On June 1, 2019, at approximately 7:00 PM, I was returning to Indiana from a vacation that I had taken to Wyoming and South Dakota.
My all time favorite movie is the Bridges of Madison County. For years I had said that I was going to visit the house and the bridge that were the focal points in the movie, both are located in Winterset, Iowa. So I decided to head south through Des Moines on my way home so that I could visit these two locations. My first stop was at the house where Francesca lived in the movie. I knew from looking online that the house was abandoned and that I would not be able to actually get up close to the house. I stood at the gate and took pictures, then got back in my car and set my GPS for Roseman Bridge. My GPS indicated that it was approximately 30 minutes away.
I drove through rural Iowa with my GPS navigating the way until I came upon Roseman Bridge. It was everything that I had thought it would be. I was very excited to take pictures of the bridge and actually get to walk through the bridge! At this time of the evening no one else was around and the gift shop for the bridge that is close by was closed. The only thing I knew at the time about the bridge was that it was used in the movie. Had I researched it further I probably would have decided against going into it.
That evening in Iowa was beautiful! It was around 70 degrees, no wind, the sun was going down, the birds were singing, I could hear insects buzzing, everything that you can picture of an early summer evening in rural Iowa. I parked my car in the gravel directly in front of the bridge, got out and read the posted sign telling about when and how the bridge was constructed and began taking pictures.
After taking several pictures from the outside of the bridge I was excited to actually get inside the bridge and cross over to the other side. As I approached the bridge I noticed all the graffiti that had been left by prior visitors. I read several of the names, dates, and inscriptions. I then began to cross the bridge. The only way I can really explain what I felt upon entering the bridge is just a sense of uneasiness. I dismissed the feeling as just being alone in a rural setting and the fact that I was entering an enclosed space that was beginning to get dark inside. The further I went into the bridge the more the sense of unease consumed me. About a quarter of the way into the bridge it began to sound like the wind was blowing hard outside and the bridge began to creak. A lot. I thought well it is a wooden bridge so it is going to creak some but how weird that when I entered the bridge there was no wind. Honestly at this point I thought about turning back but then I thought I've driven so far to see this I'm just going to tough it out and walk all the way through the bridge. I continued walking and as I got to the center of the bridge it began to tremble. I mean an all out shake. I could see small pebbles and dirt and what I think was dried bat poop bouncing up and down on the wooden floor in front of me toward the opening of the bridge. My first thought was am I not supposed to be walking on this bridge, is it unsafe? Surely if they didn't want anyone on the bridge and it wasn't safe they would have closed it off. Maybe put up a sign? I mean looking at the bridge it didn't appear to be in poor condition. I literally thought the bridge was going to fall and me with it. Needless to say I picked up my pace to get to the other side and out of there. I wanted to run but was afraid that the pounding of my running, if the bridge was going to fall, would only make it worse. I exited the other side into the same world I had been in when I entered the bridge, no wind, and the sun beginning to go down. I felt my heart racing and walked away from the bridge over into the grass and just stood there wondering what had just occurred.
After I calmed down I realized that the only way back to my car was to go back through the bridge. No way. I walked around looking for another way to get back across the river. I even considered wading through the water that looked rather deep to get back. I still had another nine hours to go to reach home and the thought of soaking wet clothes was not appealing, nor was the thought of possibly drowning. I feel like I walked back in forth in that grass for hours building up the courage to get back across that bridge, when in reality it was probably only a few minutes. The funny thing is that the sense of uneasiness I had felt on the bridge immediately disappeared once I exited the bridge.
Deciding that I didn't really have a choice but to cross back over the bridge I made my way to the entrance and looked around. I didn't see or hear anything unusual. I mean that really did just happen, right? Again, second guessing myself. As I start to enter the bridge I again get a feeling of uneasiness, almost a feeling of doom. I turn around and go back out to the grass. The feeling leaves. What is going on? Okay, I have no choice but to get back to my car and get out of here. I enter the bridge again, uneasiness comes again and I start walking at a brisk pace. Please do not let it start shaking, please do not let it start shaking. At this point I actually have my head down, arms swinging and I am moving to get out of there. Again as I near the center of the bridge my feelings of unease are stronger, I can feel the hair standing up on the back of my neck. It feels, FEELS, like there is someone else with me on that bridge. I am not about to look around and find out, I just want out of there. As I pass the midway point of the bridge I actually hear and feel all at the same time something fly over the top of my head and actually touch my hair, at the time same moment a blast of cool air hits my entire body, like I'm walking by a window air conditioner. At this point I'm done caring about if that bridge is going to fall, I take off running.
Was it a bird? Bat? Maybe. I don't know, I never looked, but where did the cold air come from? As I exited the bridge and ran to my car I again noticed that things were back to normal on the outside of the bridge, no wind, no cold air.
I turned my car around and drove out onto the main gravel road that I had taken back to the bridge realizing that I am out in the middle of nowhere and I'm not exactly sure how I need to go to return to the interstate to go home. I look at my phone which I had been holding in my hand the entire time and realize the screen is black as if my phone has been turned off. I hold down the button on the side to restart my phone. Nothing. I do this several times, each time holding down the button even longer. Nothing. Please keep in mind that my phone worked just fine on the way to the bridge, I had a signal and GPS took me right to it. So I take off driving, sans GPS, trying to recall the turns I had taken to get there. I get so far and realize I just need to stop and try to get my phone to work before I get completely turned around and wander the Iowa countryside. I again try to turn my phone on and it works! However, I have no service. I am sure that I am taking the route back that I came on when I had service. I continued to drive for about a mile when I pick up service again, eventually find the interstate and get the heck out of Iowa!
As soon as I got hone I googled Roseman Bridge haunted? And found several stories stating that the bridge is haunted and that all the locals know this. YIKES!
Ghosts? Spirits? I don't know. Maybe. I don't have a reasonable explanation for any of it, however, I do know that will be my one and only trip to Roseman Bridge.