Donkey Lady Bridge

History

LOCATION - Old Applewhite Rd Near Toyota - Bridge is over Elm Creek

HOURS - Best At Night

OWNER - Private Property & Houses Nearby

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY - HIGH, Extreme Cold Spots, Light Orbs, Apparition, Sensation Of Being Watched.

This is a fairly recent legend. The donkey lady paranormal phenomenon came on heavy in the 1970's in San Antonio. There are a couple different stories. Regardless of which story you subscribe to, most describe hearing the sound of hooves like a horse or donkey coming your way. Also the Donkey Lady typically attacks your car as you honk and yell for her. Many people have claimed their cars have been dented beyond recognition by the Donkey Lady.

One prevalent story is of an old woman who had a pet donkey and was believed to be a witch. Townspeople would taunt her and at one point some people started a fire and burned down her house leaving her terribly disfigured...many said after the fire she resembled her pet donkey who was killed in the fire. She eventually drowned in the stream under the bridge. It is said that when you pass near or on the bridge she will violently attack your car, or if you try to cross the bridge more than once and call out for her she will grab you and take you away.

Another story says that back in the fifties, a young woman had been in a fire. Apparently she lost two children in that fire, and that her husband had started the fire. She was left horribly disfigured. It was said that when her face healed, all the skin had something of a drooped, baggy appearance. Her fingers had all fused together, leaving dark stumps, or hooves. Disfigured and totally insane, she stayed mostly in the rural areas of Bexar County and terrorized anyone who approached her.

You are supposed to either cross the bridge and call out "DONKEY LADY" three times, or stay in your car and honk and yell for her - both are to elicit some response. Mainly hearing hooves and some sort of animal looking apparition.

We arrived to already find two carloads of people waiting to explore the bridge. We all decided to go together. A few years back they put up a guard rail along that curve on Applewhite Rd. because of numerous accidents that had occurred. You are no longer able to drive out onto the bridge and the Bexar County Sherriff's Department constantly patrols the location. Last year having tested the car legend, by honking our horn with no result, this year we decided to cross the bridge and call out for her. We experienced the most extreme cold spots we had ever seen, noting a drop of more than 60 degrees in one spot. A shadowy figure seemed to dart back and forth across the bridge and at times a fog would roll in when we were all standing on the bridge. Every single person on this hunt felt like they were being watched, two of the girls that were with us noted some sort of force that kept pushing on their chest. These two girls were also the only two people on the bridge who felt like they were freezing and could see their own breath. While we didn't hear hooves, or the "hee-haw" of a donkey...there is something there. Unfortunately our hunt was hindered by an outside force! 

NOTE: After evading authorities for quite some time as we were finally leaving the bridge a sherriff's deputy stopped us to ask if we were searching for "The Donkey Lady". We explained what we were doing and although he would not go on record, when asked if there was any truth to the activity on the bridge he stopped us and said...YES. From what he told us the area used to be a dumping ground for the Mexican Maffia, and there had been so many car accidents where people died as well. He has seen on several occasions full body apparitions and spirts wandering around the area around the bridge. He claims they were/are so life-like that he would turn around and go back to check on them only to find no one there.

MORE - Believe it or not...but the Donkey Lady actually did exist! She was a real person who some say according to records lived until the early 1990's. She was a very odd person and would always been seen popping out of the woods late at night walking her donkeys. The following excerpt was taken from the San Antonio Express News and MySA.com. www.chickenskin.net is also a great link for more...

"Donkey Lady tales travel around area" Web Posted: 10/24/2006 03:15 PM CDT 

Chuck McCollough Express-News Staff Writer The Donkey Lady legend lives to haunt another Halloween. The San Antonio urban legend is considered mostly a South Side story, but in a spooky twist, the eerie tale also extends to two places on the North Side — Helotes on the Northwest and the Windcrest/Live Oak area on the Northeast. 

And the Donkey Lady story includes a woman who actually existed, according to those who say they met her. Some feel the three Donkey Lady legends — South Side, Helotes and Windcrest/Live Oak — have merged over time. 

The generations-old South Side story has several versions. One tells of a reclusive woman who was horribly burned in a house fire. 

The more popular version tells of a woman who raised donkeys, one of whom bit a child. The father of the child and other men ambushed the woman and one of her donkeys on a bridge. 

The donkey and the woman supposedly fell into the river and drowned. 

That bridge, variously described as being on Applewhite Road or Zarzamora Road, has become popular with thrill-seekers. 

According to the legend, if you drive to either of the one-lane bridges at night and turn off your engine, several things could and sometimes do happen.

They include hearing the heehaw of a donkey or a human imitating the sound, or feeling the back of the vehicle dip suddenly and later finding donkey hoof prints on the vehicle. 

Over the years, numerous people have taken the Donkey Lady Bridge dare and had scary experiences, according to popular legend and a Web site dedicated to the San Antonio Donkey Lady - www.blueice.com/chickenskin/donkey.html

Several entries on the site tell of a phone number people could call to hear a heehaw from the Donkey Lady or her donkey, but it isn't available anymore. 

Other entries refer to the Windcrest/Live Oak Donkey Lady. A woman named Doc Anderson was known as both the Donkey Lady of Live Oak and Windcrest and the Skunk Lady of Windcrest. In a period spanning the 1960s-1980s, Anderson and a man described as either her husband or brother lived in what then was a mostly undeveloped area between Windcrest and Live Oak. Described as an eccentric animal lover, Doc Anderson became known as the Donkey Lady because she kept a number of rare donkeys and the Skunk Lady for her ability to handle the smelly creatures without getting sprayed. 

Sherillyn Flick, who grew up in Windcrest and today lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has her own version of the tale. "I have always been crazy about horses, and my dad used to let me ride at a place Doc Anderson operated off Weidner Road, north of Windcrest. That would have been around 1970," Flick said in a telephone interview from her Flower Mound home. "Doc and her husband, who were in their late 60s or early 70s at that time, lived in a two-room house they rented, and the place had donkeys tied up in front and skunks under the house and in the attic. It was quite a sight," Flick said. Anderson became something of a local legend, and children dared each other to ride by the gate to their rent house, according to several longtime Windcrest residents. But times eventually began to get hard for the Donkey Lady, and Flick and her family and other kind-hearted individuals hauled water and supplies to the couple. "They got food stamps, but it seemed Doc Anderson and her husband spent all their resources on their animals — the donkeys and the rest," Flick said. 

The couple was forced to move from their rented property and then set up a squatter's shack on the eastern side of Weidner Road in a wild area called the Robards. That's when the legend of Donkey Lady Northeast began to intensify, Flick said. "They built a house out of scrap lumber, tin, cardboard, whatever they could find, and it was quite sad. There was no running water or electricity, and they lived there for years," she said. People driving along Weidner Road between Windcrest and Live Oak would see a strangely dressed, one-armed woman suddenly pop out of the woods leading donkeys to water, according to Flick. Flick said the Donkey Lady not only was a sad figure but a tormented one. "Often young high school students would tease and harass Doc Anderson. They would sneak up at night and cut the ropes on all the donkeys and horses, and Doc would have to hunt them down in the woods. I saw her crying one time after that happened. "We hauled water to them in the 1970s, but I lost track of Doc Anderson around 1977 when I went off to college," Flick said. 

She said she can understand how Anderson became a larger-than-life legend as the Donkey Lady. "She had real long hair, wore bright red lipstick and had a pale complexion. She wore sort of bag-lady clothes and acted strange. I believe over time the story of our Donkey Lady and the traditional Donkey Lady legend have become intertwined and merged," Flick said. 

Scott Wayman agrees. He is assistant city manager in Live Oak and has been researching the history of the area for an upcoming anniversary celebration. "I think for a lot of people our Donkey Lady and the other legend have evolved and become one. The Live Oak Donkey Lady was a one-armed skunk trainer who wore a bonnet and would pop out of the woods leading her donkeys at night along Weidner Road. That is the stuff of legends, and everyone around here knows the legend of the Donkey Lady," Wayman said. 

The Donkey Lady was especially scary for the children of Windcrest, said Dede Winn, wife of Windcrest Fire Chief Tom Winn. "My children were terrified of her because they and their friends heard Donkey Lady would shoot you. Apparently it was a big thing to prove that you rode your bike past her (rent) house," Dede Winn said. The last time Windcrest and Live Oak officials heard anything about Doc Anderson was around 1982, but other people familiar with the woman said they believe she died in the 1990s. 

While the Live Oak-Windcrest Donkey Lady is gone, her legend lives on and has morphed, some believe, to join with the Helotes and South Side stories. The legend of the Helotes Donkey Lady said she haunts the woods outside that city. At least one online story tells of two foolish young men who decided to test the Donkey Lady legend and barely escaped after hearing scary braying sounds coming from either an animal or a woman. And, the site says, they found donkey hoof prints on their car.

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