Ghost Stories


Heartbeat bridgeA Maryland Horror Story
Retold by S.E. Schlosser
excerpted from Spooky Maryland 

Listen to the audio version.

Something was going on. Jason felt it in his bones. Polly was too happy, too cheerful. No woman could be that upbeat and still be faithful to her husband. Jason sat down to a delicious, warm meal every night, and Polly sang to herself as she washed up. What kind of woman could be cheerful doing dishes? Try as he might, Jason never heard anything that hinted of a secret romance. It drove him crazy. Life was not this perfect.

Maybe Polly was seeing the milkman, or the grocer. Jason started getting up early in order to see who it was that delivered the milk. Much to his disappointment, the fellow looked as if he’d been born several centuries ago. Then Jason started doing the food shopping, and checked out every single male employee in the local grocery store. They were either antediluvian relicts—like the milkman—or still in diapers.

Later that month Jason was over at his father-in-law’s house working in the garage when he over heard his father-in-law call to Hank…Polly’s high-school boyfriend. Now he knew! He knew why Polly was so happy all the time. Her parents must have told her that Hank was coming home, and she was planning on running off with him.

Enraged with jealousy, Jason was waiting in the kitchen when Polly got back from church. He was beyond reason. He snatched up a newly sharpened steak knife, howling: “You’ve cut out my heart, now I’ll cut out yours!” Jason leapt around the table and ripped Polly’s still-beating heart out of her chest. Blood streaming everywhere, he sailed out the back door into the dark night and flung her heart, still thumping, over the side of the bridge that spanned the creek next to their home.

Jason cleaned up the blood-stained house with extreme care and buried Polly’s body deep in the woods outside of town. Then he wrote several letters, carefully mimicking Polly’s handwriting, and mailed them to himself and her parents. Within a few days, everyone in town believed that Polly had been secretly seeing a man from the next town and that they had run away together.

Late one evening, he went out to the bridge to gloat in triumph over his unfaithful wife. Polly had gotten what she deserved, he thought. As he stood staring down at the water, he became aware of a vibration under his feet. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.  It floated softly through the air, a simple rhythmic thudding. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.  Jason’s hands began to tingle as he recognized the soft thudding sound. It was the same beat he had felt when he held Polly’s bleeding heart in his hands. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.  

The heartbeat rang in his ears, thundering so loud that he was afraid it would wake the neighbors. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum. Jason clapped his hands over his ears and ran back to the house.  But he could not escape the terrible sound:  Da-dum.  Da-dum.  Da-dum.  Even the floorboards seemed to vibrate to the slow, steady rhythm. Da-dum.  Da-dum.  Da-dum.  It sounded like a heart-beat.  Polly’s heartbeat. Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.

Jason screamed in terror and flung himself out of the house, running toward the bridge as the heartbeat grew louder and louder in his ears. Jason leaned over the railing.

“Curse you, Polly!” he shouted.

Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.

With a wild shriek, Jason flung himself headfirst off the bridge like a diver, and was smashed to death on the rocks below.  

Underfoot on the bridge, the pavement still vibrates to the beat of a dead heart.  For now and always.

Da-dum. Da-dum. Da-dum.

Author's Note:  Heartbeat Bridge is located in Ellicot City, MD.  This folktale is told by people living in the area to explain why a heartbeat can be felt through the pavement by people standing on the bridge. 

Excerpted from Spooky Maryland by S.E. Schlosser



This was great!! Super spooky! It reminded me a lot of the story... Forgot what it was called... But they did something like it on Spongebob with boots... I loved it!!

dumb husband

ok that was like totally awsome but did it ever occur to him that she might have just been a joyous person all her life and that she wasnt fooling around with someone eles didi he ever think that mabey just mabey she was so in love with him that ,thats the reason she was happy

y would someone throw themself over the edge of the bridge. thats so sad and im still not scared

that is so creepy...... i love it!

freeky! :D this is k8nd of weird, but i feel happy and exited other then scrd. WEIRD


Nice modern spin-off of Edgar Allen Poe's work. :)

that was not scary

Kinda reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's story I read in school. He could hear the man's heart beat under the floorboards when the cops came to check it out, and the dude went insane and confessed to the murder. It was pretty intense.

OMG....that was like WOW no words but WOW can describe it.

OMG im only 10 i asked forchildrens stories and it came up wiv this in really scared now becuse my babysitter was looking after a boy and one day she ran off and the boy said she was gone now i relise where :(

wow what a great story i would have put in feet first... CREEPY

he got what he deserved in the end
FYI that was really gross how he still held her beating heart.

This was a rip off of the tell tale heart. still good though.

that is creepy!!!!!!!!!!! i cant believe he cut out his wifes heartwhat a creeper!

isnt that edger allen poe?

im with the wife just because his life was perfect doesnt mean that he had to look at something wrong with it. geez and to cut out her heart
keep on beating Holly!!!!!!!!!

iluv it was not scary tho i still dontkno y should jump of a bridge !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wow that wasfreky nice


yawn so boring


It shud be renamed 'Jason's stupidity'

that rocked

too scary for me

wow it waz alright but that waz a really dumb man

this is so scary now i feel like i cannot turn off my lights

wow, this is crazy. i thought i was reading true stories. but i like it tho. in a weird creepy psychopathic way.




awesome i love this

That was creepy but cool. Very gross, too.

scariest story ive eva heared


the husband did not know why Polly was so happy and jus killed her? Maybe she the husband birthday and then she got him a very gud present. Who knows?

I sent the whole story in a e-mail to my mom to scare her!!!!



sounds like "The Tell Tail Heart" that edgar allen poe did. nice... love the story.

