Dog Suicide Bridge in Scotland

The Overtoun Bridge in Scotland has been the place of many dog suicides, making the bridge become a source of speculation.

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The Overtoun Bridge in Scotland has been the place of many dog suicides, making the bridge become a source of speculation.

In Dumbarton, Scotland dogs feel compelled to jump off the Overtoun Bridge to their death. As morbid as it may sound, it’s very true. Something overcomes the dogs as they approach the bridge, making them feel like they should jump. Dumbarton residents have begun calling the bridge a “Dog Suicide Bridge.” The bridge has three archways above a small river called the Overtoun Burn. Beyond the beauty of the view and the Burn, it’s easy to forget the 50-foot drop into a gorge with jagged rocks.


Three years after her dog had thrown herself off the side of the bridge, Lottie Mackinnon was interviewed by the New York Times reporter Ceylan Yeginsu. Mackinnon stated her border collie, Bonnie, was bewitched by a “strange energy” that made her run and jump off the side of the bridge. Mackinnon’s dog is one of many to leap from this bridge, dropping 50 feet onto a bed of sharp rocks. Local reports estimate more than 300 dogs have jumped, but tabloid reports say it’s 600. At least 50 dogs have died for certain.


Locals visiting the nearby Overtoun House have no choice but to cross the bridge to get to the castle. Some don’t pay attention to the posted signs that state to keep dogs on a leash. A few locals interviewed by international media have told reporters the dogs jump because of the scent of small animals at the bottom of the bridge. Others have more paranormal reasoning for it. The bridge’s location is kept quiet, leaving people to believe it fits its old description as a “thin place.” Some describe it as a “mesmerizing spot where heaven and earth overlap.” Many locals also believe the story of the “White Lady of Overtoun,” the grieving widow of John White. Her husband died in 1908, and she had been grieving alone for more than 30 years. Her ghost had been reported wandering around the grounds.


Alastair Dutton, a local taxi driver says the people were always very suspicious around the area. “We grew up playing in the Overtoun grounds, and we believe in ghosts here because we’ve all seen or felt spirits up here,” she says. Another traveler reported the air feeling thinner as she walked across the bridge; she later found out several dogs jumped off the bridge that same weekend.


The bridge is a nice tourist attraction, but dog owners should take the advice of the posted signs and keep their dogs on leads.