The Mystery Behind the ‘Dog Suicide Bridge’ In Scotland

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The Mystery Behind the ‘Dog Suicide Bridge’ In Scotland

 

Since the 1950s, there have been approximately 50 dogs that have died after jumping off the 50-foot-tall bridge, which is the Overtoun Bridge in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It is near the Overtoun House, that is also known to be haunted because of a tragic accident in 1994, where a 32-year old man threw his infant son, Eoghan, because he believed that his child was the antichrist. 

Afterward, the man was reported to try and kill himself twice: first, by trying to jump off the bridge to follow his son, only to be stopped by his wife; and the second, by slashing his wrists with a knife he found. Even though the infant was initially rescued, the report published in the digital news and entertainment website, VICE, said that he died in the hospital the following day.

 

The Overtoun Bridge in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland / Photo by: Rosser1954 via Wikimedia Commons

 

However, the perpetrator had not been found guilty of murder since he was judged with insanity after a unanimous verdict, and had been admitted in the Carstairs psychiatric hospital in South Lanarkshire. But what does that have to do with dogs jumping over the bridge?

According to several experts, there were times where dogs jumped from the bridge and survived. Although after coming back up, they were reported to have jumped again as soon as they can. Based on research, the dogs in danger were noted to be long-nosed breeds or dolichocephalic types such as German Shepherds, Scottish Terriers, Italian Greyhounds, etc. Furthermore, they all jump at the very same spot — between the two ramparts at the right-hand side of the bridge — and the weather has to be clear. No one could understand why.

 

Dog jumping to the ground / Photo by: Max Pixel

 

The most common theory about it is that the scent below the bridge entices or lures the dogs to their demise. According to VICE, squirrels, mice, and mink are the animals are known to nest below the bridge — their scent being extremely attractive to dogs. In a study conducted among 10 long-nosed dogs, results found that 70 percent of the dogs followed the scent made for mink.

Mink was also first spotted around the area during the 1950s, which was the year when the jumps started, and the scent of it is in its strongest during clear or dry days.

 

The mink / Photo by: Pdreijnders via Wikimedia Commons

 

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