Dog Suicide Bridge

Friday, 5th March 2010 by

In 1859 a wealthy man bought a piece of land overlooking the River Clyde, on which he built a mansion. When the mansion was expanded in 1892, an access road over the Overtoun Burn was required, and so the Overtoun Bridge was built.

50 years later a bizarre series of suicides began to take place on the bridge, whereby dogs would regularly throw themselves to their deaths from the parapets.

Since the suicides began, it is claimed that at least 50 dogs have killed themselves here; all at virtually the same spot, and all of them long-nosed breeds.

Why they jumped is still a mystery.

Many theories have been put forward; hypnotic water sounds, some sort of interference from a nearby nuclear base, electrical impulses, and even ghosts – but it took a canine psychologist (and a Channel 5 documentary) to provide a vaguely plausible explanation.

Bing maps view of Overtoun bridge and one of the estate’s buildings.

Dr David Sands found that Mink were breeding under the bridge, and posits that their strong scent is simply irresistible to inquisitive dogs. Combine this with a dog’s low viewpoint, and perhaps one can see why a dog would leap over the edge to their death.

However, with around 20,000 mink in Scotland, it seems a little strange that dogs aren’t chucking themselves off more bridges all over the country.

So, why do you think all these dogs decided to end it all from the Overtoun Bridge?

More info: Overtoun Bridge at Wikipedia.