Dog deaths at Overtoun Bridge


Overtoun Bridge is an arch bridge located near Milton, Dumbarton,

Scotland which was built in 1859.

Studies have shown that since the 1950/60s numerous dogs have leaped from this bridge at the rate of about one dog a month. Dogs that leap over the bridge parapet fall 50 feet (15m) onto the waterfalls below. Even stranger are the reports of the dogs that survivie returning to the top of the bridge for a second attempt. The only linking factors for this unexplained event is that the dogs mostly jump from the same side of the bridge, in clear weather, and they are breeds with long snouts.

As the unexplained phenomenon received international media attention, the Scottish SPCA sent an animal habitat expert to investigate the causes as to why dogs kill themselves at Overtoun Bridge. Initially Dr David Sands examined sight, smell and sound factors. After eliminating what a dog could potentially see and hear on the bridge, he eventually focused on scent following the discovery of mice and mink in undergrowth on the side of the bridge from which dogs often leaped. In a test, the odours from these animals were spread around an open field. Ten dogs were unleashed representing the commonest breeds that jumped off the bridge. Of the dogs tested, only two showed no interest in any of the scents while nearly all the others made straight for the mink scent. Sands concluded that, although it was not a definitive answer, the potent odour from male mink urine was luring keen-nosed dogs to their deaths.

The word Overtoun in Celtic mythology means a place where heaven and earth are said to be close. The literal translation is The Thin Place. Psychics have visited the area and reported nothing but a feeling of calmness and serenity but have admitted that their dogs have been determined to get on to the side of the bridge.

It is still an unsolved mystery to this day. Seemingly happy dogs have leapt to their deaths and left a lot of people wondering if it was curiosity or suicide. Dogs are said to be hyper-sensitive and an area like Overtoun may have supernatural forces surrounding it.

Rumours have long circulated that the bridge and nearby Overtoun House are haunted. In 1994, local man Kevin Moy threw his baby son to his death from the bridge, claiming he thought the child was the Anti-Christ. Shortly after he tried to end his own life with an unsuccessful suicide attempt from the same bridge.

Rumour has it that he was on drugs, but he insisted the place was haunted and it does seem to have a strange effect on people and dogs.

Draw your own conclusions.


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