" Kelleyville - The real "Cry Baby Bridge" - The original cry baby bridge is in the town of Kellyville. It has spawned many urban legends, (Kiefer, Schulter, Catoosa, and there are 3 more fake ones in Kellyville.)The road has been completely re-routed, and the bridge is no longer standing. The original legend goes like this: Legends states that if you go there you can sometimes hear, or see the woman looking for her baby in the form of a glowing soft blue light. " -- Shadowlands, and numerous other sites that lifted information in total.
Despite some postings like this on various websites this is one story that has to be re-evaluated with facts. Debate on the web as to the location of the "real" Crybaby Bridge in Oklahoma totally ignores the folkloric root of this tale. It is in folklore that the meaning and identification of the bridge must be found.
The story of the Crybaby Bridge always begs the question, which one? Such bridges have been identified through local legend in almost every state from New York to Ohio to Oklahoma and further west. Since the story did not originate in Oklahoma claims that the "real" bridge is in Oklahoma are untrue.
Experts have seen that in the western versions, there is an apparent relationship to the Hispanic tale of La Llorona. This old legend tells of a woman who drowned her children to be with her young lover, who in turn deserted her. The contemporary case of Susan Smith comes to mind as a modern example of just the same type of tragedy. This tale may date back to pre-colonial Mexico and refer to an early native deity.
In these crybaby bridge tales a frequent motif of the shamed daughter rejected by her father, where a baby and daughter died (either through cold or through drowning) a memorial to lost innocence. An old Irish folk song may have helped shape the development of this legend.
Although, many areas have their haunted hollows and stretches of eerie road or wood (one such place was recorded near El Reno in the early 1900 , the sight of an alleged murder). Many of these bridge tales, by comparison, seemed to have all arisen during the 1920's and 1930's.
If, as many believe, urban legends, are as much morality tales cautioning about behavior, then the often dangerous bridges of the early years, coupled with the moral threat posed by a newly independently mobile youth, could easily have led to the development of this tale and explain its enduring appeal.
Oklahoma, like Ohio, has several bridges identified as a Cry Baby Bridge. Most have been closed down over the years, lost as roads were rerouted, or simply replaced by newer bridges. I visited one alleged sight in southwest Oklahoma County. It was down an old dirt road and had been closed for decades. The metal had rusted and the wooden planks were beginning to weaken.
It crossed a narrow ravine where a tiny trickle of dirty water flowed decorated here and there with the debris of cast off appliances and car parts. An old concrete pipe in one side of the ravine served to spill out rain water from somewhere.
In the clear light of day I could hear the wind sighing through the pipe, and knew that in the dead of night it might sound like the whimpering cries of a child, or the mournful pleas of a woman in pain.
Looking around at the lonely road, its tall stand of scrub grasses and volunteer trees, circadian hums playing background music to my musings, I wished I too had come in the night. This was something to be savored and remembered before it too disappeared into myth.
One day the bridge would be gone, replaced by a staid modern bridge, and it would loose something along the way. The modern replacement bridges, with their multiple lanes of harsh glaring concrete with stable, unimaginative barriers spanning waterways the drivers can no longer even see. They are traversed by hurried traffic with no time to pause and enjoy. Every new bridge seems designed to defy any legend, no matter how romantic and enduring, to linger..
--Marilyn A. Hudson. Shadow Tales of Oklahoma (2005-used by permission).