The Blue Ghost Tunnel: Making of a Legend More Blue Ghost Nonsense

More Blue Ghost Nonsense

In the summer of 2005 a sealed plastic Ziploc bag was discovered at the mouth of the tunnel containing a VHS tape labeled #2. Several other tapes, sealed in plastic bags and numbered, were discovered.

The curious viewer would see a short clip containing visuals of the tunnel, The Welland Canal, rusty objects, dead animals and a man in a cheesy Halloween mask. The effect was to produce a tape similar to the one found in the movie The Ring. The majority of viewers found it amateurish.

Chad Irish was the person who actually found the tapes, and many speculated it was he who was responsible for placing, and ultimately finding, his own tapes. This was during the period that Chad was engrossed with the tunnel and visited daily and nightly for months. He was spellbound by the tapes and made extra trips to the tunnel simply, he said, for the chance of finding another tape. Several pages of his web site were now dedicated to the tapes themselves and he developed his own hypothesis about the tapes. They were, evil, he said, and the viewer would physically get sick, or even die after viewing them. He cautioned his web site visitors about the tapes and proceeded to amass a collection of plastic baggies and VHS tapes.
When the interest of the tapes faded, Chad devised another attention grabbing scheme. He made his own video tape and had to discover it himself after no one had noticed it sitting on one of the strengthening beams in the tunnel.

In the months that passed, yet another video was made, by an anonymous filmmaker, and mocked the whole videotape controversy. It contained images of the tunnel as well as Thomas The Tank Engine cheerfully smiling as he tooted his whistle. Speculation about the origin of this jeering video was centered on a local graphic artist and paranormal enthusiast known on paranormal forums as Toadfuss.

The original producer of the first video and Chad's distribution created yet another layer of the Urban Legend. Even though most people dismiss the tapes as a cheap-practical joke and Chad as an eccentric ghost hunter, the tapes still pop up in some conversations as pieces of the story:

They found these old movies there of a man killing a girl.”

They found parts of a snuff film, but the rest of the film was destroyed by water.”

The guy who made the film was murdered.”

Not even a decade old and many people fail to delve into the truth. Instead, they read or hear about a video tape and somehow, somewhere along the way, decide it is historic truth.

Of course, each story, like branches of a tree, continuously grows new branches and leaves. The legend grows and grows.

The original creator of the video series, James Straughan, was recently exposed by Kevin Valencourt, founder of The Niagara Amateur Ghost Seekers. During the time in which Chad was infatuated with the tapes, James Straughan posted many entries onto paranormal discussion boards about the video tapes, marketing them and pretending not to know who did them. He lied about his involvement with the tapes and his credibility was tarnished.

On Hamilton Paranormal's Old Message Forum:

By James Straughan on Friday, December 10, 2004 - 10:03 pm:

Hey all, long-time no-post

Since spring I had not been back to the BGT, and wow has it changed. I guess it's become pretty popular since that tv show aired cause it's amazing what you'll find down there. I've been there three times in the last month, and found things ranging from bikes to fires in the tunnel.

One particular thing though, when I went tonight I found a vhs tape in a ziplock bag ...left seemingly intentionally in the middle of the tunnel. I took it home and watched it out of curiosity, and it is flat out strange. Actually, it can't be described. You want to think it's a joke, but there's such a frightening amount of effort and impact with it. Why?

By James Straughan on Saturday, December 11, 2004 - 02:27 am:

I've been trying to get my tv input card to work so I can take some stills but to no avail. I'll try again tomorrow. To be honest, after viewing the video I just felt ...well, bad....not only is it menacing but it is also depressing.

It is relatively short...almost 3 minutes I think. I've decided the best word to describe it would be “montage”. Among the things shown are the tunnel itself, some VERY old gravestones somewhere, a destroyed car/truck in the woods, a dead fox, a rotten door standing on it's own, something emerging from the reeds wearing a policeman or conductor uniform, a human skull sunken in the mud, and a piece of paper in a tree that reads 27. The whole thing has unidentifiable audio, with what sounds like a young girls voice and an old man. I can't make out what they're saying though.

I know that all must sound strange, and it is. Hopefully I can get some stills tommorow. Night.


When asked recently about the video and its purpose, James Straughan provided this statement:

“I made the film in 2004, hold all copyrights, original footage, soundtrack etc etc. If you have any follow-up questions talk to my lawyer at Wilson Opatovsky (905) 835-1163. I do not consent to my films usage, in whole or part, in any project/compilation/anything.”

The statement in itself reveals the character of the man behind the cheesy-Halloween mask in the video.
You may find the video online on YouTube. If the drivel does not entertain you, some of the comments left behind by more creative individuals will. Viewer discretion is advised, however, and this author is not responsible for any illness henceforth caused or immediate, and/or sudden death upon viewing. Perhaps contact Wilson Opatovsky to seek compensation for any damages. 


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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.