The Ghost Bride of Cumberland Falls
Cumberland Falls State Park, located near Corbin, Kentucky, is a staggeringly beautiful spot nestled in the mountains. The gorgeous waterfalls and walking trails have been attracting visitors for over a century, many coming to see the famous moonbow visible over the falls on nights of the full moon. Whether you're planning to stay at the exquisite DuPont Lodge, or rent one of the many cabins in the area, Cumberland Falls and Cumberland Lake can be the perfect spot for a small vacation or even a quiet honeymoon. But one Honeymoon at Cumberland Falls in the 1950s ended in tragedy, a tragedy that still haunts the park to this day.
The Ghost Bride of Cumberland Falls has been appearing in the park since the 1950s. The legend says that a young couple who had been married that very afternoon came to spend their honeymoon in one of the cabins near the falls. In the early evening, the tired but exited couple went for a walk, still wearing the clothes they had been wearing at the ceremony. The man took his camera along with him, prepared for the natural beauty of the falls and the glowing beauty of his new bride.
The young woman decided she wanted a picture of herself in her wedding dress with the falls in the background. Climbing up a nearby hill in the cool evening light, the woman playfully danced near the edge of the cliff, filled with joy at beginning her new life. But that life came to a sudden, unexpected end. Moving towards the edge of the cliff to pose, the young bride lost her footing and slipped off the cliff edge, hitting her head on a rock and drowning in the swiftly-moving waters beneath the falls.
The unfortunate young girl still seems to be waiting for the excitement of her wedding night. For ever since her death, people have reported seeing the ghostly figure of a woman in a white wedding dress near the falls.
The most common sightings of the Ghost Bride happen at the top of the cliff near where he fell. A road now goes along that cliff, with a sharp curve right near the fatal overlook. Many park visitors have reported seeing the figure of a woman in a wedding dress run in front of their car as they come around this curve. If anyone stops, the bride inevitably disappears without a trace.
The second, and more spectacular, manifestation of the Ghost Bride of Cumberland Falls happens on the night of the moonbow. A moonbow is a phenomenon produced by moonlight refracting off of water in the air, in the same way that sunlight produces a rainbow. Cumberland Falls is the only place in North America where a moonbow can predictably be seen. Tourists commonly gather on nights of the full moon to see this beautiful effect of the soft light. But sometimes, people gathered to see the moonbow will see more than they were expecting. It's said that some nights, when the moonbow is at its peak, at the base of the cliff where the young woman fell, a ghostly figure dressed in a white wedding gown can be seen rising up out of the waters.
The famous story of the Ghost Bride of Cumberland Falls attracts many visitors and curiosity seekers to the park. The story has left its impression on the park, so much that the cliff were the bride fell to her death is now known as Lover's Leap. If you go in search of an encounter with the phantom bride, even if you don't see her, you may well fall in love with the scenic beauty of one of Kentucky's natural wonders.