In September of 2003, Vertigo and I decided to make a trip to the famous "Blue Ghost Tunnel", or the "Great Western Rail Tunnel", as I like to call it. Running several hundred feet under the remains of the 3rd Welland Canal, the tunnel had a slight curve to it, meaning that at a certain point you were totally plunged into darkness, with nothing but the sound of dripping water and phantom bullfrogs to keep you company.
The hike to the tunnel was an enjoyable one, save when a cicada nearly flew into my face, startling me and causing me to waver on the edge of a twenty-foot drop into an old concrete riverbed. The sun was hot, the air was cool, and eagles soared overhead.
We walked along until we could see the old pumping station, a landmark on the maps and directions I had found through my research on the internet. An interesting feature here was the remains of a car, smashed to bits beneath the station. It was littered with broken glass and stones.
From here, we followed the directions down a rocky incline. At the bottom of the hill, we could see the dark mouth of the tunnel resting underneath the drooping bows of ash, poplar and maple trees. The tunnel entrance was easily ten to fifteen feet high, and Vertigo inspected the entrance while I relieved myself in the nearby bushes. Vertigo had only stepped in a few feet before scurrying back out into the sunlight.
In we went. The ground was hard-packed mud, broken up with the remains of the old rail bed. The ties were still in place, but the rails were long gone. This was a single line, with a drainage ditch running down the left hand side of the tunnel. In some places on the walls, you could still see the cable supports for the wires that once were strung along it's length.
The tunnel seemed surprisingly small, and I wondered how a train could possibly fit through it. Rumours were that two trains had collided in this tunnel at some point, and the spirits of those killed in the accident still haunted it. I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary as we ventured deeper into the tunnel.
Part way through, we came across supports that had been built into the tunnel ceiling. These were meant to support the weight of the overhead haulage road which had been built over the remains of the Welland Canal. Beer bottles littered the wood beams of the supports.
We travelled through the dark a little further, but were forced to stop. Water flooded the tunnel ahead, and we weren't wearing the right kind of footwear to venture further. We decided to turn back (secretly, both of us were relieved to do so).
On the way back to the entrance of the tunnel, I had my first paranormal experience.
We were close to exiting - possibly only thirty or so feet from sunlight. Vertigo was behind me by about 10 feet when I heard a voice as though someone was standing right behind my right shoulder. In a strong whisper, this male voice said "Edward". I turned to ask Vertigo if she had said something when I realized she was nowhere near me. Vertigo was not the type to pull this kind of stunt, so I got out of there at all speed. At the tunnel entrance, I turned, thanked whoever it was for letting us visit, and kindly asked them to stay there and maybe someday we'd return.
Finishing this, I turned to Vertigo and said "I guess you think that's kind of a stupid thing to do". She shook her head.
"No," she replied. "I heard voices whispering when we first got here, that's why I came back out and waited for you."