Pole 69 – Death Attractor

For some reason more suicides on the Golden Gate Bridge occur at light pole 69 than any other place on the bridge. It is not a gaussian curve trending towards the center, but one datapoint that is 40% higher than any other and five times the average.
Is there a death attractor associated with this pole? What calls to the suicide to pick just this place to jump?
If anyone who reads this happens to go by the GGB, please take a picture of pole 69 for me, and the area around it. But please, please, don’t get too close!


  1. Chloe wrote:

    It may not be a “trend towards the center”, but Light Pole #69 DOES seem to be the EXACT center point between the towers.
    Notice how the most suicides on the other side occur almost in the same spot.
    I don’t know how pinpoint accurate this map is. I’m also assuming people don’t actually count the light posts to find the center.
    I’m assuming that both Light Pole #69, and Light Pole #68 on the other side, each look like the center point from the perspective of being there on the bridge.

    My first thought when I noticed the center point thing, was that perhaps someone feeling out of control of their life enough to want to end it, might get some compulsive comfort by choosing a “balanced” position on the bridge… something to do with aesthetics perhaps. For some reason it seems to make sense to me.

    The only other “trends” I see:

    More people jump off the side that has the pedestrian walkway. Probably because the bike path doesn’t allow pedestrians, and most people either don’t own a bike, wouldn’t want to ride it to their suicide, or most likely would feel awkward about leaving their bike behind on the bridge when they jump (people are very particular about their belongings, even in death, or wills wouldn’t be so popular).

    And more people seem to jump closer to the San Francisco.
    Maybe because more people are walking from the San Francisco side…
    Perhaps they’re too lazy or out of shape to walk any further?
    I walked up that part of the bridge once, over 2 decades ago, when my legs were pretty short, and I remember it enough to know that it’s uphill, and not an easy distance… if your legs are short, or you’re not in shape. Which I’m betting a lot of people who commit suicide are not getting daily work-outs because that’s actually a recommended part of treatment for alleviating depression.

    Or perhaps they’re just in a hurry to get it done, perhaps worried that they’ll lose their nerve.

    What intrigues me most is the people who jump from the bridge over land.
    If you don’t want to jump to a watery grave, why choose a bridge as the method at all?

    Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 6:41 am | Permalink
  2. Keith wrote:

    You are way too literal. My blog is written for and read by mostly Speculative Fiction writers. The death attractor aspect of the post is an idea jogger and I hope to get some stories from imaginative writers.
    That being said, I don’t believe that it is that easy to tell that you are in the exact middle of a long bridge. I think that there is a real reason for the spike in jumpers at that point, but not the one that you have proposed.
    As far as jumping over land, I think that most jumps are at night. Many park their car and jump and don’t walk. I think that it’s just hard to tell where you are on the bridge. Fog may also have a bit to do with it; the golden gate is famous for fog.

    Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  3. Chloe wrote:

    You are way too literal.

    For your taste apparently, in this one instance. (Pretty broad statement to make based on one comment.)

    My blog is written for and read by mostly Speculative Fiction writers.

    Maybe you should put up a sign stating the rules of conduct for comments so no one posts comments that are outside the scope of speculative fiction.
    I only saw one other comment on your blog, and it was an opinion on a video, so it’s not like there’s a way to follow by example “when in Rome”.

    I think that there is a real reason for the spike in jumpers at that point, but not the one that you have proposed.

    But obviously you want to keep it to yourself.

    Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 8:22 pm | Permalink
  4. Keith wrote:

    I’m sorry. I did not mean to be flip with you.

    Truly, I understand exactly what you were saying about the reality of the situation. There is a sane and rational explanation for the statistics and I am sure that you are right.

    Very few people read this blog and most of them know me. On the surface, the statistics look eerie and that was the point that I was trying to make.

    You obviously take this very seriously. Suicide is very serious subject. The data points on the chart are not just numbers but people who can’t participate here or anywhere ever again. The only thing left of their lives is a dot on a graph. The graph itself is very gruesome in its implications and the person who made it should seek counselling.

    Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 11:24 pm | Permalink
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Why should the guy who made the chart seek counselling? It looks like an informative map of some morbid facts, and your blog page is an article on an informative map of some morbid facts.
    On the subject of morbid… In the Film “The Bridge (2006)”, the last “jumper” Gene was into the “Goth” Lifestyle and Goths are well known for liking the morbid.
    Does anybody know which Light Pole Gene jumped from?
    By the way… You stated “Very few people read this blog…” I got here by typing [ggb light pole 69] into Google Search. Your blog page was result No.1 out of 993 results !!

    Monday, February 2, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Permalink
  6. Kloug wrote:

    The most evident thing I see on Light Pole 69 is that it’s the highest point over the water, which increases the odds of dying on impact.

    Friday, September 9, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink