(Merritton Tunnel)

Only Accessible from a Path off of Welland Canal Service Road near where it meets the Seaway Haulage Road, thorold, on

Status: Former Railway Tunnel; Abandoned; Urban Legend


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Merritton Tunnel.jpg

By <a href="" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:User:Bluehuffy">Bluehuffy</a> at <a href="" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:">English Wikipedia</a> - Transferred from <span class="plainlinks"><a class="external text" href="">en.wikipedia</a></span> to Commons by <a href="//" title="User:Liftarn">Liftarn</a> using <a href="" class="extiw" title="toollabs:commonshelper/">CommonsHelper</a>., GFDLLink

Merriton Tunnel After Sealing.jpg

By <a href="" class="extiw" title="en:User:Necronaut">Necronaut</a> (<a href="" class="extiw" title="en:User talk:Necronaut">talk</a>) - <span class="int-own-work" lang="en">Own work</span> (<span lang="en" dir="ltr">Original text: I created this work entirely by myself.</span>), Public Domain, Link


This tunnel was completed in 1876 to allow trains to pass underneath the third Welland Canal. The Canal allowed ships to pass from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario – and vice versa – while avoiding the impossible to navigate Niagara River and Falls.

Over 100 men were killed constructing the tunnels and the canals in the surrounding area.

In 1887 it was converted to only be used occasionally and in 1915 it was closed down completely and the rail line abandoned. The tunnel was closed after a new double line bridge was built over the canal. It was only used for about 40 years and has been abandoned for over a century now.

On January 3, 1903 two trains collided in the tunnel. Engine Number 4 was on it’s way to Merritton and Engine Number 975 was bound from Niagara Falls to Hamilton. Both trains were traveling at maximum speed of 22 miles an hour and hit each other head on.

Both engineers escaped with broken limbs, cuts and bruises but both firemen on the train died. Charles Horning on Engine Number 4 was enveloped inside the boiler from the force of the collusion. His midsection was so wrapped in metal they could not pull it out of the wreckage – needless to say he died instantly. Abraham Desult from Engine Number 975 had burns to 90% of body from the boiler exploding – he would die 5 hours later in the hospital.

Now that Google has the tunnel marked out on everyone’s smart phone its fairly easy to find. I remember at least 4 trips following poor directions on a website before we finally found the tunnel. Although, we had walked over it repeatedly without even knowing.

It sits on property that belongs to the Welland Canal so there are certain places around it where security will ask you to leave – for your own safety of course. The roads around the tunnel are accessible by car but they are maintenance roads and usually the gates are locked. Even if the gates were to be open, they can be locked at any time resulting in your car being trapped.

The morale – be prepared for a decent walk to see this tunnel.


Paranormal Activity

In addition to the train crash and construction deaths there are other unverified stories of other deaths. A teenager crushed by a large rock and a woman killed by a train on the platform in the tunnel are the two I recall.

The tunnel is over 500 feet long and ends in an impassable semi-swamp of slit, mud and water,

This location has been fully investigated over multiple trips by members of our team. During that time, we experienced all of the reported activity – and more – so I’m just listing our team experiences below rather than the normal reported activity.

Team Paranormal Experiences

An unearthly chill in the tunnel. Skeptics point out it is a tunnel, so of course its cold, which is true; this cold (even on the hottest days) is far beyond any tunnel or cave we’ve ever entered.

Your breath will mist in the tunnel due to the cold and the humidity that is trapped in it. This mist could fool you into believing you’ve encountered something paranormal when you haven’t.

That being said, the Blue Ghost herself – and she does gives off a very feminine energy – does appear as a mist most often; but – as the tunnel’s name suggests – she has a bluish tinge. She cannot be mistaken for your misty breath.

Your voice and footsteps will echo in the tunnel making it hard to identify paranormal sounds. I would suggest talking low – not whispering as that’s actually quite loud and will echo - and walking slowly. There are phantom sounds in the tunnel including: a train whistle, sounds of a massive collision, screams, voices and whispers and footsteps.

On multiple occasions we have witnessed the full body apparition of a woman at the swampy end of the tunnel. She only appears after dark and stands where no living woman could without sinking into the mud and water. She seems aware of the living – for example she will meet your stare – but we were never able to communicate with her despite multiple attempts using multiple methods.

It is unclear whether she is the Blue Ghost in another form.