Experts are baffled by the bizarre phenomenon that has seen several hundred pets plunge to the floor. At least 600 dogs have leapt from a 50ft ‘suicide bridge’ – and nobody knows why!
Animal psychologists are baffled by the bizarre phenomenon that has seen up to 600 dogs jump off the bridge for no apparent reason.
Explanations range from the curious canines being over-excited, to ghosts haunting the century-old bridge next to Gothic castle Overtoun House.
Some locals in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, even claim it could be the spirit of the ‘White Lady of Overtoun’ who has been sighted there for over 100 years.
Peering out from behind the curtains, is this the ghost of Lady Overtoun at the window of the 19th-century manor house
Is this the ghost of Lady Overtoun at the window of the nearby 19th-century manor house? (Image: Marina Karpenko)
Religious and philosophy teacher Paul Owens told the Sun: “I was standing there two years ago when I felt a firm, hard prod that felt like a finger.
“Something or someone was trying to push me over the bridge too, just like the dogs.”
In 1994 Kevin Moy threw his baby son to his death and later tried to kill himself at the same spot, it was reported.
A sign now warns dog owners of the “dangerous bridge” reading: “Please keep your dogs on a lead.”
The tragic pets mostly jump from the same side, in clear weather and are breeds with long snouts.
Another, more scientific, theory suggests minks below are responsible for attracting dogs with their powerful musk scent.
Three-year-old Cassie is one of the few dogs to survive the fall.
She was being walked by her owner Alice Trevorrow and her son Thomas when the springer spaniel suddenly leapt from the 50ft high bridge for no apparent reason.
Alice told the Daily Record: “We had just got out the car and Cassie immediately made her way to the bridge… she turned her head, looked up and did this massive leap.
“I will never forget the awful whine she made as she leaped.
“My son looked down and all he could see was a dot. She managed to get herself up and met my son, collapsing when she saw him. How she survived that, I’ll never know.”
Lucky: Alice Trevorrow and dog Cassie, who survived the drop (Image: Daily Record)
However, Donna Cooper was not so lucky.
She witnessed her collie dog Ben’s tragic sudden death when it leapt over a parapet on the granite bridge without warning.
Donna previously told Mail Online: “His paw was broken, his jaw was broken and his back was broken and badly twisted.”
Ben was taken back to the vets, before they made the decision to put him down.
The area’s MSP Jackie Baillie said: “I have heard many heartbreaking stories about dog owners who have lost their pets due to this unexplained phenomenon.”
Danger: The sign warns dog owners about the 50ft bridge (Image: YouTube / Channel 5)
Leading animal behaviourist Dr David Sands investigated the cases for Animal Planet and offered an alternative explanation.
He said: “Just me as a person, all of your sense are on fire, you can sense and smell the waterfall. I can smell the undergrowth and I can see the Gothic part of the bridge.
“I’ve looked at pictures but coming to the place for the first time, it has a kind of strange feeling.
“It’s perfectly natural for people to want to look down and I’m wondering if it’s the same for dogs.
“I think it’s highly likely at all of the cases that it was curiosity that killed the dog.”
Want to learn more? Here is a documentary on the subject: