JAMESTOWN, N.C. (WGHP) — If you grew up in Jamestown, you know the story. Lydia’s Bridge is one of the most well-known ghost stories in the Piedmont Triad.
We began investigating this story in 2020, just a couple years after paranormal authors Michael Renegar and Amy Greer announced a surprising discovery: they believed they had found the truth behind Lydia’s Bridge.
Renegar passed away just a couple weeks before we started our investigation, but Greer met up with us to tell their story.
She said the story days back to June 1923.
“She was coming home with her boyfriend from some dance, and she came in and they got into the curve and had an accident,” Greer said. “They crashed, and it killed her instantly.”
In the years since, stories have been passed around of a girl or woman, still lurking near the bridge where she lost her life.
Greer has interviewed several people who claim to have encountered her, and different people have described her differently
“She just looked, as they put it, just horrifying,” Greer said. “And so they took off. They didn’t even allow her to get into the vehicle and go with them.”
But Greer and Renegar wanted more than stories. They wanted answers. The two began investigating, searching for the real Lydia behind Lydia’s Bridge.
That’s when they found the article.
It was an article from 1920 describing a crash that left a Miss Annie L. Jackson dead with the “L” possibly standing for Lydia.
Greer remembers the moment Renegar found it.
“He says, ‘Look. You’ve got to look at this.'” Greer said. “And I blew it up. I’m like, ‘That’s her. This is it. This is it. Wow. Oh my gosh. This is it. This is the needle in the haystack we’ve been looking for forever now.”
According to a death certificate, Annie L. Jackson, of Greensboro, was already dead when she arrived at the hospital at about 10:30 p.m. on June 20, 1920. The document doesn’t offer much more in terms of who she was, but it does tell us that she worked in the sample room at Vick’s Chem Co. and she was buried at Holt’s Chapel on June 22.
Her grave marker says she was born on April 28, 1885, making her 35 years old at the time of her death.
As it turns out, Lydia’s legacy was more than just ghost stories.
Robin Mitchell Taylor is the great niece of Annie L. Jackson.
“I grew up knowing [stories about] Lydia,” she said. “I’m born and raised here in Greensboro. So the local history ghost story is Lydia’s bridge.”
She had been working on her family’s genealogy when she learned that her great-aunt Annie had died in a car crash. She went looking for an article, and that’s when it clicked.
“I’m in the public library reading this, and I’m like, going, ‘Oh my goodness. I think my aunt could be Lydia,'” she said. “And I thought, ‘Man,’ and I kept reading it and reading it. I’m like, ‘Yeah, I think she really could.'”
Taylor knew Renegar had been trying to put a face to the name and reached out.
“He was like, ‘Oh my goodness. You’ve got to be kidding me.’ He goes, ‘You’re not kidding me, are you? Please don’t kid me.’ And I’m like, ‘No, I’m serious. She was my grandmother’s sister.'”
Taylor found an old photo of Annie L. Jackson in her family Bible.
“She’s just trying to get home,” Taylor said. “She’s trying to find her way home.”
Greer believes the sightings have slowed or perhaps even stopped.
“At that point, I felt like she was at a peace. You know, it was like she wanted us to find that article for us to know her real name,” Greer said.
But Taylor still drives by from time to time, hoping to catch a glimpse of her great aunt.
Hear even more
If you’re interested in hearing even more from Paranormal Investigator Amy Greer Biltmore and the possible niece of Lydia herself, Robin Mitchell Taylor, we’ve got it all here in the Hauntings in the Piedmont podcast, hosted by FOX8’s Michael Hennessey.