Scottish dog walkers beware: There is a bridge in West Dunbartonshire that is said to have a peculiar and often fatal effect on pet pooches, who have been inexplicably leaping into the gorge below since the 1950s. In that time, around 50 dogs are said to have met their end beneath this creepy crossing, with some reports estimating that a further 600 have miraculously survived after jumping off the bridge.

Built in 1895, the infamous Overtoun Bridge has been nicknamed Dog Suicide Bridge due to its grisly history, but the big question of why dogs keep throwing themselves over its parapet remains unanswered.

Unsurprisingly, a number of supernatural theories have been put forward, with a popular legend crediting the so-called White Lady of Overtoun as the culprit. The ghost is said to belong to the grieving widow of John White, whose father James built the nearby Overtoun House. Locals claim to have spotted the mournful spectre walking around the grounds, although what this has to do with dogs, and why it might cause them to jump into a deep gorge, is not entirely clear.

The current occupant of Overtoun House, Bob Hill, has offered a more realistic explanation, telling the New York Times that the scent of animals scurrying in the gorge beneath the bridge is enticing dogs to jump off inadvertently. “The dogs catch the scent of mink, pine martens or some other mammal and then they will jump up on the wall of the bridge,” Mr Hill said. “And because it’s tapered, they will just topple over.”