Bannwell Bridge - Terror Bridge

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Local legend maintains that a woman once killed her 3 kids here. Some reports say she hung them from the bridge and they were hit by a train coming through. Her ghostly head is said to follow you down the road, and if you don’t have your doors and windows locked, she may get in and throw you over the bridge too. It is reported that the bridge was torn down and rebuilt in 2004.

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Geographic Information

Fairbanks Ave
West of Fort Dodge, Iowa
United States

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42.50457720274335, -94.34449338910781
Webster County, Iowa
Nearest Towns:
Barnum, IA (1.1 mi.)
Moorland, IA (5.0 mi.)
Clare, IA (5.7 mi.)
Knierim, IA (6.7 mi.)
Fort Dodge, IA (9.0 mi.)
Somers, IA (9.8 mi.)
Manson, IA (9.8 mi.)
Callender, IA (10.2 mi.)
Pioneer, IA (10.6 mi.)
Otho, IA (11.3 mi.)


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Comments (25)

  1. Me and a few of my friends went out here a couple nights ago. Nothing extreme happened, but while we were approaching the bridge, all of a sudden, within about a second and a half, every single window got really fogged up to where you could barely see out of them. it was weird. we weren’t talking a whole lot and there’s not much of an explanation.other than that, there’s just a very eerie feeling out there. creepy to say the least.

  2. Back in the days when the house was standing, few lasted more than a couple of minutes…the house was located just down the road from thje bridge where the family once lived. The lady in desppiration at the loss of her husband threw her 3 children off the bridge and then jumped herself. When you would arrive at the entrance to the property, back then fenced with a gate, the windmill would spin as though a tornado was about to strike even though it was badly damaged and the tail was in lock position. MANY, MANY experiences occurred there, there were feelings of cold and evil, yet another of calm and yearning… it completely frightened you and yet you were drawn back as if summond in an errie way.
    I wish more would share their experiences about this incredibly haunted area. – be sure not to leave anyone in your car unattended, they may be the target of the evil!

    • My ex used to live there in Ft Dodge and shared the same stories, the windmill moving when damaged. His Grandmother knew and played with the Banwell children.
      He described it the same way. You get drawn in to go back. When he was a teen a bunch of his friends saw a gray figure run towards them, leap in the air then change into a stag that bolted. One girl stayed in the car in the driveway and got locked in. She was terrified when they found her. One day he went alone and saw a dog hanging from a noose on the barn rotting with flies. The next day it was gone and the rope was frayed as thought it was there for years.
      We went about 20 years ago at night and I too felt the energy. I could’ve sworn I saw a pair of headlight disappear over the bridge.
      I would hear a sound in the distance but could not make out what it was. It got closer until a sound like a beastly gurgle came from the rows of corn just a few feet away. That was enough of a warning for us to leave.
      There is good and evil there.

  3. I remember the house well as a kid in the 70’s. Yes you felt an evil presence there. The trees in the front yard had crosses deeply carved in them. The elderly couple that owned it lived down the road and heard screams in the night. I witnessed the windmill spin like crazy in one direction then it seemed without stopping started spinning in the opposite direction. There was said to be a coffin in a barn, rumors of devils cults, organized crime using it, and even a story of kids finding a murdered body inside with blood splattered all over, they went and got the Sherriff but when they returned the there wasn’t even a drop of blood. I guess the owners got tired of people trespassing so often they had the boys from the Barnum Future Farmers of America tear it down, it was a nice warm spring day and they said the whole time the house was freezing inside. I grew up about 5 miles away and went there a few times, the last time I was showing a buddy of mine where it was, we got about a mile away on the little gravel road that runs past it, we both became very terrified an had an overwhelming feeling of dread we turned around and went the other way, the bad feeling left as quick as it came on us.

  4. My brother went there last night and he almost shit himself because one his truck windows DONT lock and 2 he is 17… His friend tapped on the window and there were more tap marks later… They felt they were being pushed off the bridge (in a good way) and then he heard and saw someone screaming… He showed me a picture and i ran away… SCARY yall should go there next week he is taking me

  5. A few of my friends and I decided to check the bridge out. It was about 10:30 at night at we parked the car up at the top the bridge. We shut off all the lights, rolled down the windows and unlocked the car. We sat there a few moments and waited for something to happen. After awhile we got out and decided we wanted to go to the bottom of the bridge. We moved the car to a near by road and two friends stayed back while the other friend and I began walking the track to the bridge. As we got closer we heard a clink. We stopped and then proceeded forward and heard it again. It wasn’t from walking on the track because we tried to mimic the noise and we couldn’t. We heard a clink three times. Then began to yell “hello” and “did you throw your kids off the side of this bridge.” We then heard a low voice yelling behind us and we figured it was our friends back in the car. As we turned around we heard a woman’s voice moaning. We sprinted back to the car where our friends said that they kept quiet and didn’t yell anything.

  6. I found this on this Fort Dodge Saturday evening Post archive from June 10 1893


    The Railway Bridge Over the North Lizxard
    Near Tara Is a Rendezvous for Ghosts.
    A wild, weird story of ghosts, goblins
    and phantom headlights comes
    from Tara. Conductor Joe Donald of
    the Rock Island, vouches for the story
    while the station agent at Tara,
    Section foreman Chelgren and several
    reputable citizens aver that strange
    sights and sounds sufficient for several
    ghost stories have been seen and heard
    at the railroad bridge over the north
    Lizzard. The station agent says that
    one night recently on looking down
    the track he plainly observed a headlight
    on the bridge a short distance
    north of the depot. Ho thought it
    must be an extra but as he received no
    orders he hastened to the depot and
    telegraphed to Dcs Moines asking why
    they had not notified him of the
    “extra,” Des Moines answered that
    none was sent out. The agent again
    looked down the road but the headlight
    was gone.
    A few nights later the section foreman
    and his gang of men were hurryi
    n g toward Tara on a hand car.
    Glancing up they noticed on the bridge
    just ahead of them, the bright glare of
    a locomotive headlight. The car was
    stopped at once and removed from the
    track to permit the train to pass.
    After waiting for some time and seeing
    that it did not approach the men
    started toward the bridge. ‘When they
    arrived there, however, the light had
    disappeared. Thinking some of the
    boys were playing a trick on them the
    foreman sent the men back for the car
    while he remained. While they were
    gone he says he plainly heard the
    rattling of chains and the regular
    thump, thump of a pile driver. He
    was now thoroughly alarmed and the
    car was sent spinning across the bridge
    and they all hurried home with their
    strange tale. Since that time the light
    and sounds have been seen and heard
    by numerous citizens but the mystery
    is as great as ever. The bridge is one
    on which William Roberts, a young
    man, was killed a year or two ago,
    while working on a pile driver. His
    ghost is supposed to haunt the place
    and is held responsible for the strange
    and mysterious sights and sounds.,

  7. I went down here with some buddies maybe 20 years ago. Really unsettling presence felt by all of us. Some light was seen coming through the trees where the house used to be. Tried to use a ouija board on the bridge and the shotglass seemed to fill with dark liquid. Terrified we leapt in the car and left immediately. Came back to retrieve the ouija board the next day and it was stained pink, like a cheap red wine had been poured over it.

  8. Justin Appropriate  |  

    From fort Dodge. Used to explore the area as frightened teens. The house was still up at that time. Nothing ever happened but the area feels weird for sure. We were never brave enough to get out of the car and investigate…

  9. My parents lived a few miles from this bridge, about 10 yrs ago my sister her friend and i went to check it out, was around midnight she drove a black car. We heard if you parked your car on the bridge that kids would try n push your car out of the way. Earlier that day we had washed her car so it was spotless. We drove to the bridge and parked the car on the bridge, took the keys out and shut the doors. Walked around the bridge for awhile with a weird feeling like someone was watching you. We finally gave up got back in the car n drove home. We got home and the car was all dusty from the gravel roads, when we pulled the car into the garage under the light there were all kinds of tiny hand prints on the hood, top, and on the windows of the car. We told my mother t
    To come check it out and she laughed at us and said we made those prints, we held all our hands up the the prints on the car and ours were clearly larger than the ones on the car and we did not take kids with us….

  10. Pry about three years ago myself and 3 friends went there, we had heard the story about how if you put car in neutral on top the kids will push you all the way forward. I drove out there and it immediately had a weird uncomfortable stillness and antiquity to it. I actually turned off the car and we all got out just as we got out my friend In the front passenger side got a phone call and was talking to a friend (Male) just then I heard a quiet girls voice whispering and seemingly coming from nowhere. I as the skeptic merely dismissed it but then my friend who had been In the rear drivers side turned to me and asked, “Do you hear that too?” Needless to say I yelled get back in the fu**ing car! And we high tailed it back to Manson. Weirdest part was as we were talking in my driveway we noticed a massive handprint bigger than all of ours on the dust of my jeep. Haven’t been back since

  11. There’s a old house that has a long driveway right beside the bridge that you drive under , drove up to the house and its pretty scary I didn’t get out, but its definetly abandoned with a old car that sits in front of worth checking out if someone has the I approached the house I had a sense of bad run through me, and I got the hell outta there..I wonder if it was her house..either way its scary as shit..

  12. I only got a picture of the shed, the light above the shed wasnt visible when I took it..took a picture of the house and it came up black with the flash on, on my phone.,pretty weired

  13. The road goes over a waterway and under some RR trackes. This cannot be the place, or the whole story is bogus. There is no way to jump from a bridge into the path of a train at this location. The pictures look right, but I’m sure they weren’t taken at the provided location.

  14. My buddies and I went to the Banwell Bridge back in 2004. We went underneath the bridge onto the railroad tracks. We were all sitting there on the tracks just talking to one another sitting underneath the bridge and it was so freaking strange. I noticed how eerily quiet it had gotten. Then all of a sudden there was a whole bunch of what sounded like coyotes barking or dogs barking. And it sounded like it was all around us. We signed our flashlights all around and we couldn’t see nothing but it really felt like the sounds we’re only a few feet away from us. So we decided to get the fuck out of there. We’re actually planning on going back there in October. This time we’re actually bringing camera equipment we’re going to do it right this time. And be sober lol

  15. My buddies and I went to the Banwell Bridge back in 2004. We went underneath the bridge onto the railroad tracks. We were all sitting there on the tracks just talking to one another sitting underneath the bridge and it was so freaking strange. I noticed how eerily quiet it had gotten. Then all of a sudden there was a whole bunch of what sounded like coyotes barking or dogs barking. And it sounded like it was all around us. We shined our flashlights all around and we couldn’t see nothing. But it really felt like the sounds we’re only a few feet away from us. So we decided to get the fuck out of there. We’re actually planning on going back there in October. This time we’re actually bringing camera equipment we’re going to do it right this time. And be sober lol

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.