Take a turn off of Kali Oka Road in Saraland, Alabama, go carefully around Dead Man’s Curve (so named for the numerous fatal car accidents) and you will be heading towards Cry Baby Bridge and the Kali Oka Plantation. The plantation may look familiar to independent film buffs as it was used as the location for the horror film “Dead Birds,” where a mix of demonology and voodoo create a horrible place to stay the night in post-Civil War Alabama. There is an eerie aura around the plantation house and the smaller house that was once the slaves’ quarters. Some have said they have seen a woman in white lighting candles in a window. Others have spotted a hulking African American man, believed to have once been a slave on the plantation, walking the Kali Oka Road. These two ghosts, it has been said, are the reason you can hear a baby cry at night on the bridge just down the road.
The woman was the mistress of the plantation house, and her husband was an abusive, cold-hearted master. The giant was a slave and the Mistress’s lover. One night, the master of the house followed his wife as she entered the slaves’ quarters just behind the plantation house. He caught them in a lovers’ embrace, pulled them apart and at knife-point, forced the slave to a tree where he was chained up. Both of his hands were cut off for daring to touch the master’s wife, and he was left to die as a warning to others. Afterwards, the mistress of the house discovered she was pregnant. According to local tradition, she delivered a baby boy in the woods and drowned him in the nearby creek, where Cry Baby Bridge crosses today. Now, they say, one can hear the baby cry as his poor, innocent body touches the cold, running water in a constant repetition of his mother’s desperate betrayal. The slave still walks the road, looking for the son he’ll never know on the mortal plane.
But there is another version of the story, too…
Some believe the Master actually showed favoritism towards his behemoth slave. After the master’s death, however, the wife was the one who tied him up to the tree because she hated him so much. Insanely jealous, she supposedly left him tied to the tree in front of the house so that she could watch as he died a slow death.
Cry Baby Bridge also has multiple legends as to why one can hear a baby cry when you cross it at night. Some say a bunch of kids were playing on the bridge when they knocked a boy into the creek, where he downed. There are a few versions that a woman and her baby had a tragic accident. In some versions, she escapes and doesn’t even try to save the baby, in others, both she and the baby die. Those who follow logic claim that the sound is actually the wind blowing across the pipes that lay beneath the bridge, but that does not explain why cars have so much trouble crossing the bridge at night. Cars will stall, lights will go haywire, and some have even reported that their cars have moved from one end of the bridge to the other without any earthly aid.
Some have tried to get physical proof of the bridge’s haunting by sprinkling baby powder on a car from bumper to bumper. Wait inside the car for a few minutes, then go out and look. Some say that you will see a toddler’s hand and footprints. Another, much more satisfying twist on this (some have suggested) is to send a passenger out to sprinkle the car with baby powder. When they get out, drive away, leaving them alone in the dark to experience the bridge for themselves for a few frightening minutes. But we would never suggest such shenanigans….
No one knows which, if any, of the stories are true. Everyone does agree, however, that there is something definitely otherworldly in this area of Alabama. The plantation house has been relatively recently purchased and renovated by a family who do not seem bothered by the ghosts that haunt Kali Oka Road.