Well, This scared me. But it doesn't seem possible.


that was so awesome and freaky and scary... i love it

this story was awsome.

nice one

i fink that the guy was kinda dumb

This story was completely AMAZING!! keep it up!! :D

omg, wow, sometmes scary


this guy apperantly does not think beacause she might just have a good life or good husband!??!!

wow this was an amazing scary spooky story


This kind of reminds me of The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.

did it occur to him that he could have asked her for the truth or just divorced her if he thought that she has cheating. he could have asked around. people dont think often sometimes

this was creepy and eery but not scary but the husband was dumb and he should have thought about it more first


Koooool :)

Jason,deserves it.I H.A.T.E. him!!!!!(*_¤)....(poor polly)...

OMFG sooo scary lol

mmmm that is so disgusting

now that was scarey story sum husbands do stuff like that

That husband is absolutely insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

what if Polly was just pregnant or something like that, and she just wanted to surprise her husband later on




Thos was just love tell tale heart. Not scary

it was ok but more details would have made it better

this didn't really tie up loose ends, it should have displayed how she was never actually cheating in the first place, also it's just a retelling of Edgar Allen Poe's the teltale heart, with a touch of jealousy and erratic behavior added

That was a good story I luv ghost stories they like totally freak me out but they're still cool

wow freaky story i tink he should have gone to pollys parents and told them what happened and then flung himself off the bridge

wow i loved it

Wow, that was super scary.

so creepy and scary but i loved it



Ohhh yeah when his boots kept squeaking


Not so freaky but freaky lol. Erica from al d.y.f.h high school

That was just like some Bed stories for kids..

This story is a bit scary but when I told it at a sleepover everyone laughed at it, I guess it sounds better in my head than when I say it out loud though that Jason dude should really calm down, he didn't really have any good proof that Polly was cheating on him and even if he did, ripping out someone's heart? Come on, get over it already!
Lots of love,


omg i finished reading this and my phone went off and there was no one on the other end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SCARY!!!!!!!!!!

he should have followed her around instead of just asmummin something

good story but i expected a better beginning

OMGlike really that made me feel the heart beating wow that was the best but i would have made it more dramatic like jasons wife made his ears bleed because of the heart beating so loud and then say that she appered out of the ground with the heart in her again.

nice and creepy

It was awesome! But wasn't that scary. Still entertaining though. But was Polly really going to run away with Hank or not?


why was she so happy??????

Jason got what he deserves i guess


dis story was rrrrrrreeeeeaaaaaalllllllyyyyyy beyond my expectations.

LOL that was like a curse for riping her heart out

Nice book to read online

Scary! I read stories like this before where he man cuts off his wifes head and he can hear the body carrying on in tthe kitchen or something like that. Keep up up the good work. Batman out.

Was not scary but i loved it :-)

terrible, how can he do such thing to his own wife?

bad guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

awesome it wasn't scary but what a dumb husband

Hey! I'm 10 yr old girl and here's my comment:Grrrrrreat!!! Pretty freaky. I think that it's a good lesson that everyone should learn early on in life; When you do something wrong, it will eventually come back to you eventually. BTW Isn't that Poe? Poe's great. I read for hours a day at the public library, and with all those books, somehow I keep bringing my self back to him. Anyway awesome story. Thanks! :D

it is scary story


it was nyc bt plz make sure u do it a litle spookier nxt tym...

hahaha this sounds like the tell tale heart we read in class a few mounths ago XD i loved it XD

It is so scary & i like it.

The story wasn't really that creepy, but it is still enjoyable. I mean, it's not the best creepy story I've ever read but, it's still good. The husband is really stupid... I guess in the end he feels guilty for not confronting his wife first.

I loved this.


i would love to have more.

That was really tragic. I think Jason got what he deserved but Polly didn't. Why did Jason go poking his nose around! LOL x

Jason is stupid. He might have just been spooked out and hearing his own heartbeat. and y would he throw himself over a bridge?

poor polly :(

Whow. This was a gr8 story . I would lyk de start a bit more intersting. But still the story was kwl. I would add in wat did the parents feel. And i would like the story a bit longer. Coz i luv stories like this . The name of de story is WHOW .Thanx 4 makin ih interisting. :-) :-D

There's a heartbeat bridge in my area too. The tales been told for years around here, a woman caught a cab in Wilmington, Nc and the cabbie drove her to the secluded spot then raped and mutilated her. Cutting her heart out and throwing it in the swamp. Legend says if you park on the bridge at night and turn off the car and lights, remain completely silent... You can hear her heart beating.

nice, a little scary

This story is really cool. But Jason is a little dumb. And i really feel sorry 4 polly. :, C

Very nice of a story. I plan on taking a trip there so I should locate Heartbeat Bridge!


This story is nice and creepy but I still like it and I would tell it to everyone who is coming to my campout keep up the good stories

That was a great story. It reminds me of Edgar Allen poes story the tell tale heart.

awesome, scary, creppy, everything you could ask for a good scary story


wow. jason has very strong anger issues.

Da-dum Da-dum

nice story! Jason was too harsh on Polly and I think he should've talked things through with Polly before turning into a maniac!

I am 12 ... im scared to go to sleep... can just imagine that idiot leaning over me with a knife...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!:0 Oh wait he is dead.YAY!:)

this was scary. i read it during 5th period and i loved it.

this wasnt that scary i mean come on i have read more scaryer books te then this.....bye

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Schlosser, author of the Spooky Series

About the Author: S.E. Schlosser

S.E. Schlosser is the author of the Spooky Series by Globe Pequot Press, as well as the Ghost Stories deck by Random House.  She has been telling stories since she was a child, when games of "let's pretend" quickly built themselves into full-length tales acted out with friends. A graduate of both Houghton College and the Institute of Children's Literature, Sandy received her MLS from Rutgers University while working as a full-time music teacher and a freelance author. Read more

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