The rumored haunting of Jakes Hill Bridge is rooted in folklore that traces back to Nelf Jacobsen, a Hutto resident from the early 1900s. The original bridge, since upgraded, is named in his memory.
Residents and area historians tell several theories about Jacobsen, the man whose presence is still said to be felt on and around Jakes Hill Bridge.
One variation of the story suggests that Jacobsen killed his wife and children before he died by suicide at the bridge. Another alleges Jacobsen killed his parents before pushing their vehicle off the side of the old wooden bridge.
Whatever the variation, some locals say the myths might contain a grain of truth, having read about spooky situations or personally experiencing mysterious occurrences at the bridge.
Mike Fowler, a Hutto resident and historian, said the site is linked to several tragedies alongside Jacobsen’s death. In the 1950s, three teenagers died in a car crash when their truck went off the bridge.
Kathryn Evans, a Pflugerville High School class of 1982 graduate, said she knew of classmates who would place their cars in neutral in the middle of bridge, with some claiming an unseen source would push their car to the other side.
Alastair Hardin, an area resident, was once walking along the bridge at dusk when Hardin heard a dog barking and a voice calling after it. When Hardin turned around, there was not a person or dog in sight.
"I looked to see if I could find the dog or the person, but found nothing,” Hardin said. “When I was leaving, my car had a flat tire, and I heard that same voice again. I don’t think I’ll be going back.”