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In late 1800ís it was purposed to construct a tunnel through the mountains in western Massachusetts .  These mountains were considered an obstacle for commerce between Boston and the Berkshires. Troy and Greenfield Railroad Company began work on both the East and the West ends of the tunnel in 1851. Development moved at a rate of 60 feet a month. In order to expedite the progress, nitroglycerine was used in the blasting of the tunnel. Due to the very powerful and unstable nature of nitro, and that this was the first commercial use of it; many lives were lost in the process. So many deaths were involved over the years of its construction, the crew refereed to it as the ĎBloody Pití. Many of the worker felt that the tunnel was cursed and refused to enter the tunnel. Some of the crew simply walked off the job and never returned.

After 24 years and $21,241,842 dollars the tunnel was complete. When both side met, the alignment was off by only one half of an inch. The completed length of the tunnel was 4.82 miles long.

Since the tunnels completion there have been many who claim to have seen apparition or heard spirits in and around the tunnel. In the 130 since its completion many strange things have taken place in the Bloody Pit. Whispering voices, ghostly figures and vanishing hikers are a few examples of the terrifying experiences associated with the tunnel.

There are those curious hikers who are draw to the Bloody Pit. Well aware of the horrors that may lie ahead; they plunge into the five miles of darkness, deep beneath the earths crust. The story you are about to read is the journal of one of Strange New Englandís readers who decided to brave the Bloody Pit.  

 

The Hoosac Tunnel

How we manage to get ourselves into these situations is beyond rational thinking.  If we thought any of our missions out completely I am certain that we would decide we were being, well, stupid. On a warm June morning this past summer, we packed up our SUVís and headed up to the Berkshires. After following our directions, we park as discreetly as possibly and hitched up our packs. Dressed in our mismatched dark clothing, we headed to the tracks. The East entrance is beautiful and foreboding all at the same time. It was creepy watching the mist bellow from the black hole. This was only a hint as to how cold it was inside. After a few nervous laughs we made our first few steps.

The darkness literally devours us with an intense sense of claustrophobia. The tunnel was designed to curve slightly, so you can never see both ends at the same time. It truly made us feel as if we were walking into the bowels of the earth. The further in you walk the end that you can see gets smaller and smaller. Looking around you can see the architectural curves and the way that the rocks were painstakingly carved out. Over the years, shifting and settling has set cracks in the walls and sent bricks and rocks cascading to the ground. In retrospect, we should have worn helmets. The fractures in the walls are pouring water down and you eventually become covered in a greasy liquid that I donít dare call water. There are numbers painted on the sidewalls and I think they saved my sanity because you honestly feel like a hamster on a wheel after a while. You can comprehend the distance of the entire tunnel. Its five miles long and doable, but when you are in complete darkness, you feel like you are making no progress whatsoever. Like an old Tom and Jerry cartoon. The cat chases the mouse and you keep seeing the same scenery flying by. The same lamp, table, chair, over and over again except in the Hoosac,  itís the same rock, groove and electrical box.

We stop at a phone box to get some readings and take a breather and I was forced to realize how cold it really is. Itís probably about 80 outside but you could see your breath inside, this seemed bizarre. We had a temperature reading of 54. By now we have been in for about 30 minutes and I can guarantee that after that amount of time, anyoneís mind will start to play games with them. I was convinced that I could hear and see things. A shadow beside you in the recesses of the cave. A moaning and thumping that can only be described as a brutal bludgeoning. I had drips of sweat forming all over my body from sheer adrenalin.

The end of the tunnel that we came in is only a pinprick of light now. My eyes were strained from trying to focus in the gloom. The hefty Maglight I was excited about in the beginning was starting to give my hand cramps. Not that it was doing much good anyway because it barely penetrates the space.  At that point, my heart was  pumping at pace of a cardio workout . We were walking two abreast on the tacks in an almost military formation. We agreed that this was the safest way. Safety in numbers. I really think it was because none of us wanted to walk first or last alone. Itís difficult to walk on the side of the tracks because the sand and falling rocks have littered the little area that is available.

