Valley Center, Kansas:
Valley Center is located in south-central Kansas in Sedgwick County. It is a small community of about 7,000 residents.
One interesting fact about the community that could be relevant to the haunting at Theorosa’s Bridge has to do with a large explosion that occurred at Barton Solvents chemical plant in Valley Center on July 17, 2007. The plant was destroyed and the entire city was temporarily evacuated.
Location of Theorosa’s Bridge:
Theorosa’s Bridge is located at 109th Street N. and Meridian in Valley Center, Kansas. The bridge itself is covered with graffiti and spans across Jester Creek.
Interesting Facts about Theorosa’s Bridge:
Theorosa’s Bridge was originally made of iron and wood. It burned down in 1974 and was then rebuilt. In 1976, fire again destroyed the structure and it was closed for 15 years. In 1991, however, the road leading up to Theorosa’s Bridge was reopened and the bridge was rebuilt as a concrete structure.
One story about the bridge says that a wagon train was passing through the area in the late 19th century. A group of Native Americans attacked the travelers in the wagon train and stole a baby named Theorosa. The mother then left the wagon train to search for the infant daughter.
Another story says that Theorosa was the illegitimate daughter of a white settler and a Native American woman. The Native American woman threw Theorosa into the water and drowned it out of shame. Then, she was overcome with grief and hurled herself into the water.
And finally, another tale says that Theorosa was the Native American woman. In this story, she is standing on the banks of the river holding her newborn baby when the father stabbed her in the back. The baby fell into the river and drowned and Theorosa died some time later.
There are several other stories about Theorosa’s bridge, but they all involve a mother and a baby and a drowning. One story casts Theorosa as a witch who hung herself at the bridge after drowning her baby. This tale bears some resemblance to Witch’s Bridge in Weeping Water, Nebraska where a witch purportedly hung herself as well.
Ghosts at Theorosa’s Bridge:
The ghost of the mother in the wagon train is blamed for some of the paranormal activity that takes place at this location. Her ghost is said to pace up and down the creek next to the bridge still searching for her daughter. Theorosa is sometimes regarded as the ghostly woman and sometime as the baby that is sometimes heard crying at the bridge.
According to Valley Center locals, if you tell Theorosa you have her baby while standing at the bridge, she will come out of the water and attack you. Saying that you are Theorosa’s child elicits the same results.
Visitors can also sometimes hear Theorosa calling out to her baby. They also report seeing balls of light floating over the bridge. Cars will stall or shake while parked on or near the bridge. Many visitors report feeling cold spots and that the weather is always different at the bridge than it is in the rest of the area.
LegendsofAmerica.com (2003-2012). Kansas Legends: Ghostly Theorosa’s Bridge.Retrieved September 17, 2012 from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ks-theorosabridge.html
Wikipedia (2012). Theorosa’s Bridge.Retrieved September 16, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theorosa%27s_Bridge
Wikipedia (2012). Valley Center, Kansas. Retrieved September 16, 2012 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_Center,_Kansas