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Haunted Locations: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

"The Screaming Tunnel"


Welcome back to another Weird Wednesday where we explore everything from slightly odd to downright terrifying!

 

Today’s episode tells of an old Canadian urban legend and brings us to Niagara Falls, Ontario and into The Screaming Tunnel.

 

It is said that if you are brave enough to enter the tunnel at midnight and light a wooden match directly in the centre, it will extinguish on its own accompanied by the dying scream of a little girl.

 

The stone tunnel was originally built in the early 1900s as a passageway for farmers of the nearby village to truck their goods to the other side of the old railway line. The tunnel also aided in drainage for the area. Today, the only thing that remains of the village other than the tunnel are old, partial foundations, and the urban legends that accompany them.

 

The tunnel itself is an imposing structure and, during the night, it becomes a pitch-black avenue, where nightmares seemingly come alive. People travel from all over to visit the tunnel and light a match inside, hoping to hear the resonating scream of a girl who succumbed to a terrible fate.

 

The story I grew up hearing was that of a girl who caught fire in her farmhouse and ran as far as the tunnel before collapsing and burning to death inside. From further research I have uncovered that the most popular legend tells a totally different tale.

 

The locals in Niagara tell of a family whose father was a mean man. The mother made plans for her and her daughter to escape his abusive hold, only for him to find out and confront her. The legend says that while the father screamed at and attacked the mother, beating her unconscious, the little girl ran out the door and away from the house. The father followed his daughter, yelling into the night that if he couldn’t have her, no one could! The story concludes with the father catching up with his daughter in the middle of the tunnel where he doused her with gasoline and lit her on fire with a wooden match, burning her to death.

 

I found another alternate legend that tells of a young girl who was followed into the tunnel one night by an attacker, who then assaulted and killed her before burning her body to destroy the evidence of his crime.

 

The most compelling thing I discovered while looking into this legend was an account from a woman who lived in the old village by the tunnel. Upon discovering she was the last surviving villager, he hunted her down to interview her about how the tunnel got its name.

 

The woman told of a neighbour of hers who was unhappily married. The woman and man would constantly fight tirelessly into the night until the woman would become fed up and she would flee the house. Every night after a fight she would calmly walk down to the tunnel and once she reached the middle, she would unleash a scream at the top of her lungs, loud enough for the entire village to hear.

 

The woman recounting the story said she was sure her neighbour had wanted the entire village to know the depth of her emotional suffering, how insufferable her husband was. At first, the other villagers were scared and feared the scream, but eventually, because of its consistence occurrence, they grew used to it. It became so normalized; they began calling it The Screaming Tunnel.

 

Whether you believe one of the urban legends telling of a girl meeting an untimely demise, or the last surviving villager’s account of an emotionally tormented woman, or both, be weary if you ever chose to visit the tunnel at midnight. You (and your party) may not be alone.

 

As always, if you chose to go hunting remember the rules:

 

RESPECT THE OWNERS

RESPECT THE PROPERTY

RESPECT THE RESIDENTS

 

See you next week for another weird and spooky tale!

 


 

References:

 

 

 

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