The Blue Ghost Tunnel: Making of a Legend The Early Explorer's 1950-1980

The Early Explorer's 1950-1980

In the early days several residents of Thorold and the surrounding area discovered that hiking along the Old Welland Canal was adventurous and exciting. This was especially true for the children, who made the land a playground as there was so much to explore―The Old Welland Canal, natural limestone caves, a nearly abandoned cemetery, historic houses and foundations, and of course a dark, creepy tunnel.

The Blue Ghost Tunnel sat undisturbed, save for a chance meeting with a hiker, or a group of children daring each other to enter. Several Thorold residents have come forward to say they had played in or near the tunnel as early as the 1950s.

Recounting their memories, only one person believed they had heard that the tunnel was haunted. The others say they knew it only as an abandoned railway tunnel that was mostly flooded with water and pretty much uninteresting, although they admit it had a creepy feeling to it.

The one person who had been told it was haunted could not recount by what or by what means it was considered haunted. It was trivial to the children at the time because there were other locations within sight that were considered truly haunted. These included the abandoned Quarry Mansion on the hill, The Lakeview Cemetery and the Bishop Fuller House.

“I had a talk with my sister and father while going over some photos,” says Ed Pendykoski. “My dad, who’s now 85, doesn't recall a ghost but did refer to an ice angel. This would be from the ice in the winter.”

“Even in the 50s there was ice in the tunnel. From his description there was more to see at that time of the foundation and land of the farm houses. The tunnel still had a rail bed (no tracks though) and on the inside you could still see the small wooden posts on the wall at the top with some glass knobs that held wires. He did tell of a ghost, but that was in the big house on top of the hill above at the quarry.”

“I don't recall the GTR tunnel being haunted until about 1970,” recalls Mr. Pendykoski.

He also mentions that he did not see or hear a ghost on his many adventures to and around the tunnel, but he had had a strange feeling about the tunnel itself.

Another man, Gerald Stech, remembered being in a group of teens visiting the tunnel in the late 1970s when they decided to enter the tunnel and slosh through the nearly foot of water in an attempt to see where the tunnel actually led. He said they made it in about a quarter of the way before they felt very uneasy.

“It was like a wall of darkness had been put up around us,” recounts Mr. Stech. “Suddenly, it got very, very cold and I was the first to see it. It was a woman in a black dress, with a black hat. We all screamed and started running for the entrance. I remember I dropped my torch and it went out, presumable broken, or the batteries came loose, making the tunnel very dark.”

“As we got out we slipped in the mud and made a mess of our clothes. Our mothers scolded us later about the mess but we told them what had happened. One of my friends mother said they had heard about the tunnel and knew of a group from New York State that would come and look.”

The children found out that two psychics had visited the tunnel and the canal area in the fall of 1976 and were told what they had encountered:

“The family went down there with these two women from the US. They were psychic and said that they were interested in things like this. Well, I was told that things got really strange and that the psychics found out that a widow had been looking for her lost son when she stumbled and fell into the canal. Unable to swim, she drowned and to this day, I guess, she is still looking for her son.”

“Now our parents had told us never to go near the canal, or the tunnel, but after hearing that, they didn't need to tell us again.”

I tried to contact the psychics who were supposed to have visited the tunnel and encountered the spirit of a widow, but I was unable to do so. Nor was I able to find the family that had originally contacted the psychics. The psychics hometown of Lilydale, New York (a psychic commune of sorts) says they do not know who it may have been and that the story of the widow looking for her lost son might have simply been a fanciful narrative to keep the young boys away from the dangers of the canal and the tunnel.


Post a Comment

About This Blog

Out of the Dark: The Ghost Hunting Chronicles is a blog providing detailed investigations of the Out of the Dark team, paranormal news and editorial.

It will also feature the past investigations of paranormal investigator and author John Savoie.