Houston, TX – Haunted Bear Creek Bridge

Haunted Patterson Road in Houston, Texas, is next to Bear Creek Park between Highway 6 and Eldridge Road. [Google Maps: Patterson RoadBear Creek Park]

Ghosts of Bear Creek BridgeIt follows the route used by Civil War soldiers. The battle took place in the southeastern quadrant of Bear Creek Park.

According to folklore, those soldiers’ ghosts still march along Patterson Road at night.

If you stop on the road, they’ll tap on your car.

That’s the legend.


This area was once a farming community of German immigrants and their descendants.

Today, it is part of Addicks Reservoir and Bear Creek Pioneers Park, in Harris County, Houston.

There are two bridges on Patterson Road by Bear Creek Park.

One is Langham Creek Bridge, near Eldridge Road.

The other is Bear Creek Bridge, closer to Highway 6.

Are the legends true?

Bear Creek Bridge isn’t supposed to be haunted.

I disagree.

In daylight, Bear Creek Bridge feels far more eerie than the other bridge on Patterson Road.

In May 2005, using the “sparkles” camera, two of us – during an informal evening of ghost hunting –  saw visible anomalies at the Bear Creek bridge.

We saw none at Langham Creek on that same evening, though we did capture some strange mists in our photos.

This orb is probably an insect.

I took this photo at Bear Creek bridge. As you can tell from the grain in the photo, it was a very dark evening. To see anything in the picture, I lightened it considerably in Photoshop.

I’ve included the image – and some trees around it – in case anyone else captures a clear anomaly in a ghost photo at that same location.

Likely insect at Bear Creek bridge


After, we paused on that bridge, testing the “tapping Civil War soldiers” legend.

This is important: We only paused.

You should not stop there. You probably shouldn’t even pause on that bridge.

Definitely do NOT turn off your engine or your car’s headlights.

Tapping on my car

With my car windows open, I heard three rapid, distinct and clear taps on the car, immediately below my outside mirror.

The tapping sounds was like metal on metal, similar to my car antenna tapping my car roof when I’m driving on a very bumpy road.

It didn’t sound unearthly.

I have no explanation for the tapping, since the car window was fully open and I could see the side of the car easily.

In fact, I looked out of the car right away, to see what caused the noise. I saw nothing unusual at all: No insects, no animals, and nothing brushing against the car.

It was too loud to be the car or the bridge settling.

I was in the driver’s seat, so my door was towards the center of the bridge.

There was no likelihood of shrubbery, vines, or branches hitting the car.

I had no explanation.

In my experience, most paranormal encounters are very different from anything “normal.”

That’s why it took me awhile to accept that something so loud (and apparently mundane) could have been ghostly.

The taps sounded entirely real, normal, and I wanted to know who’d tapped on my car with something like a metal baton.

It probably took me close to five minutes to realize that there was no normal explanation for what had happened.

I did exactly what I’m telling you not to do: I stopped on a road at night.

It was a spooky experience, but incredibly stupid as well.

Don’t be another “weird” statistic.

Since writing this, I’ve learned that there are an unusual number of car accidents in that area, and not just among ghost enthusiasts.

Some people speculate that there’s “bad energy” around Bear Creek Park.

I’m not sure about that, but I can confirm that something taps on cars on Patterson Road.

Don’t try this yourself. Please, just take my word for it.

Or, park farther up the street.

Hike to a point where you can safely observe the bridge. And then, pay attention to cars passing over it, and any anomalies you notice.

19 thoughts on “Houston, TX – Haunted Bear Creek Bridge”

  1. What battle in the Civil War took place in Bear Creek Park? I kinda think the battles were on the coast of Galveston. If you could tell me the name of the battles that far into Houston I would like to read about that. Have any info?

    1. Mary, I have no information about any battles at Bear Creek Park, but there are many stories about Civil War soldiers camping in or near there. There are similar stories even further inland, around Old Town Spring. For more information about Civil War activity around Houston, visit the historical society or ask the reference librarian at your public library.

  2. In the early 1850’s a Stage Coach Inn was established about 75-100 yards south of the gully in what is now Mangum Manor Park and most of the back yards of the houses that back up to the park from Poinciana. This was part of the Stage line from San Antonio to Houston. During the Civil war there was a battle of Bear Creek where 5 Yankee soldiers were killed. The stage came through that area just after the battle. They stopped the stage and put the dead soldiers on to be taken to the Inn for burial. They were buried under the big oak trees that are by the Tennis court.

    By Jean West/2009

    99th Illinois Infantry
    September 8,1862 was sent to Rolla, Mo., thence, September 17, to Salem, Dent county, thence, November 20, to Houston, Texas. Was assigned to the Brigade of Brigadier General Fitz Henry Warren. Was engaged in a skirmish at Bear Creek, losing 1 killed, 4 wounded and 1 taken prisoner.

    I guess the 4 wounded died and made 5 dead Union Soldiers.


