Known as the Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is located in Corbin Kentucky. The falls is 125 feet wide and has an average drop distant of 68 feet. It's also the only place in the Western Hemisphere where the majestic moonbow can be seen at night. The falls has been featured in some amazing movies including, The Kentuckian with Burt Lancaster, Raintree County with Elizabeth Taylor and Fire Down Below with Steven Seagal.
Cumberland Falls is also home to some eerie and mysterious phantasm and ghost stories. It's no wonder why this is such a popular tourist attraction and why people from all over the world come to visit.
During my visit, I wanted to ask questions and learn more about the DuPont Lodge and the ghost bride and groom that have been seen by so many. While I was there, some park employees and visitors acquainted me to a few other supernatural tales. There are reports of seeing old civil war soldiers, phantom creatures along the paths and a fascinating story about a catfish that lives beneath the falls, so large that it can gobble up a grown man whole.
The "ghost bride" story dates back into the 1950's, when a young bride and groom came to Cumberland Falls State Park for their honeymoon and was staying at DuPont lodge. The young bride was fascinated with the large waterfall and insisted that her photo be taken with the beautiful falls in the background. The couple found an overlook just a few hundred feet from the falls that would provide for the most beautiful photo. As the bride stood on the cliffs at the edge of the 75 to 80 foot escarpment, she lost her balance and fell to her death. The groom was so distraught and heartbroken that he almost immediately jumped from the cliff to join her.
Visitors have made claims of seeing the apparition of the young bride standing near the falls at various locations throughout the park. An employee at the park (who asked to remain unknown) told me that he had seen and heard the bride many times while working, especially in the night hours. He explained that at different times he has heard the bride scream as she fell from the cliffs. He has heard her cry and has even heard a heavy, nauseating thud hit the ground. He explained how the sound was exactly like what you'd expect a body to sound like, if it fell from the cliffs and hit the ground. "It's a sound I never want to hear again, it made me feel sick at my stomach, it was just a terrible, gross sound." he added.
I spoke with another employee at the park who made an intriguing claim about the ghost bride. She said that during late Autumn she was cleaning up around the area. She claims that she also heard that sickening thud sound. She immediately looked upward and seen white flower pedals falling from the sky. She said that at least 20 pedals fell to the ground. It was late in the season, the trees were bare and there was no flowers in bloom.
There are also stories about the bride being seen along the road near the park. Locals especially have reported seeing her roaming along the roadside late at night. One man even stopped when he saw her, he was so sure that there was a distressed lady in need of help. When he stepped out of his car, she was gone. He described what happened as a younger lady, wearing a long, tattered white dress. She was standing near the edge of the road looking off into the trees. It was very late and cold that night so he stopped his car to offer his help. But when he opened the door and stepped out of his car, the lady had vanished. He claimed that he even heard the her crying and sobbing as he passed her. He was so positive and unsettled about what had just materialized that he called the police and made a report. After checking the area, there was never any proof found that could physically support his claim.
Another report of seeing the ghost bride comes from a woman who was visiting one night to view the ever-so popular moonbow. The moonbow was beautiful on that particular night. The lady and her daughter were in awe, capturing pictures and video of the experience. Directly in front of them they both noticed a lady across the way, dangerously close to the water. She was motionless and pale and seemed to be peering directly into the dark water. Just as they both voiced their concern for her, she vanished. What they consider to be proof was later discovered when they noticed that the hazy apparition of a woman had been captured in their photos.
Workers at the DuPont Lodge have also said that the bride visits them often. They claim that she has been known to sometimes mess up rooms and cottages after they had been cleaned and has made herself known to guests many times. They also say that mysterious, watery footprints would appear in the rooms when nobody was around. A dejected male voice believed to be the groom could also be heard in and around the lodge.
I visited Cumberland Falls on August, 31st, 2020. I was able to speak with several workers and guests at the park. Every person that I spoke to was positive that the ghost bride is real and still resides in the area. The best chances of seeing her are during the evening hours or at night near places that overlook the falls. The ghost bride has not been known to interact with people, she seems to go away when she's been spotted. Every person who has witnessed her presence claims to have been overcome with the feeling of dread or sadness when they came close to her. And of course, that horrible sound that many believe is her ghost, reliving that fatal fall from the cliffs. There are several photos online that serve as proof to those who believe. During my visit I was able to see some of those photographs in person.
This is a truly beautiful location, rich is history and ghastly stories. The local people are all so excited and enthusiastic to share their information and narratives. I feel like I should undoubtedly come back to learn more about this area and follow up on some of the impressive stories that I have been told.