The Visiting Ghost Theory
One theory suggests that the tunnel itself is not haunted at all, but instead is a gathering point for visiting spirits who are attracted to the steady stream of humans looking to contact the other side. Perhaps this theory has some merit because there is no doubt there is activity at the tunnel, yet there is no historical document or historical article that suggests that anyone had expired within or near the tunnel. In going by the hypothesis that a haunted location needs a death, the tunnel should be free of any ghosts. So why do people witness strange phenomenon at the tunnel and believe they have been in contact with a ghost or several ghosts? It is interesting to note that of the visitors who profess they have witnessed an actual apparition, or have a deep feeling inside, many identify a group of spirits, not just a single entity. Even first-time visitors who have never previously heard of the tunnel will sometimes come to similar conclusions―that the tunnel is haunted by any or all of the following:
- A large, dark man who often appears as a shadow dressed in period clothing from the late 1800s. The feeling is that this ghost is strong, powerful and angry. This energy usually appears at the entrance to the tunnel and is sometimes near the center.
- A young female child, aged 4 to 7, who is frightened.
- An older female child in the age range of 10 to 13, who is also frightened and who had succumbed to suffocation by some means. It appears this spirit is held against its will.
- An older female aged 18 to 25 who is protective of the children.
Of course there are the additional sightings involving several other spirits, but the most commonly encountered and documented by psychics and paranormal investigators are the ones listed above.
So who are these ghosts and where did they come from?
Are they the angry spirits of the Old Lakeview Cemetery? Were they residents in the long forgotten houses around the tunnel?
Is this theory correct―that the tunnel itself is not haunted, but rather the ghosts have been attracted to the spot because of the human energy there and the interest in speaking to the other side?
The Screaming Tunnel Theory
Another proposed theory is that The Blue Ghost Tunnel is in fact the original and legendary Screaming Tunnel in Niagara Falls. Some claim that the tunnel on Warner Road in Niagara Falls was mistakenly labeled as The Screaming Tunnel and that it was labeled as such only because of its ease of access.
The theory proclaims that the events that took place at the Screaming Tunnel in Niagara Falls actually took place at the Blue Ghost Tunnel, which is why paranormal researchers and visitors alike have experienced the sounds of screaming at the Blue Ghost Tunnel. They also reason that the Screaming Tunnel in Niagara Falls is not haunted at all and that is why many who visit it experience nothing out of the ordinary.
This theory, however, has not survived recent research into The Screaming Tunnel on Warner Road in Niagara Falls, conducted by both Kevin Valencourt and myself. With the new knowledge gathered, the theory that the Blue Ghost Tunnel is the real Screaming Tunnel has been proven untrue.
To protect the privacy of the family involved, this research will not be made public.
The Thoughtform Theory
A thoughtform is a physical manifestation of energy produced by the thoughts of an individual or a group. In Tibetan mysticism it is called a Tulpa.
A thoughtform or a Tulpa can be subdivided into three main categories:
- That which takes the image of the thinker.
- That which takes the image of some material object.
- That which takes a form entirely its own, expressing its inherent qualities in the matter which it draws round it.
The Blue Ghost Tunnel in its early days was simply a dark, dirty and damp tunnel that children had determined was haunted, not based on a murder, a death, a tragedy, or even an unexplained paranormal encounter, but simply because of its appearance. Like an old abandoned house, the children whispered stories of ghosts and of a haunting.
In the 1950s and into the 1960s the tunnel had very few visitors and certainly not all of the explorers were brave enough to enter the tunnel.
It wasn't until about 1970 that these explorers determined that the tunnel was haunted. But again, it was a rumor, and no evidence of such a haunting was ever published or determined to be of significance.
Many of the early explorers dismissed reports of paranormal experiences in the tunnel but were fascinated by its architecture and history.
Later visits, through the 1970s and 1980s, continued in a similar vein. Few considered the tunnel haunted and there were no attempts to gather evidence about a ghost or a haunting.
In the 1990s when those interested in the paranormal began exploring the tunnel, they believed that there could be something abnormal about it, but these individuals, including myself, felt that the tunnel did not provide much in the way of evidence.
Nick Blay and his friends, who heard audible screams at the tunnel and felt that it may be haunted, did not press further, because they did not witness substantial evidence of paranormal activity. It was simply a cool place to hang out―dark and mysterious, away from parents and the pressures of society.
Just as the children of previous generations had done, tunnel visitors in the 1990s began focusing their imaginations on the idea of a haunting.
And along came Russ.
Russ’ reports changed everything because, not only did he declare the tunnel to be haunted on his very first visit, he also maintained that poltergeist activity had occurred―demonic beings manifesting themselves, ghost dogs guarding the entrance―and the list goes on.
What Russ did was create a tangible thought. He took the idea that the tunnel was haunted and gave it character. His online journal created ghosts and gave them names. It gave back-stories, histories, emotion and feelings.
The paranormal explorers and thrill-seekers knew of Russ' ghosts and in the early explorations of the tunnel, many came calling on September, the “little girl” and other ghosts that Russ had described. They were sharing his story, wholeheartedly believing in the paranormal and that what Russ had encountered was truth.
The droves of visitors to the tunnel, on some nights numbering in the hundreds, all came to see one thing—the haunting.
A collective thought, and a genuine interest in manifesting the thought, became reality.
Visitors claimed to see, hear, smell, feel, touch, speak to and be spoken to by a variety of entities. Photographic, video, audio and even physical evidence of a haunting began to make its way into the fabric of the legend.
Reputable investigators began experiencing this same phenomenon and many continue to investigate the tunnels haunting.
The Thoughtform Theory suggests that the many individuals seeking to find and experience a haunting have actually created the haunting through a collective consciousness.
Before you dismiss this theory as some ancient Ooga-Booga mind fuck or some new age mysticism, consider what The Toronto Society of Psychical Research manifested in an experiment in which their goal was to create a ghost from scratch and only from their imagination.
Their first step was to create a personality. They would take great pains to make this fictional, nonexistent person seem real.
“It was essential to our purpose that Philip be a totally fictitious character. Not merely a figment of the imagination but clearly and obviously so, with a biography full of historical errors,” said team leader Dr. Owen. “Our ghost would never have existed.”
The ghost they manifested through creative thought was Philip Aylesford, a person “living” during the 1600s at the time of Oliver Cromwell. The Toronto group made Philip a Catholic who was loyal to the king. He was married to a very cold woman named Dorothea who would not bear him children. The two lived at his family home of Diddington Manor. Although there really was a Diddington Manor in England, no such person as Philip Aylesford ever lived there.
The group created a particular incident that figured into Philip’s character as a ghost. One day, while he rode his horse near the boundaries of the estate, he happened upon a gypsy encampment. There he met Margo, a beautiful, dark haired girl with whom he fell madly in love. He moved Margo to the gatehouse and kept their love a secret from his wife. Eventually, however, Dorothea found out and accused Margo of witchcraft. Fearing he’d lose both his reputation and possessions, Philip said nothing and let Margo be burned at the stake. Philip’s subsequent remorse sent him into deep depression. He took to pacing the battlements of Diddington Manor at night. One morning, Philip’s body was discovered at the base of the battlements an apparent suicide. He was 30 years old.
With Philip and his history now established, even down to a drawing made by one of the group members, they began memorizing information about this non-existent character, creating more details, and learning about the historical period in which he “lived”.
They sought to create a collective hallucination of Philip by describing his appearance, food preferences, and especially his feelings toward Dorothea and Margo, until they had created a complete mental picture of him to which they could all subscribe.
In September 1972, the group attempted to contact Philip using techniques similar to a traditional séance, save for the theatrics and magic tricks.
The first meeting went on for several hours with no materialization of Philip. Each week the group conducted the same type of meeting, all concentrating on contacting Philip and each week over the course of several months nothing, absolutely nothing, occurred. The group was ready to give up the experiment but decided to try a new strategy. They began the experiment as before, but the atmosphere and approach was more casual and relaxed. Individuals were allowed to meditate and concentrate on Philip without having to force their thoughts.
With this new technique the group began experiencing success. The first phenomenon they observed was that the table around which they were sitting started vibrating. The vibration could not be explained, and even though the group sat away from the table, it continued vibrating. No logical explanation could account for the activity. Over the next few meetings, the table began to make physical noises. A knock was heard, and repeated.
Thinking they themselves were inadvertently causing the raps, they investigated. But when the table started to move around the floor in an irregular, apparently aimless manner, they started questioning one another. Finally, a member asked, “I wonder whether Philip is doing this?”
At that point a loud knock was heard from the table. Before long, they had worked out a communication system in which “yes” was one knock and “no” was two knocks.
With this taxonomy in place, they began to conduct a series of conversations with Philip. They joked with him, teased him – even flirted with him. They learned his likes and dislikes, and found he had strong views on various subjects. When Philip was asked if Dorothea, his wife, didn’t want children, the members heard scratching sounds coming from the walls. One member asked if the question was too personal and one loud rap was heard responding with a yes.
It was noticed by all present that the raps and movements of the table seemed to be very closely related, if not actually activated, by the knowledge, thoughts, will, moods and power of concentration of each member of the group.
“If the entire team were in agreement about the answer to a question, the responses would come very quickly, but if one or more people were uncertain about the answer, then Philip’s responses would be hesitant, taking some time to reply,” says Dr. Owen.
As the group became more comfortable in their encounters with Philip, they began to treat him as just another member of the group. They learned his personality as if he was a good friend. And Philip would play tricks on them. At times, he would move the table around the room, even rushing up to those arriving late as if to greet them and say “Hi”. Other times, the table would trap certain individuals in corners.
During one especially active night, one of the members jokingly admonished Philip by telling him that he could be sent away and replaced. After that, Philip’s activity began to decrease until it stopped altogether and the experiment was terminated.
“We clearly understand and have proved that there is no ‘spirit’ behind the communications; the messages are from the group subconscious, but it is the physical force we need to know more about,” says Dr. Owen.
The success of The Toronto Society of Psychical Research encouraged other groups to attempt similar experiments. Another Toronto group created ‘Lilith’, a French-Canadian spy during World War II, and a group of French students from Quebec created ‘Sebastian’, a medieval alchemist, and ‘Axel’, a man from the future.
The ultimate goal of these experiments was to manifest an apparition, however none of the experiments was able to produce such evidence.
They did, however, prove that perhaps British psychologist Kenneth J. Batcheldor was correct when he said, “...the atmosphere of belief and expectation that permeates a séance in effect creates the phenomena that spiritualists attribute to spirits.”
The experiments had proven a connection between the mind and psychokinetic activities during séances, but could this connection be made at a purportedly haunted location, such as The Blue Ghost Tunnel?
Could our collective subconscious be responsible for the paranormal activity at the tunnel?