The Blue Ghost Tunnel: Making of a Legend Creating an Urban Legend

Creating an Urban Legend

So is the Blue Ghost Tunnel really haunted? What makes a house, a bridge, a tunnel, haunted?

At first, I wrote a lengthy passage here, explaining the conditions under which a place can be designated as “haunted”, but according to Matthew James Didier, co-founder and Director of, the answer is very simple.

“Just what is a 'haunted site'? What is the qualification for that title? How does one 'quantify' haunted or not haunted?” says Matthew James Didier. “There is a simple answer... and some people won't like it... but it's true.”

“What makes a site haunted is if people say it's haunted. One person says so... then another person experiences something, so they say so... and by the time you have three or more unrelated people saying so, the bargain is struck.”

So who said the Blue Ghost Tunnel was haunted in the first place? According to Thorold residents, the chatter started amongst children and their parents who often ventured into the area to use it as their playground. One can imagine being eight or ten years old, happening upon a dark, damp tunnel and hearing strange noises coming from within.

Children often perceive a dilapidated house, or a darken cemetery, as haunted—and the tunnel must have been intensely foreboding and terrifying when underbrush hid its entrance. Some brave enough to explore the tunnel did so in the early days and did not encounter any paranormal activity.

Others, after hearing the tales from other children and their parents, began to experience odd activity at the tunnel.

Some exaggerated their stories to make them more interesting while others forged additional Urban Legends into the tunnel walls. Despite the stories, the tunnel, seemingly uninteresting to most Niagara residents, existed for the most part without many visitors.

In the late 90s, as interest was on the rise in the paranormal, teens in the area began chattering about a haunted tunnel they frequented. Many believed this was simply the efforts of teenagers developing a good campfire story late at night. As the online presence of paranormal enthusiasts began to grow, the chatter about the tunnel reached the Internet. One teen wrote on a message forum:

Everyone in the niagara area knows about the screaming tunnel, which lyes between NOTL and St.Catharines... the place is freaky and yeah itz a weird place... and oh yeah theres a syco down the street who may shoot @ yah but thers another place that we have come to call the screaming tunnel
and my friends and i beleve that this may be the real one. Anyone who knows Thorold and St.Catharines will know where GM is on Glendale Ave. across the Canal well go up glendale past GM and u'll see a sign that says GATE 12, it'll be on yer left, turn and u'll be behind GM by the loading docks, in front of u is a yellow barrier-gate. go into the gate and go straight, theres a dirt mound go over the mound and continue straight. the road will curev to the rite, follow it, and u will see a decline it'z all rock ther, follow that down and once at the bottow in front of you a bit will be the TUNNEL. go into it, once in ther it gets really really dark, dark enuff that one flash lite wont work... the ceiling is collapsed part way in.. but u can still mange to get thru if u dare. that place is freaky by itself... but heres the story behind it on top of the tunnel used to be a grave yard, now all bodies were supposed to be removed, but apparently the childrens graves were left, or some were left behind... now where the road turns to go to the tunnel there is a traight path... the bridge that is ther is collapsed but u can still get across... across this bridge is a long path that will eventually lead you to the new cemetery... sum frends of mine have seen stuff here... at one point when 2 of my frends were in ther it was pitch black, then when they turned around all of these candles were lit so they took off the cemetery is tied in w/ the tunnel the place is freaky enuff on its own but if u can find it go out ther dress warm for the tunnel is very cold 
tell me what if any experiences u have w/ this place and venture to the cemetery if u can get across the bridge.”

The young writer had been visiting the tunnel with others for over a year and was correct about the relocation of the Old German Cemetery. His facts were not completely accurate, but how did he know about the cemetery and the removal of bodies?

According to locals, the cemetery now known as the Lakeview Cemetery is haunted. These teens apparently heard the rumors and stories about the removal of the old cemetery to make room for the canal but were mistaken in their belief that the cemetery was on top or near the tunnel. In fact, the cemetery was some distance from the actual tunnel, but the teens made the connection that the desecration of the cemetery was the source of the unusual paranormal activity at the tunnel itself, and this assertion formed the main story of the tunnel for some time. This narrative was gradually replaced when others learned about the train accident near the tunnel, the drownings and the accidents that happened while the canals were being built.

After this posting others ventured into the tunnel and experienced paranormal activity that was similar to the stories they had heard. Russ, the teen who changed the name of the tunnel from The Screaming Tunnel to the Blue Ghost Tunnel, proceeded to enthrall an entire audience of paranormal enthusiasts and thrill seekers. His escapades at that tunnel, and his personal experiences, attracted other paranormal researchers and groups to investigate. Once exposed to a national and then an international TV audience, the Blue Ghost Tunnel became the hotspot in Canada and for that matter, North America.

It is still visited today as a popular haunted destination, even after the Seaway Authority and General Motors fenced the location and began monitoring the area with security cameras.

Some people experience absolutely nothing noteworthy at the tunnel, but a good number who have read or heard about the tunnel, or have seen the Creepy Canada Episode on TV, experience what they consider to be paranormal activity.

So are these people simply feeding into their own imagination? Myself included? Are we simply wanting to believe and therefore characterizing any natural phenomenon as paranormal? Or is there something more to this tunnel?


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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.