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HAUNTED MICHIGAN: Hell’s Bridge, Algoma Township

I’ve been to Hell’s Bridge…in the middle of the night…and yes, it’s creepy.

This little metal footbridge is hidden away within Michigan woods, crossing over the Rogue River near Rockford.

According to, in the mid-1800’s, an older man named Elias Friske (of which the road was named after) murdered local children at the location.

Evidently, some children came up missing and some townsmen organized a search party to go into the woods to look for them. They didn’t want to leave other children unattended, so they left kindly old Mr. Friske in charge of babysitting. BIG MISTAKE.

Claiming he didn’t want to have any children wander off, Friske tied the children together and marched them into the woods. Once at the location of the bridge, the kids noticed a rancid stench…after mentioning this to Mr. Friske, he uncovered a pile of leaves and branches to reveal the bodies of the other missing children. The kid’s screams did no good, for Friske knew the search party was off in another direction. he proceeded to kill the children one-by-one and dump their bodies into the Rogue River.

Later, when the townspeople realized their kids and Friske were missing, they searched along the river until they came to the spot and saw the bodies of the children in the water. Following Friske’s footprints, they found him covered in blood, babbling about how the devil coaxed him into the killings.

The men grabbed the rope Friske had used to tie up the children and proceeded to hang him right then and there from the nearby stone footbridge. Legend says the rope snapped, the current took his body downstream and it was never found.

Whether the devil made Friske do it or not, the townspeople didn’t care. They grabbed the rope he’d used to tie up the children and instead hung him off the bridge with it. Legend says after he died the waters swelled, snapped the rope, and took his body away forever.

To this day, it’s said the evil forces that influenced Friske still inhabit the area, you can see the faces of the murdered children under the water from time-to-time and you can hear the devil laughing in the woods if you’re there at midnight. Glowing red eyes have been seen in the woods and on the bridge — along with the sounds of screams & laughing of young children late at night. Tubers claim they’ve had unseen hands trying to pull them into the river.

The stone bridge is long gone, replaced by a metal bridge and dubbed “Hell’s Bridge” by locals. I was there around midnight and it does feel weird…I didn’t hear or see anything, but I stepped out into the middle of the bridge and it actually shook underneath me as I stood completely still.

The bridge is located within the woods in Algoma Township, northwest of Rockford. Take 131 North to exit 97. Turn left (east) until you get to Algoma Road. Turn right (north) until you get to 12 Mile Rd. and turn right. A few feet down the road is Friske Drive…turn left and the turnaround is a little ways down on the right.

To feel the full scary effect, DO NOT go with a group…more people means less fun, BELIEVE ME. So either go with one other brave soul or go alone…..if you got the guts.

Wanna read more ‘Haunted Michigan’ locations?
Click here for more of John Robinson’s Haunted Michigan!

(By the way, CLICK HERE to get ticket info and more details on our upcoming “Mysterious Michigan” bus tour, coming August 24!)

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