternal. But they will never be together. So, Amos is on the Amish side of the bridge. Ingrid is on the English side of the bridge. They're reaching out to each other. People literally see the ghosts of these two people reaching out to each other over the water, and the water is not deep. The bank's not big either. We're talking maybe 20 feet. But 20 feet is more than 1,000 miles if it's the person you love.

People see their mouths moving, but they can't hear them talking. Sometimes people see ghost lights. And the weird thing about these ghost lights is they never cross, they just float kind of on these different two sides of the bridge. And so, for now until whenever, these two people who absolutely fell in love with each other, will never get to be with each other.

———

Learn more about other Florida lore, myths, legends and Ghost Stories research by folklorist Christopher Balzano at TrippingOnlegends.com.

Copyright 2021 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

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