My first stop when I finally arrive in Stowe, Vermont, an 18th century village tucked away in the Green Mountains, is to travel on, following the aptly named Covered Bridge Road which winds and twists its way to Emily’s Bridge that spans Gold Brook in Stowe Hollow not far from Stowe. It’s an old bridge, built in 1844 and I wonder, as I park my car and grab my camera, who was Emily. As I go to shut my door, something stops me from leaving my keys in the ignition. That’s silly, I tell myself as I put the keys in my pocket, who would steal my car out in the middle of nowhere.
But later, as I talk to Carol Crawford, the concierge at Topnotch Resort and Spa where I am spending the night, I learn that maybe Emily wouldn't have gone for a joy ride but she might have locked my door with the keys inside. That, it seems, is one of the mischievous tricks that Emily likes to play, though others have reported more vindictive acts such as shaking cars with passengers in them and leaving scratch marks, first upon the carriages that once rode over these boards and now cars.
So who was Emily and why has she spent over 160 years doing these things? According to Carol, there are several tales but all have the same theme. Jilted – or maybe her lover died – Emily either hanged herself from the bridge or threw herself into the creek below. Whatever happened, it ended badly for Emily and now, at night, people can hear a woman’s voice on the bridge and see ghostly shapes and sometimes, Emily obviously being a spirit who has 21st technological knowledge, maybe their keys will get locked in the car.
But not me. Emily will have to find someone else to play her tricks on -- unless it's her messing with my cell phone service.