The White Lady of Balgay Bridge
Never cross Balgay Bridge at night, lest you meet the same fate as the White Lady…
By Rebecca Brown
The story of the White Lady that haunts Balgay Bridge on the picturesque Balgay Hill in Dundee is one that is often told to children from the area. I remember being told many spooky stories about the hill: a boy who became trapped in the mud and remains there until this very day, a witch who used to live in a house near the bridge, or the infamous White Lady. I remember friends at school claiming to have spotted her, walking under the bridge on dark winter nights with my eyes squeezed tightly shut, and everyone having a different idea of what exactly happened on that bridge so many years ago. While the hill has become one of my favourite walking places, I still give a nod to the White Lady when I cross her bridge.
When you look at Balgay Bridge, you would never pause to think that it could be haunted by a dark past. A most picturesque part of a popular park, the bridge stretches over a deep crevasse in the rock to connect Balgay Hill with the hundreds of years old Western Necropolis. Its iron railings are painted a bright blue that can be seen from far even on the mistiest of days, and it photographs exceptionally well in autumn. However, it did not always look so cheerful, and prior to its restoration in 2002 it remained unkempt and dull, covered in rust and moss. Perhaps they painted it in and attempt to wipe away its grim past.
There are many tellings of her story, but all agree that a long time ago, the White Lady was a beautiful woman – a beautiful woman in love at that. In some tellings, her lover tragically dies, and torn apart by grief, the woman throws herself from Balgay Bridge. In others, she hangs herself, and sometimes she is merely innocently crossing when a spiteful witch living in a hut on the cemetary side of the bridge throws her from its height. Its said those crossing the bridge can still hear the screams of the poor woman as she plummets to her death, and if you look closely at the rocks beneath the bridge you will find a mark upon one that shows where she struck her head.
No matter the truth, there is one rule among the walkers of Balgay Hill: never cross Balgay Bridge at night, lest you meet the same fate as the White Lady…