▶ Overtoun Bridge
Overtoun House is a 19th-century country house and estate in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It is located on a hill overlooking the River Clyde, 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north of the village of Milton, and 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) east of the town of Dumbarton. The house was built in the 1860s, and was gifted to the people of Dumbarton in 1938. It was subsequently a maternity hospital, and now houses a Christian centre.
Overtoun Bridge, an arched approach bridge over the Overtoun Burn, has gained media attention because of the unusually large number of dogs that have reportedly leaped to their deaths.
Now, thanks to stories posted on the internet, doglovers from around the world are asking: could dogs be deliberately committing suicide on this particular bridge, and if so, why?
In an attempt to solve a problem which has left many local dog owners so concerned, they will no longer walk their pets on the doomed bridge.
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.
Donna Cooper says: ‘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.’
In Celtic mythology, Overtoun is known as ‘the thin place’ - an area in which heaven and earth are reputed to be close.
Certainly dogs have been shown in the past to be more sensitive than humans.
Were they ‘spooked’ by some supernatural or external force emanating from the bridge, and deliberately leaping to their deaths?
Psychic Mary Armour took her own labrador for a walk along the bridge to test the theory. However, she reported no unusual sensations.
'Animals are hyper-sensitive to the spirit world, but I didn't feel any adverse energy.'
In fact, Mary said she experienced a feeling of ‘pure calmness and serenity’ but admitted that her dog did pull her towards the right-hand side of the structure.