Church St is the closest road to the West Portal

Status: Active Railway Tunnel; Extreme and Potential Lethal Danger


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By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/people/7327243@N05">Doug Kerr</a> from Albany, NY, United States - <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/10976827983/">Hoosac Tunnel - Massachusetts</a>, CC BY-SA 2.0Link

Warning: This is, by far, the most hazardous haunted location on the website. There are many potentially lethal accidents just waiting for the unprepared or unwary. We don’t want anyone’s last thought to be “gee I found this place on the Our Paranormal World website I thought it would be safe”.

Use extreme caution at all times! We want you to explore the world of the paranormal; not become part of it.

This is an active railroad and is 4.75 mile (7.64 km) tunnel. Entering this tunnel is foolhardy at best and lethal at worst.

Best map of the East Portal is here: https://hoosactunnel.net/maps/


Construction on this tunnel began in 1851 with a newly invented steam powered boring machine. It bored a perfect hole into the side of the mountain for about 10 feet before stopping and never working again; the failed tunnel it created can still be seen just to the right of the East Portal of the real tunnel. An attempt was then made to drill the tunnel with gunpowder and hand drills; this was given up because of the slow progress (only 60 feet per month). So, this tunnel became the first commercial one blasted with nitroglycerin.

Nitroglycerin is an incredibly unstable chemical that is apt to violently explode with even the slightest movement. While it did certainly allow the tunnel to be created, dozens of workers were killed handling the unstable compound. The tunnel is nearly 5 miles in length and is, at its greatest depth, 1,718 feet (almost 1/3 of a mile) under the western summit. A large central shaft was dug 1,028 feet down to the tunnel to allow the build up of coal exhaust to escape.

195 men lost their lives digging the tunnel.

The worst tragedy in the tunnel was on October 17, 1867 when a gasometer leaked and the fumes found a candle igniting an explosion. Several men killed by flying debris or from lack of oxygen. Thirteen men fell down the vertical exhaust shaft. They were presumed dead from the explosion but when they were found several months later it was revealed they were trying to built a raft when they died of suffocation.

The tunnel opened on October 13, 1875 as the second longest tunnel in the world; Mont Cenis in the Swiss Alps was the only one longer. Until 1916 it held the honor of being the longest tunnel in North America; it is still the longest transportation tunnel east of the Rockies.

The tunnel is still used by freight trains making traversing it extremely hazardous for the obvious reason (being hit by a train is always either immediately fatal or causes life threatening injuries) but also because the trains leave potentially fatal amounts of diesel exhaust behind them trapped in the tunnel. The only way to not get run over is to pin yourself to the wall of the tunnel and pray. Bricks also fall at random intervals from the tunnel ceiling. It takes approximately 6 hours to walk the tunnel. There are also live electrical wires everywhere, some of which are lying in pools of water. Any trip into the tunnel contains all the dangers of extreme spelunking combined with high-speed trains in an enclosed environment.

Should you decide to venture through there is no such thing as being too prepared. The following equipment has been described as mandatory – a hard hat, waterproof footwear and clothing (the tunnel is extremely wet in places), a small flashlight with lots of extra batteries, plenty of water and food – basically everything you would take on a day long hike as well as everything you would need to go into a cave.

Again, OPW cannot stress strongly enough that entering the tunnel is unsafe, illegal and - to be frank - really stupid. This is not a hold my beer and watch this situaition.


Paranormal Activity

This location is considered one of the most haunted places in New England. Considering the dangers inherent in even investigating this tunnel, let alone actually building it, this comes as no surprise.

Apparitions of former workers who can appear in any form from looking like any living human to misty forms to shadow figures. These apparitions appear both in the tunnel and in the surrounding area. Some of the apparitions have interacted with the living including speaking, touching and taking objects.

Phantom sounds of moans and screams are very common in the tunnel. Many disembodied voices are reported including having your name called out and, in some cases, warning of dangers such as an oncoming train.

Other activity: phantom footsteps, touches and pushes from invisible presences, light anomalies, general feelings of unease, of being followed and of being watched. Many investigators have been unable to penetrate more than 100 or so into the tunnel before having to leave due to the intensity of the haunting.