Haunted Niagara: Screaming Tunnel
Have you endured the horror that lurks within the walls of Nightmares Fear Factory? It’s one of the most haunted places in Niagara Falls. With every passing year its keeper, the malevolent spirit of Abraham Mortimer (and I am so pleased to meet you) grows more vengeful, more fierce, more eager for victims.
The journey through the Nightmares Fear Factory to face me and my factory of terror is fraught with thrill, but tantalising for the lure of the fear that is my rather ethereal hallmark. After all, ghosts are only entitled to quite particular types of fun.
Luckily, it's an interactive type of fun, and you're all invited.
My own haunted tunnels aren't the sole site for horror, though. Would you believe that even more haunted areas exist in Niagara Falls?
The Screaming Tunnel is the result of a devastating tragedy over a century ago. It is the story of the echoing death of a young girl trapped within a raging fire.
There, she will scream her rage at the misfortune of her demise.
Screaming Tunnel: The Urban Legend of a Screaming Girl
There exists many variations of the legend, yet none of those iterations is widely held. Rather, they swirl around one another and sometimes contradict, sometimes magnify the specific details of the case. They are the wistful attempts to explain the unexplainable by humans; mortal, and ill-equipped even to the attempt.
One account of this local lore recounts a young girl who escaped a burning barn near the tunnel. Her clothing ablaze, she sought the water which ran through what would someday become the Screaming Tunnel. She managed to reach the tunnel, but it was too late. She lay in cold water, suffering from an array of severe burns, and died there.
Another tells of an enraged and jealous father who dragged his daughter down to the tunnel and set her on fire over a lost custody battle.
And some say she was attacked by an old drunkard who did terrible things to her. He killed her, and then set her body ablaze to destroy any evidence of the assault.
Although each story is different, the outcome is always the same: she screams all the way down the black, swallowing tunnels that lead to death.
Yet, not even that could silence her.
So awful was the method of her demise, so brutal the conditions of her end that the Screaming Tunnel hosts her remnant to this day. An eternal ampitheatre for her unending screams.
It is said that if one stands in the middle of the tunnel at night and strike a wooden match, the spirit of the girl will become so frightened she’ll penetrate the void between our world and the world of the dead with her screams.
A gust of wind will then blow through the tunnel and extinguish the flame. This is what draws droves of thrill-seekers to the Screaming Tunnel every year.
The Truth Behind One of the Most Haunted Places in Niagara?
Local historians tell a different tale. There was once a small group of houses which surrounded the tunnel. It was a very isolated community, and all the neighbors within grew to know each other very well; they even knew each other’s secrets.
There was one particularly odd couple who fought fiercely almost every night. The woman was disliked by the neighbors, and was known to be a little unhinged.
After each fight, she would walk from her little house out into the darkness of the tunnel. Through the veil of black, she moved blindly to where she perceived the middle-point of the tunnel was and screamed at the top of her lungs.
Legend says she wanted all to hear her and feel her pain. As a ghost, and should this version of the tale turn out to be true, I am rather envious of the suspiciously occult power of her lungs. Perhaps she will allow my Nightmares Fear Factory to borrow them, on occasion.
In any case. If fear holds your interest, if terror is your attraction, if you find yourself drawn to the haunted and the strange and into dark, terrifying tunnels, The Screaming Tunnel is a wise—or unwise, as the case may be—choice.
It is, however, not the only haunted tunnel in Niagara. The Blue Ghost Tunnel is another such location, the eternal result of a terrible tragedy long ago.
Screaming Tunnel in Pop Culture
The Screaming Tunnel was used as a backdrop location in David Cronenberg’s 1983 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone.
An independent film to be released in 2015 entitled Limestone Burning is a “Blair Witch Project”-style film in which five friends travel to the northwest corner of Niagara Falls to document their search for a local urban legend.
For more haunted Niagara stories check out our blog on Sobbing Sofia.
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