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The Blue Ghost Tunnel (Tunnel Located In Thorold, Ontario) .. An Expose...

By Sue Demeter- St, Clair

For years we have been questioned on The Blue Ghost Tunnel, and for years we have remained silent...observing...

We are now ready to reveal why....

In 1999 a fellow by the name of Russ showed up on The Toronto Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society's old message forums. Russ seemed bright, inquisitive, and with an enthusiasm for the topic of ghosts. I personally shared some correspondence with him.

After a few months of occasionally posting to our board Russ informed us that he was very interested in exploring some reportedly haunted locations in the Niagara area, specifically "The Screaming Tunnel." He was given directions on how to find it, but either the directions were faulty or he simply got lost, we do not know. Either way when he told us of his investigation we knew he had gone to the wrong place. At first Russ insisted that he was at The Screaming Tunnel ... but upon realizing he had in fact found another one, dubbed this new location "The Blue Ghost Tunnel." It was Russ who coined that name.

Initially Russ did not claim to have any ghostly encounters at the BGT aside from numerous photos he took that contained "orbs."  Even way back in those days we doubted that "orbs" or "mists" were much more than something natural (rather than supernatural) in true origin, (not to mention it was snowing in several of Russ' shots) so felt no need for further investigation (by ourselves) based on his evidence on hand, in our opinion.

Russ began visiting the BGT regularly and cataloguing through an online journal of sorts his experiences while there. I am going to admit that we were genuinely sceptical of these reports from the very beginning. We found it highly coincidental and almost convenient that he mistakenly stumbled across a new tunnel that just also happened to be haunted!

Through his journal (which I personally began reading faithfully) we learned of Russ' experiments with the Ouija board, and his communications with a "spirit" named "September." The experiences he wrote of became far more darker and sinister as time went by and at one point I wondered if he was a terrific goth/horror writer and that all of this was just an art project.

And then, real or imagined, we believe that the last experience at the BGT really distressed Russ as it involved a dark sexual encounter with the Ouija board he had been using. Shortly thereafter Russ (with many warnings and claiming to have gotten rid of the board) deleted his own website with the vague possibility that a book might be forthcoming in the future that, as of this date, has yet to materialise. That was years ago.......

We were not alone in following the investigations of Russ and friends, others began visiting the Blue Ghost Tunnel. These other "investigators" also took many "orb" photos, and began expanding upon what Russ had already written.

We felt that through Russ' online journal (unfortunately no longer available) and what others began claiming, that what we were witnessing was the birth of an urban legend .... and we decided to quietly observe and see just how far this would go.....

Urban legends are numerous, but how many can actually be traced to their original source? Very few. Therefore we were determined not to interfere with it's development and stayed quietly out of any online discussion or debate. We would only share our thoughts on the BGT with close colleagues.

As several websites grew around the concept of the Blue Ghost Tunnel being haunted it's original root became lost. New spins were put on the place such as it's name being related to blue ghost dogs (this one a slight modification of Hopkins Tomb, a local legendary haunted spot not too far from the tunnel). And all manner of other such wild stories were reported, accompanied by many "orb and "mist" photos touted as proof of it's paranormality. There were also people now claiming they personally knew of The BGT decades before Russ found it and coined the name!

There is not one single documented report of a haunting at the Blue Ghost Tunnel published in any format whatsoever (including online) that's publishing predates Russ' discovery of this place while on his way to The Screaming Tunnel. No books, not newspapers, no mention of it until Russ found it by accident looking for the more infamous screaming tunnel.

Very shaky histories were also being supplied online as a means to bolster it's ghostly reputation. One we came across was highly accurate, listed legitimate sources, and refuted much of the nonsense being bandied about. This poor historian (who did an excellent job) was apparently fired from his group for his efforts!

And the stories continued to unfold ... and the Blue Ghost Tunnel became a Mecca for would-be ghost hunters and thrill seekers. Amongst those also came the inevitable under-age party-goers, drinkers, and vandals.

Another situation that added to the mythos of the tunnel was when it was featured on a television series named Creepy Canada. The episode in question had Daniel and Stephanie Cumerlato from Haunted Hamilton discussing the site on camera

After it aired, Stephanie and Daniel put a notice on their message board that the video time stamping had been altered in post production without their knowledge. The change had been made to make their shoot appear that it had happened far later in the evening then they had actually filmed the segment.

The show branded the BGT as "700 ft of Hell on Earth" ... quite a claim!

This does not come as a surprise to us as we had personal experience with this show's production team where they had "enhanced" reports in order to make them sexier for television entertainment.

While the Creepy Canada episode did not give out specific instructions on how to find the BGT there were already many online websites that provided that information or included maps. More people found their way out there, and while a handful appeared to be honestly interested in serious possible investigation of the site, many, many others seemed to only be searching for thrills.

Eventually and probably inevitably the St Lawrence Seaway Authority made the decision to seal-off access to The Blue Ghost Tunnel. However, we are certain that this will only add to the mythos and legends surrounding this place for generations yet to come.

Skeptics Canada sent a team of investigators during it's height of infamy. And while they were easily able to provide and demonstrate natural explanations for the many "orbs" and "mist" photos, found very little else to recommend the place, beyond it being a tunnel and therefore lending itself well to imaginations run amuck.

With all the earmarks of an urban legend and it's growing in popularity one may be able to speculate that like other such myths we will eventually see a Red Ghost Tunnel in Texas, or a Green Ghost Tunnel in Saskatchewan. The sky is really the limit on these sort of tales.

So, dear reader, you now have a much better idea of how like "the broken telephone game" The Blue Ghost Tunnel mythos has evolved. The question then should be asked, if this is an urban legend is there any possibility it actually is or ever was haunted?

My own hypothesis about such places is similar to those of Japanese and Tibetan ghost folklore. When you have enough people who continuously visit an atmospheric location with high expectations of experiencing a ghost a psychic imprint from these same people is left behind. Those who are sensitive to these imprints will then pick up on them. If we refer back to Japanese and more specifically Tibetan beliefs it is possible that an entity is born from these emotions and feelings. In this case by sheer accident. For those unfamiliar with what I am talking about, please look up Tulpa. This concept is similar to the experiments run by the TSPR in Toronto during the 1970's in which a "ghost" was manufactured through meditation. The most well-known and successful being the Philip Experiments.

The above of course is highly speculative, but does fit with all of the facts stated in the body of this article, and providing you believe that even a handful of the numerous reports are credible. Perhaps those many years ago Russ actually did conjure something up with his Ouija board?

I will leave it to the reader to decide.

Further Resources:

Haunted Hamilton

Skeptics Canada

Russ' Blue Ghost Tunnel website (no longer online)

Our data will be provided to the folklore department of our local University and to other scholars who are interested in the development and evolution of folklore and urban legend.

It will be highly interesting to revisit The Blue Ghost Tunnel in approx. 10 years and document the stories from a second generation of enthusiasts.

Addendum: After publication of the above report, we received confirmation that this location was well known to area teens as a hangout with a ghostly reputation as early as the 1980's... although we still have yet to find published or archived broadcasted provenance of this prior to Russ' efforts.  This said, we do thank to those who contacted us.