Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Zealandia Bridge is also known as Helen’s Bridge.
The arched bridge is made of quarried stone and was constructed in 1909 as a carriage way to and from the nearby Zealandia Estate, and was designed by R.S. Smith, who also worked on the close-by, and ever-popular Biltmore Estate.
Also writer Thomas Wolfe walked under the bridge many times as a boy, and it is mentioned in his work, Look Homeward, Angel.
However, despite it’s beauty, the bridge is most famous for the dark story surrounding it.
The legend speaks of a woman named Helen who lived at (or near) the mansion with her beloved daughter. After she died in a fire, the distraught mother hung herself from the bridge.
Her anguished spirit is said to still appear when her name is called, although people who have attempted to raise her spirit have reported that their car will not start when they try to leave.
Helen is said to wander the lands around the bridge, wearing a long, flowing gown, asking passerby if they have seen her daughter.
The story actually has many versions.
According to one, Helen actually lived in Zealandia and her daughter died in a fire that happened right there.
Another version of the story actually claims that Helen was the mistress of the castle’s owner, John Evans Brown, from Pennsylvania.
The man made his fortune raising sheep in New Zealand, and that is how the castle got it’s name. This version of the legend claims that Helen hung herself from the bridge when she found out that she was pregnant with his child.
Whichever legend you prefer, it is still a heartbreaking story of a mother who lost her child and still wanders, looking for her today.
Either way, in 1998, the demolition of the bridge was considered when pieces of the stone began to drop, but it was saved and it still stands today together with one of North Carolina’s most popular ghost stories.
Images from web – Google Research