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Barn owl close-up 

Imagine you and some friends are visiting Missouri’s covered bridges and are staying at a bed and breakfast near one of the bridges. The owner advises you not to visit the bridge at night because a ghost lives there. But this only intrigues your group; you decide to visit it at midnight. You walk to the bridge under a full moon. It’s quiet until you get within 40 yards of the bridge, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. 

Then, you hear a blood-curdling scream. Your hair stands up, and chills run down your spine. About the time you calm down, a white shape silently glides out from inside the bridge and swoops toward you. Fortunately, before it reaches you, it swerves and disappears into the night. All of you run back to the bed and breakfast as quickly as you can. What occurred?

You didn’t encounter a ghost; it was a barn owl. See what you saw in this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkP4Ro2gRl8 (Watch starting at the 3- minute mark.).

Find the barn owl’s scream at abcbirds.org/blog/eeriest-bird-sounds/. Because of the white color of their faces, chests and wings, their silent nighttime flight and their harsh screaming call, barn owls are the source of many ghost stories. 

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