Note: Before I go into this entry about Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge, I strongly advise against attempting the dangerous steps that one is supposed to do to contact the ghost. Parking in any covered bridge in the middle of the night and turning off your vehicle’s lights is extremely dangerous. This covered bridge was extremely busy the day of my visit.
Shortly after I posted the entry about the Pinetown Covered Bridge, I received an email from Bryan, who lives in Lancaster. Note: the Pinetown Covered Bridge can be found here: Pinetown Covered Bridge.
“I just read your post about the Pinetown Covered Bridge,” Bryan wrote. “While I enjoyed the article, I think you have the wrong bridge. I was always told that it was the covered bridge on Mondale Road.. This is the Hunsecker Covered Bridge, not the Pinetown one.
“As a kid, we used to go there at night. Heard all sorts of strange stuff there over the years. To see the ghost, turn off the vehicle and its lights. Turn the headlights on and off three times and when you turn them on the next time you’ll see her standing in front of your car.”
I had left the Pinetown Covered Bridge and following Mondale Road on the eastern side of the river, I soon arrived at the Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge. While most people whisper the Pinetown Covered Bridge is the haunted bridge, their are some who state the haunted covered bridge is this one.
Stepping out of the vehicle, the sun was beginning to vanish behind the far mountains, casting odd shadows upon and within it. Parking at the bridge was very limited and I found some parking on the western side of the bridge and after putting the hazard blinkers on, I got out of the vehicle to photograph it.
Located on Hunsecker Road, the bridge spans the Conestoga River at a point roughly a mile downstream from the Pinetown Covered Bridge. The covered bridge, also known as Hostetter’s Covered Bridge, was built in 1843 by Joseph Russell with a single span to cross over the Conestoga River. Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge has a length of one hundred and eighty feet, making it the longest single-span covered bridge in Lancaster County.
The bridge was washed away by a flood in 1869 and was returned to its original location. It stood there until June 22, 1972, when it was destroyed by Hurricane Agnes. The bridge would be replaced by a new bridge at the location. The bridge allows for a single car can pass through it at a time and there is no walkway to allow pedestrians to safely pass through the bridge.
I have not discovered mention of a drowning at the bridge, but have found a number of accidents occurred here but none that have resulted in death. The legend itself is modern in nature and appears it came into existence roughly at the same time was the ghost of Pinetown Covered Bridge. If the legend existed pre-1980s, I cannot find a definitive mention of it..
Note: What follows are personal observations and are my thoughts and opinions.
As I scanned through newspapers, I found a couple articles that referred to the legend as the “Ghost of Mondale Road,” which states the ghost haunts the covered bridge located on Mondale Road. Neither the Pinetown nor the Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge are actually located on Mondale Road. There is a Mondale Road that connects Hunsecker and Bridge Roads, but there is not a covered bridge on Mondale Road.
One thing I did note at the time of my visit was how the breeze produced a whistling sound as it passed through the bridge. I’ve found this is common with many of the supposed “haunted” covered bridges. I had encountered this phenomenon before during a visit to Harmon’s Covered Bridge. Note: The visit to the Harmon Covered Bridge can be found here: Harmon’s and Trusal Covered Bridges.
Does the spirit of a young girl linger here or does she linger in the nearby Pinetown Covered Bridge? Personally, I don’t think she lingers in either with the story having all the trademarks of an urban legend. I didn’t venture in and do the “required” steps to summon the spirit and due to the busy road, I wasn’t about to risk trying to find out if the urban legend was true or not.
The sun had vanished from the sky as I packed up my camera and headed towards home, leaving the crickets and frogs to sing loudly as the Conestoga River flowed peacefully beneath Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge.