The Langmore Bridge Edit
A covered bridge crosses the water inlet between the New Colony Span Bridge and the Blue Ridge Tunnel. Originally a ramshackle remnant from the late 1700s, it was built by loggers and hunters and remained in terrible condition until 1879. When the Blue Ridge Mine opened, the roads in Kingsmouth needed upgrading. Today it's officially named "Langmore Bridge" - after John Langmore, the mayor who ordered the improvements - but locals all call it Hangman's Span.
The bridge may look anonymous, but it's shrouded in old superstition. People in Kingsmouth say Hangman's Span is haunted by ghosts. Several have encountered fleeting apparitions and reported feeling sudden chills and hearing bloodcurdling screeches in the area. Everyone agrees it's best to avoid crossing there alone at night.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, many people were lynched near the bridge. A big oak tree grew on the bank next to the water and many murderers, rapists, robbers and other dregs of society met their maker dangling from its thick branches. The offender was dragged to the bank, noosed with a rope thrown over a branch on the oak tree, and then pushed off to hang until dead. Once the feet stopped kicking, the rope was cut and the body simply left to wash out to sea. It is the ghosts of these sorry souls - citizens of Kingsmouth claim - that haunt Hangman's Pass today.
Most of the offenders had indeed committed atrocities, but there were others whose only crime was to ask too many questions. Considered thorns in the side of the mighty Illuminati, they were framed as a way of ridding the faction of nuisances. If there was no minor indiscretion to blow out of proportion, one could always be invented. None of these summary executions were treated by officials as anything out of the ordinary. People in power always know when to look the other way.
The lynchings at Hangman's Span continued at uneven intervals until one day in the late 1800s, when a man mysteriously escaped death. Unlike other victims of the lynch mob, he was calm and quiet; he didn't shout curses or scream in terror. Willingly walking up to the tree, he even bent his neck for the noose to be placed neatly over his head. As the jittery mob tightened the rope, he simply smiled at them. When he was pushed off the bank to hang, the branch that had held the weight of so many dozens - and showed no sign of strain - suddenly gave in. With a loud crack it snapped and the man landed in the water. He immediately started swimming, quickly putting distance between himself and the indignant mob.
People assumed he would be dragged to sea by the current, and paid his escape no more attention. But, only days later, the big tree was gone - chopped down during the night - and the citizens somehow knew this had been the charmed swimmer's work; he was still alive, somewhere. No one ever heard from him again, but since that day there have been no more lynchings in Kingsmouth. All in all, 119 people were hanged at Hangman's Span.
The man who escaped the lynch mob - who escaped death - was in fact an undercover spy sent by the Templars. William Thomas Godfray successfully escaped from Kingsmouth and eventually found his way back to London. But before doing so, he chose to cut down the tree as a lark, a last laugh at the Illuminati.