What happens when you are a
little quick about getting around town in your horse and buggy?
You’re a witch of course! At least in Norton, where they take "all
things in due time" more seriously than the rest of us. Dead
Ann Cobb lived near the pond in
the Barrowsville section of southwest Norton. She was a lady of high
morals and general good report. But then one fateful day in the late
1700’s, she harnessed up her buggy and drove out of Barrowsville to
Norton Center to do a pressing errand. Over the bridge and across
Wading River and up Powers Street to Norton Common she went. Then right
at the cemetery, and down West Main Street to Norton Center proper. All
well and good so far. Nothing witchy about that.
A few items were purchased at
the dry goods store. Some unbleached muslin maybe. Or perhaps a little
thread. Good clean purchases, nothing suspicious here. Its not like
Ann was ordering up eye of newt. Or Godiva chocolate.
walked out to the buggy with her sober package of dry goods. Good
gracious, she thought, I’ve forgotten my --------- at home! We will
never know what crucial object Ann had forgotten. But we do know it was
the start of all her troubles, trouble of the apparently
Ann hopped in her buggy and
drove back down West Main Street back to Norton Common, took a left at
the cemetery down Powers Street, then went over the bridge, and home.
Once the indispensable object was retrieved, the whole route was
retraced. And rather quickly we are told.
In fact, so quickly was her
return – so very swift – so unexpectedly so – that chins dropped,
eyebrows raised, and a single word sprung to a hundred lips and from a
hundred mouths: "witch!" Yes, witch. You see, its just not possible
get around town that fast, they said.
So spread the frightful news
like wildfire, "Ann’s a witch – pass it on!"
Sure, she had a way with a horse
and buggy, but its not like anyone saw her fly.
Nevertheless, the Court of Fools
had proclaimed it and thus it would forever be. Ann was henceforth a
Children ran pell-mell by her
house rather then be caught out in front. Adults shrank from her.
Animals died in her presence, it was said. The terror of her
extraordinary powers of speedy erranding was upon them all. Good
gracious, what if she turned them into the Colonial equivalent of mall
History tells us little of her
fate other than the fact that she died in 1798. But her maniac two-mile
buggy drive has been immortalized ever since by the bridge next to Ann
Cobb’s house: Witch Bridge.
Next time you cross the bridge
over Wading River be on your guard – she had mad powers.
Witch Bridge Today
Not as scary as it used to be