  3. Bull$&!? Drove up and down the road stopping at the bridges and nuttin. Place seems little rapey but no ghosts. Only thing scary was the taxes it takes to maintain this useless road.

    1. Chipper, if you stopped at the bridges, you did exactly what I said not to do. No one is supposed to stop on those bridges, unless — since I was last there — they’ve widened the bridges so there is enough space to stop safely and not obstruct two-way traffic.

      The ghosts are supposed to be soldiers. They may be very selective about the people they like and don’t like. It may have helped that, when I encountered the ghosts on that bridge, both of us in the car were female.

      I’ve received hundreds of emails from people who did experience paranormal phenomena along that road. Maybe the ghosts didn’t like you. Maybe it was an off night. Maybe the ghosts were busy with someone more receptive, in a nearby part of the park. Or, maybe it’s residual energy and you haven’t been there at a time when that energy is triggered.

      My stories are true, not rubbish.

      I recommend Market Square in downtown Houston. Maybe that areas ghostly madam will like you better than the Patterson Road soldiers did.

      Fiona Broome

      1. I live like 5 mins. From there. I pine and drive on Patterson rd. And on airport rd. By Cullen park all the time especially round 1 or 2 a.m. and nothing ever happens. I found a couple of old cemeteries but nothing scary though. I never hear tappings or sounds other than crickets and sh**. I think its bs.

  4. I live very close to this area and I can only imagine that our neighborhood was once part of the Bear Creek woods. Since we’ve been living there we’ve captured multiple orbs in pictures (without intending to).

    1. Thanks, Lori! It’s a lovely area, and — like you — I was seeing lots of orbs in photos, when we were simply going to Bear Creek for picnics.

  5. My friend went there last night and has photos of a foot print Ontop of there car cause they did this powder stuff and they heard tapping and I wanna go there some day but I’m afraid they might do something harmful cause I have alot of energy and I’m just afraid something might go wrong i felt a ghost before cause of my energy.I’m 14 I can feel there presents but I just want to know more about that road or brigde and go there myself.

  6. Now I’ll tell you I live out in the area and ive been on this road numerous times and that orb in the picture. I see him every time without fail. Always near the bridge I have a couple photos of him but I have also seen him with my eyes floating around the bridge. Idk why but he deffenitly makes sure his presence is known.I just think its awesome to see the orb in somebody else’s picture.

  7. I really think there story tellors. That civil war story is b.s.. O and the ghost hunters drink too much mad dog. But really there is one old cemetory at Bear CREEK . And how about the tree with a cross on it. It’s on Patterson road.

    1. Ghost fiddle, can you suggest a reference that debunks the Civil War story? I couldn’t find much supporting information, one way or the other. I do know that something unseen was tapping on my car, and it was as loud as if someone had been hitting the car with a metal baton or a coat hanger. It was a similar clanging noise, very close to my open window. Since I was studying the outside mirror, I’d have seen anything physical doing that.

  8. Hi, I just wanted to add a quick story here. My friends and I joined a paranormal group at Texas State, we came down to Houston and decided to hit up Bear Creek Park. We arrived late on the bridge and immediately got a unwanted feeling. Our car felt like people were kicking it on the outside, we got scared and booked it. Side note the front driver and passenger were African American men and they physically got headaches and body shakes after. The rest of us weren’t effected just spooked, and we look like white girls.
    I’m just pointing out that maybe spirts were racist and didn’t want us there. My visit before this occurring had no activity so I was super surprised and scared. Next I plan on taking pictures and taking a spirt box.

    1. Sara, that’s fascinating! I don’t recall anyone sharing such specific observations before this. I’ll be very interested in your investigation results, especially the spirit box. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a racist ghost. Though it’s not impossible, I’d also wonder if the men affected had any genetic connection to the ghosts – a resonance that made them more aware of the ghosts (and maybe the ghosts were more aware of them).

  9. I have gone there and can attest to the ghostly tapping. Do you know if orbs are common without flash?? I caught one last night and I’m trying to make sense of it.

  10. Hi, Jacky t, and thanks for your comment. I’d replied earlier, but it looks like something happened with my hosting, as – this morning – my reply has vanished.

    Orbs are extremely rare without a flash.

    Usually, orbs seem to be caused by the bright light of the flash reflecting off… well, that’s where opinions differ. I used to insist that most were the result of dust, pollen, insects, and moisture/rain. Then, I tested my theories and discovered how difficult it is to fake a convincing, ghostly orb with any of those things.

    But an orb without a flash…? That’s extraordinary. I’d take it very seriously. (And congratulations, btw, because that’s such a rare event, you were definitely in the right place at the right time.)

    Sincerely, Fiona

  11. I’ve stopped on this bridge a few times at night. The first time I went, there was nothing, so I figured it was maybe just some kind of urban legend. The other 2 times I went, there was definitely tapping noises on my car, and some odd things in some pictures I took. For those who believe there is nothing there, you should keep in mind that there won’t be activity EVERY time somebody sits on that bridge.

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