The legend of this old train tunnel has been a right-of-passage for Niagara youth for over a century. Those who brave the dark tunnel at night and hold up one lit wooden match will instantly become immortal among their friends.
This is an imposing dark structure, and at night it transforms into a black portal that would create anxiety on any who disappear into the darkness, but why such fear, and why a wooden match?
The Legend of the Screaming Tunnel
There used to be a few houses located on the opposite side of the tunnel, a small village now lost to time, and in one house lived a distraught couple and their daughter.
The couple was distraught because of a terrible divorce. The wife finding the strength to leave her abusive drunk of a husband and on this night she would finally tell him the daughter was leaving with her.
This sent the husband into a rage. It was his daughter, not from the view of a loving father, but more of a possession to reflect his perceived goodness. If he couldn’t have the little girl, then there would be no way the wife would either.
He would pry the daughter from his wife’s arms, knocking the scared woman down hard. The little girl ran from the house to hide in the tunnel. Crouched down in the darkness she would hear her father’s footsteps approach, until just the sound of his breathing was beside her in the pitch black, and another sound the little girl didn’t recognize until the cold liquid was spilled on her, and finally the strike of a match lit a face clenched in anger.
The little girl would be burned alive inside the tunnel, screaming the life out of her, and it’s those screams that remain a reminder of such violence.
And they say if you walk to the middle of The Screaming Tunnel at night and light a wooden match; the spirit of this little girl will be frightened to the point of reaching out beyond death, screaming, and causing a gust of wind to blow through and extinguish the match.
Haunted Hamilton has visited The Screaming Tunnel many times, for prior events, bus trips and many, many personal trips during the day and night. We’ve put the legend to the test, and on one occasion heard a high-pitched noise and had the match blow out.
Unfortunately this was caused by a passing train overtop of the tunnel.
The story of The Screaming Tunnel remains as one of the most disturbing historic legends in the entire country, something to be respected even when other historical evidence is presented…
The Real History of the Screaming Tunnel?
The following story was provided to Haunted Hamilton many years ago by a local historian who had talked with a woman that claimed to be the only living person to once call the tunnel’s village home.
She talked about a small group of houses gathered in a confined area. A woman who lived in one of the houses was not liked by her neighbours, and known for being a bit deranged.
After a fight with her husband, which happened often, the woman would calmly walk out of her house and into the tunnel, walk to the middle and let out the loudest scream her lungs would allow. She wanted the entire region to feel her anger and pain, and to know how impossible her husband was.
After a while these residents started calling the passageway “Screaming Tunnel” in honor of this woman.
Whether the truth lies in the story of the frustrated wife, or the horrific tale of a little girl’s death, this location remains a unique and dark visit for any history loving local or tourist.
Ghost Guide James on Haunted Bus Trip...
Google Map to The Screaming Tunnel...
* All photos by Daniel Cumerlato