While tunnels and bridges traditionally harbor legends of trolls and the like, there are many around the world that contain more realistic supernatural characters: ghosts. There are few things that can be as chilling as walking down an unlit tunnel at night. With the added possibility of a ghost’s scream or even physical harm, I’ll likely stay away from these types of places. It’s easy to shrug these events off if you’re reading about them, but experiencing them firsthand is something I hope I never have to do.
One of America’s haunted tunnels is located in Tennessee. It was built in the 1920s and named after the landowner, Edward Sensabaugh. There are multiple versions of this haunting story. One version has Edward inviting a homeless man into his home. The homeless man stole from Edward, and when Edward confronted him, the homeless man stole his daughter and ran to the tunnel where he killed her. The second has Edward doing the killing himself. Either way, it is reported that the tunnel is haunted by Edward’s daughter, and that if you drive through the tunnel and turn off your engine in the middle, it won’t turn back on.
The Screaming Tunnel
The Screaming Tunnel is a small tunnel in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada where a young girl reportedly burned to death. The fire was set in her house during a parental dispute and quickly caught her clothes on fire. The girl ran to the tunnel and tried to put out the fire, screaming all the while. She died, but it’s said her spirit continues to reside in the tunnel. The legend says that if you go to the center of the tunnel and light a match, the match will be blown out and you can hear the girl screaming. Many have filmed their attempts and uploaded them to YouTube, although it’s difficult to determine any results from these videos. The matches do tend to go out.
The Blue Ghost Tunnel
While searching for the Screaming Tunnel, a paranormal investigator happened upon another spirit in a different tunnel. The tunnel he was in was the Merritton Tunnel, and is much longer than the Screaming Tunnel. The investigator reportedly saw a blue mist and it has since become a popular attraction for thrill-seekers in Canada, and is listed among the top haunted places in the country. There are multiple spirits that haunt this tunnel, including two engineers and a fireman. On top of that, when the canal above the tunnel was constructed it caused a flooding in a nearby graveyard.
The railway tunnel of Moonville, Ohio is responsible for much of the development of the town, as it was created as a shortcut to Cincinnati. The tunnel was extremely deadly over the years, as the narrow pathway made it easy for walkers to be surprised by oncoming trains, and ultimately hit. Its said one such unlucky traveler was carrying a lantern, he tried to wave-down the train, which failed to stop in time. The man was killed on impact. Legend has it that this man still roams the tunnel. There was even a sign post to tell train conductors to ignore any lights they may see in the tunnel. The railway use ended in 1986, but the spirit of the dead man remains.
If only one tunnel is haunted, the Hoosac Tunnel has the credentials to be that tunnel. Built in 1876, this Massachusetts tunnel was the second largest in the world; the largest in North America. While the building may be grand, the 1800s were not known for valuing worker safety. There were 195 deaths in the 24-year construction project, with some accidents taking multiple lives at once. This clearly influenced ghost stories of the tunnel, which include a strangled engineer and ominous voices. One man claimed to have been saved by these ghosts, as they warned him of the approach of an oncoming train.
Big Bull Tunnel
Big Bull Tunnel in Virginia experienced a few deaths of its own, with one man being scalped in 1901 and another falling off of a train in 1904. A year later the ghost stories began, when a train broke down outside of the tunnel. The conductor went to put a warning on the other side of the tunnel, but was disturbed when he returned to his crew. He told of screams and voices coming from the tunnel. When they other men investigated themselves, they heard men yelling, “Remove this awful weight from my body,” and then, “they are drinking my blood.” They tried to determine a source of the voices but found nothing. If these ghosts are still residing there, they seem anything but friendly.
Church Hill Tunnel
The Church Hill Tunnel in Richmond, Virginia existed without incident from 1873 to 1902. It was closed until 1920s, when the town decided to reopen the tunnel. In 1925, men working in the tunnel were trapped by a collapse in the tunnel. They found some of the dead, but there were a few who were never found in the rubble. It’s believed that the legendary Richmond Vampire had a hand in these deaths, as he was seen feasting on the bodies in the aftermath of the collapse. The tunnel was sealed with concrete after the tragedy, but many residents claim to still hear the screams of the men trapped inside, urging someone to let them out.
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