Blue Ghost Tunnel Schizophrenia
After the airing of the BGT segment on Creepy Canada, the tunnel became a tourist attraction with car loads of teens, families with small children and investigators as far away as Germany exploring the tunnel on a nightly basis. However, there are two people who shaped the BGT legend more than any others visiting the tunnel in the early days.
The first was a self-appointed “Ghosthunter” who frequented haunted locations across Niagara, but concentrated on Port Colborne and Fort Erie, Ontario. I met Mark “The Ghosthunter” at the tunnel one night where he was performing a “satanic ritual”. I've never witnessed a satanic ritual, but I got the impression that things weren't going the way they were supposed to when I saw a few dollar store candles and a few upside-down crucifixes, along with a man in his 50s sporting a scruffy, untrimmed beard and a flashlight chanting, or rather mumbling, magic words. After his ritual, nothing extraordinary happened.
Apparently, this “Ghosthunter” was opening a portal to hell, that he found under the 2 feet of water near the East-end of the tunnel. According to the “Ghosthunter” there was evil in the tunnel, and the only way to free the spirits was to open a portal and send the demons back. He didn't say if it worked out. The ritual ended without a flash, a bang, or acknowledgment. I kept my distance. Not from the presence of the portal, but from the sorcerer.
This same ghost hunter began telling his tales of evil inside the tunnel online on various message forums and spent days and nights at the tunnel trying to recruit members to his now defunct Yahoo! Group.
One person he did recruit was a Burlington, Ontario resident named Chad Irish. Chad's interest in the paranormal began when he attended a ghost walk conducted by Haunted Hamilton. Chad's interest in the paranormal grew and he soon suspected that Haunted Hamilton was simply a business, and not seriously interested in the paranormal. Feeling betrayed he looked to other sites on the Internet and befriended an investigating team called Hamilton Paranormal.
Here, he discovered The Blue Ghost Tunnel and quickly became obsessed with it. Driving daily from Burlington to Thorold, he would remain at the tunnel for hours, sometimes alone and other times with fellow investigators or people he befriended by chance at the tunnel.
At first, his discoveries were consistent with others visiting the tunnel: weird sounds, misty photos with orbs, etc. Each visit was the same as the last, so he began creating tales about the tunnel, the history and experiences.
Disillusioned with Haunted Hamilton, and the lack of investigating from Hamilton Paranormal, Chad began his own paranormal web site. He named it Haunted Tunnels and featured The BGT with updates regularly.
He said he befriended the original “discoverer” of the tunnel, Russ. However, Russ says he has no idea who Chad was, or is. Chad revealed that he explored the tunnel during the earlier days with Russ and again Russ' own accounts do not mention Chad whatsoever. Chad also suggested that Russ had burned his Ouija Board and ran away to Florida to hide from the ghosts of the tunnel, which apparently seduced and then raped him just before he made his escape to the holy-land of Tampa Bay.
Chad's focus was on the tunnel, but he needed to expand. Soon, he pretended to discover other tunnels around the BGT. He named one “The Devil's Tunnel” - and gave directions to a drainage tunnel near the BGT. He concocted a haunting and placed it on the Internet for the gullible to read:
“In 1978 a hooker by the name of Alice was doing her thing in the tunnel, screwing a GM worker, no doubt after a long shift. Well she didn’t get paid and then the guy sliced her neck open with a knife and stabbed her over 50 times! Both Alice and the dead guy haunt the tunnel. There is still a mattress in the tunnel that she used. Warning: don’t touch it.”
Next, he “discovered” caves near the Lakeview Cemetery. One was “The Creepy Cave” while another was christened “The Bat Cave”. The caves had once been accessible, but they had been filled in for safety reasons long before Chad knew of their existence. He kept their directions private on his web site because, well, the caves didn't really exist.
He also suggested that he found tunnels under the Welland Canal that are haunted as well. There are no other tunnels under the Welland Canal that were accessible, but Chad knew that in order to keep an audience he would need to keep adding haunted tunnels with ghost stories associated with them. These stories sometimes make their way into the fabric of the legend of The Blue Ghost Tunnel.
Growing in popularity, he needed to form a team. You've heard the expression before: There is no I in T-E-A-M. Well in Chad's world, there is. He had some lovely, well-endowed women on his team, along with a host of smart-looking men but none of them actually did exist. I am sure they did somewhere, as Chad lifted the images from the Internet and proceeded to make Team Member Profiles for each. Many fell ill or were away on business or vacationing each time he made a visit to the tunnel.
When members of NAGS questioned and exposed the none-existent haunted locations and fictitious Haunted Tunnel team members, Chad was furious and defaced the BGT in an attempt to anger the NAGS members.
Chad decided to change his online alias several times and was known as: Skully, GhostChad and Daddy-Long-Legs. This last one, he thought would be a hit with the ladies.
Chad's interest in the paranormal faded and he took down his web site in 2006. He has never made an attempt to visit the tunnel again.
Mark the Ghosthunter, however, is still lurking in the Niagara Region and is spreading more ridiculous lies. This time, he is concentrating on a historical cemetery in Thorold and visiting it with a crowbar (that glows!) in an attempt to banish the town of a vampire. I am not joking. I can't make this shit up.