Cabrillo Bridge : haunted?
Those driving along highway 163 can't miss the white arches of the Cabrillo Bridge. This bridge serves as the west entrance into Balboa Park. However, did you know that it used to be called Suicide Bridge?
Cabrillo Bridge was build in 1914 in preparation for the 1915 World Fair. It was originally designed for foot-traffic and dignitaries were the only ones allowed to ride a vehicle across the bridge. In the early 1900's the bridge spanned across the canyon floor. Today, the bridge is open to foot and motorized vehicles and highway 163 runs underneath it.
Since its inception, Cabrillo Bridge has seen its share of despair and death. Those down-and-out with no other option will jump from the bridge and end their worldly worries. As early as 1931, city officials suggested putting railings to prevent suicide attempts. It was not until 1950 when the City of San Diego finally installed wrought-iron fencing on both sides of the bridge: this was for the safety of individuals as much as for the safety of the cars traveling underneath the bridge.
Some people say that those who died at Cabrillo Bridge under unfortunately circumstances still haunt the bridge.
The problem is this: who hangs out at the bottom of a bridge at night? Hobos and transients. Stories and testimonials collected from these characters are often questionable even in the light of day. Can you believe sightings in the dark of night?
Cabrillo Bridge, then and now.
In particular, a transient reported seeing an elderly man: he was wearing a dark suit, he had a a mustache, and he was under the bridge looking upwards. This man was somewhat oddly dressed for today's standards and more odd was the fact that he disappeared quickly and without a sound.
A week later, the witness saw the same man on top of the bridge: he jumped off the bridge. In shock, the witness went under the bridge to investigate but there was no body. In fact, he found the same well-dressed stranger standing under the bridge, looking up. The witness approached the man, but he faded before his very eyes.
The transient didn't know that a long time ago, a mustached insurance salesman, in a dark suit, had committed suicide by jumping off the Cabrillo Bridge.
In 1950, City officials installed fencing along the length of the Cabrillo Bridge to stop suicide attempts.
Fact or fiction? Highway 163 runs under the Cabrillo Bridge making it difficult for any sane person to investigate the matter first hand. It's never a good idea to loiter under a bridge and police patrolling the area will ask you to leave - for your own safety.