It was getting really unsettling but no one was will to admit it. I would compare it to knowing something was going to happen but not when, where or how. I know at this point that if something were to happen or come along, we would not have been able to out run it or escape it. My original thoughts were that it was good that we were going to investigate a tunnel because we would be able to catch any ghosts that were in there with us. My opinion changed quickly when I realized that this theory could also work in reverse. Anything in there could also catch us. You can literally feel the oppressiveness of the cave. There is a sadness and anguish to it. Its like the rocks are talking to you but you canít understand it. But you have to hear it and feel it, its everywhere. You donít have to be sensitive to know that horrific things surround the tunnel.

We decided that we would turn off our flash lights and go into total darkness and silence. I was holding my cousins hand not for guidance, but because of total fear. I didn't think I can ever truly write to describe how wretched I begin to feel. Its as though the darkness starts to feed on your insecurities and negativity. Though bickering between the family members began to grow, we decide to go a little farther to try to find the center shaft. This was where we thought we will be able to document the most ghostly activity. In total darkness and silence, my cousin and I took the lead, followed by my mother, my aunt and my poor, unsuspecting boyfriend.

I was starting to feel insanely nauseous. I was honestly concerned that I was going to throw up on the tracks when something literally screamed at me to stop. I donít know if I was the only one who heard it but we were a good distance apart and everyone stopped simultaneously. I looked ahead and dropped my jaw in shock. The grip on my cousinís hand became kung fu style and I could feel my entire body quivering. I wanted to scream, but my throat was so dry I could barely swallow. What I saw in front of me is nearly impossible to describe. Everything was a foggy blue. It was just there, inside the tunnel, underneath tons and tons of Berkshire rock and mountain. There was no chance for reflection from the other side because we could not see it yet and the East side entrance was barely visible.

Its mass took up the whole of the tunnel in front of me, like a wall. It was thick and thin, jagged and smooth all at the same time. It was definitely moving towards us though. It was absolutely silent in the tunnel but there was a sound so loud that I wanted to cover my ears. I know understood what it was like to be paralyzed with fear. I remember my cousin and I finally stepping backwards without taking our eyes off of what ever was coming towards us. Suddenly we realized that we had to leave now! I started to tell my family to get out but they were already moving. You ever have those moments before something awful happens where itís very quiet and you have those matter of fact thoughts? Mine was gibberish. Like I had lost all capability to think sensibly.

I donít recall turning my back to the Blue but the next thing I knew we were power walking our way out and didnít say a single word to say to each other. You couldn't run in the tunnel because the planks on the track are inconsistently laid and there were sometimes deep holes in-between them. You are only able to walk, and walk quickly we did. I was doing some serious ass clenched walking. It was an unspoken understanding that we had to be quiet. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing so tall that I could have impaled someone. I had this constant paranoia that someone was going to grab me from behind me and drag me back in. I was five all over again and there was a monster in my closet. Except now I was 24 and you could torture me until death and you could never get me to say that there was no monster in that darkness.

There was a wind walking back out with us. I donít remember it on the way in. it was as if it was pushing us out. My eyes were completely focused on the exit and every step I took was true, not like on the way in where I had to mentally plan every move for fear of busting an ankle. Its almost funny that I have given the tunnel a personality, but looking back now it was as if every prevention the tunnel could make to keep us from going in, it made. I must have been in a state of shock because when we finally exited into the sunshine, I could not tell of anything I passed on my way out. I definitely felt as if something left me. Like a heavy weight was off of me. The fear and grief that had pitted itself in my body evaporated. I swore I would never go back in again. Apparently I lied to myself because, well, we did. This time from the West side and we were almost run over by a train. But that is another story for another time. 

~ This story was contributed by a reader of Strange New England  ~ Hannah G

 


   
 

 

 

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