Airtight Bridge Investigation

The bridge is a Pratt through truss bridge with a steel structure, a wooden deck, and concrete piers. The bridge was built in 1914 by the Decatur Bridge Company and designed by engineer Claude L. James. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. It reportedly got its name from the unnatural stillness encountered when crossing it.

Total length is 188 feet, 4 inches, width of 15 feet, 7 inches and clearance of 13 feet, 7 inches.

On October 19, 1980, a dismembered corpse was found on the east bank of the river 30 yards downstream from the bridge, causing quite a stir in the local media. Police investigated for years, but were unable to determine the identity of the victim until 1992, when DNA testing produced a match to a missing person from Kankakee, Illinois. Once a cold case investigated by the Illinois State Police, the victim's husband was charged with the murder on March 2, 2017.



Address:  20033 Air Tight Rd., Charleston, Illinois61920; 8 miles NE of Charleston spanning the Embarras River in Coles County, Illinois

GPS: 39.3256.75, -88.535.75





Reports of apparitions that move across the bridge that almost looks like a “sheet”. They come across the bridge and right by observers on the other side. There have also been the sounds of screams in the distance and other strange noises.





The Ghost Research Society investigated Airtight Bridge July1, 2017 and the team members included: Stan Suho and Dale Kaczmarek, with help from Jason Snider, Jason Dickerson, Marcus Cook and Courtney Bowen from Crawford County Ghost Hunters








Equipment set up: Mobile equipment was used including a IR camcorder, tripod, IR illuminators, digital recorders, Ovilus X, X-Cam SLS system and EMF meters.

Experiments performed: An Ovilus X session was conducted about a quarter of the way up the bridge and very near to where the murder had taken place in the past.

Personal experiences:

Dale Kaczmarek: Both Stan Suho and I along with other members of Crawford County Ghost Hunters heard a number of strange thuds on the floorboards of the bridge and even hitting the handrails on two occasions. Just before the loud sound on the guardrails, Jason Snider said that he registered a twenty degree temperature drop that he wasn’t able to duplicate or debunk. Several attempts were made to replicate the temperature drop without any success.

It was a very dark and creepy area, just as Snider had warned about, with no traffic or distractions at all for any of our EVP sessions.

Evidence collected:

Handrail sound airtight.MPG – while conducting an EVP session on the bridge, a twenty degree temperature drop was recorded by Snider followed by the sound of something hitting the handrail in the distance.

Loud crack airtight.MPG – while conducting an Ovilus X session on the bridge, a question was asked, “Can you bang on the metal rails?” Immediately following, a loud crack was heard.

Conclusions: This is one bridge that I have wanted to investigate for a long time and thanks to Jason Snider and his group, Crawford County Ghost Hunters, we were able to visit this location for a very long time without any interruption. The location was the site of a murder and very isolated. It was absolutely perfect for conducting EVP sessions as no one disturbed us and our group was very small.

Whether these sounds were caused by the ghost of the murdered woman is not known and cannot be verified at present. It is a location that I definitely wish to return to next year with more from my group for a more thorough investigation. 

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