Article that covers the phantom train of Bostian Bridge, Statesville, NC – thought to be the apparition of a steam train that crashed there in the early morning darkness of August 27th, 1891…
The Train Crash
On August the 27th, 1891, the Richmond and Danville engine 9 left Statesville at about half past two in the morning. It was apparently in a bit of a hurry because the list of passengers boarding was so long…so it traveled at speed to try and make up for the lost time.
Minutes later the train flew off the North side of the Bostian five span bridge at a speed of about 40 mph. Carriages landed on top of carriages, crushing passengers within as they landed.
A handful of survivors managed to stumble to a nearby town and alert the locals to the tragedy. It took the rest of the night and well into the next day for searchers to locate the survivors and the dead.
Historic reports also suggest that local prisoners were also drafted in to help with locating bodies.
A large majority of the passengers, that did not die in the crush, eventually drowned in the slowly rising waters.
The injured had nowhere ‘official’ to recover – there was no hospital in the area in those days, so locals had to take them back to their homes and care for them there. The dead bodies were taken to a local tobacco warehouse.
An eventual investigation into the crash found that railway spikes had been stolen from the tracks on the bridge. Two men were eventually arrested for this crime.
Exactly one year following the train crash, a group of friends were walking near the bridge area when they heard some sort of mechanical crash – had another train come off the lines?
They ran to the bridge and stopped suddenly when they saw a man in a railway uniform asking what time it was. They found this a little creepy…because he was looking at his own pocket watch when he asked this question.
The group didn’t have time to mess about with this strange man, so they ran onto the bridge and peered over the side.
There was no crash below.
They turned back around to see that the man with the pocket watch had disappeared into thin air.
Survivors from the crash believe that this was the spirit of Hugh K. Linster – an elderly baggage master that had perished in the crash. He was apparently showing off his new gold watch the night of the tragedy.
Fifty years to the day of the crash, a woman’s car broke down near the bridge, leaving her wait for help at the side of the bridge.
Suddenly, she could hear a train approaching…but she couldn’t see it anywhere.
Without warning, a train suddenly appeared and flew off the rails in front of her, crashing into the ground below. She leaned over the bridge and saw the twisted carriages, and heard the screams of the trapped survivors…and ran to the road for help.
As luck would have it, her husband and his friend were just pulling up. She frantically told them what had just happened and they all ran to the side of the bridge…
The crashed train had disappeared.
People have since claimed to witness this strange event or at least pieces of it. More often than not the paranormal activity consists of scraping metallic sounds – a crash and screams…but nothing visual.
In 2010 tragedy struck when a group of ghost hunters were caught on the bridge on the anniversary of the accident. The Norfolk to Southern Train passed over the bridge with them on it…resulting in a 29 year old man being struck and killed.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Bostian Bridge phantom train, please leave them in the comment section below.