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Why Ghosts Suck (Field Research at the Blue Ghost Tunnel, Thorold)

So, Saturday morning, in an effort to advance my research for my third book, Last Impressions, I dragged my reluctant friends on a hunt for the local haunted tunnel in Thorold. We found and ventured into the Blue Ghost Tunnel. And I have been SICK EVER SINCE. Fever, tiredness, aches, sore throat, stuffed head… Not that I’m blaming the ghosts, except that I totally am, so what’s up with that, spirits? I was coming to do you a favour, you misty motherfuckers. I was gonna put you in a book. *cough, snarf* But now? I’m still putting you in my book, and boy are you gonna come off like a buncha dead douchebags, which you TOTALLY ARE. (I am not overreacting. *sulk, sniffle, HACK!*)

Allow me to backtrack. Our day started out with a nice hike…and by “nice hike,”  of course I mean “a walk that was waaaay longer than we expected, but before we realized it, we were tired and too far away from the car to sensibly turn back.” And then we ignored this…

In case you can’t read that, it says “wrong fucking turn dumbass.” Clearly, an attempt by the ghosts to dissuade our investigation by the use of foul language and poor punctuation skills. Well played, ghosts, but you’re gonna have to do more than that!

Oh, hey, what’s this? A twenty-five foot drop with a side order of mud, stones, and trees? Well, that’s a bit more troublesome, and I bet you thought I’d turn back, ghosties…But this is field research, yo. I don’t mind getting a bit dirty. And bruise-y. What else ya got?

Ack! … is that a dead mouse? And a dead crayfish? Where the–what? Either there’s a raccoon living nearby, or this is an official Grim Warning From the Great Beyond. Well, NICE TRY, ghosts. I’ve seen dead stuff before, so it isn’t going to work. You’d have to show me something a lot bigger and deader if you want to stop me. (Why did I say that? I shouldn’t have said that! Now there’s definitely going to be a festering corpse in the tunnel with its skin drooling off.) Nope, I’m not turning back. Not for anything. Not for….uh, not…uhmm….

Waaaaaaaait just a toadsucking minute. I have to crawl through that little hole INTO THE DRIPPY DARKNESS?? But I can’t fit sideways! I’m gonna have to go head-first or feet-first. That can’t be smart. That can’t be– *peeks in*– WHOA WHOA WHOA, yammahammafuckno! There’s something moving in there. I heard a thump-rustle. WHAT THUMP-RUSTLED??

Okay. Get it together, Writerghoulie. Deep breath. There’s nothing in the Tunnel of Death waiting to chew your feet off at the ankles, even though it’s so very obviously the Tunnel of Death By Foot Chewage. Likewise, there’s no head-munching mud-monster in the Tunnel of Death by Head Munchery, and also, there’s probably not, like, a pale-white goblin clinging to the ceiling, waiting to drop on your back the instant you clear that hole, even though we both know there HAS TO BE.

Why do I get the feeling that I’m being filmed for one of those “Stupidest Ways to Die” shows? What kind of moron would go into that revolting, slimy little hole not knowing what was on the other side? Oh wait! I have a flash light app on my iPhone. That’ll help, right? Okay, yes, my bravery is restored by way of itty bitty light!

This is (was) my dear friend and fellow writer, Jonesy, flashing his final cocky smile & pose, and sayin’ “See, no ghosts!” seconds before the ghosts ate him. This was the last time anyone saw him (not really, but if only) or heard from him (again, I wish). It was a tough moment, losing Jonesy to a pack of ravenous spirits, but we got over it and pressed onward. He will be missed (sorta…).

Inside the tunnel, it’s horrifyingly dark…and I’m not afraid of the dark. But I was afraid of this dark. I really was. Even with my friends with me, laughing and goofing off. That didn’t really help, because there we were, adults in our late thirties/early forties who do not believe in ghosts, scared anyway. Because this tunnel has a reputation for being full of dead people. And even though ghosts don’t exist, if they did, then it makes sense that nice, happy, smart people don’t become ghosts, because they go to Heaven. BAD, ANGRY, STUPID people stay as ghosts. Ergo, ALL GHOSTS ARE DUMBASS RAGE-FILLED MEANIE-MEANIE EVILPANTSES. Or maybe that’s just me. (I swear, I don’t scare this easily anywhere else.)

Water is constantly dripping in the Blue Ghost Tunnel. The humidity in there is high, and there’s a lot of dust, spores, and crud in the air. (I suppose, since I’m a scientist, I should be using phrases like “respirable suspended particulates,” but it’s fuckin’ crud and we all know it.) This crud explains all the “ghost pictures” of mist and so-called orbs in the tunnel. I’ve never been to a more damp, enclosed spot before. If you have any breathing problems at all, bring your inhaler and maybe a dust mask.

You’re never alone in the BG Tunnel, no. You share the darkness with mice, rats, frogs with weird glowing eyes and, judging by the guano splats, bats…although I didn’t spot any.  Pure white mushrooms sprout everywhere. The footing is rotten wood inter-spaced with slick, knee-twisting, ankle-snapping mud. You could see your breath in the flash light beam, mixed with the swirling mist that is the tunnel’s natural environment. Some wiseass decided to invoke Pennywise the clown by leaving bright plastic kid’s foam letters and red balloons down there. Verrrrrry funny. *jumps!* Fuckers. I hate you so much.

If you venture much further than the opening of the tunnel, daylight is quickly lost, plunging you into a disturbing gloomy zone that lacks light but is full of movement and sensation. Your flash light doesn’t offer much illumination at the midway point, because there’s too much fog and gunk in the air. On the left side (North), there’s a drop-off into some grey, murky-ass water, no idea how deep (I wasn’t going annnnnnywhere near it; I’ve seen those movies where the tentacle lashes out and grabs your foot, and I’m not getting hauled in that shit. Also, my friend Jonesy is the kind of dude who’d go “BAH!” and fake-shove you toward it, and I didn’t feel like peeing my pants again.) At the far (East) end, the tunnel is underwater. It’s probably not deep, but that’s for someone else to find out, not me. You couldn’t pay me enough to even get close to it. Do you remember that episode of X-Files with the grub-like parasite living in the sewers? Of course one of those is lurking in that water. How could you even doubt it?

On the way out, shadows play in the last place you looked, drawing a moment of alarmed attention. Your step quickens, and you’re telling yourself, “okay, been here, done this, I can go now. No looking back.” But you must look back as the dark closes in behind you, and now that your flash light isn’t aimed at that end of the tunnel, it sure seems like there’s more activity. You told your brain to expect that (because you’re not going to escape this place, not without incident or injury! Maybe you’re not going to escape alive! The ghosts won’t let you leave!), and so your imagination happily obliges you with soft thuds, and heavy, swirling air, and WHAT THE FUCK JUST TOUCHED MY HAIR?! Cold mist brushes the back of your neck, things behind you shift and whisper, your foot slips, you lose your balance and reach out for the wall, only to find it slick and icky. It’s no wonder you could quickly jump to otherworldly conclusions, and if I had been there without my trusty team of skeptics, I probably would have. Which is precisely why I need to go alone. *wicked grin* I know, dumb idea, really quite stupid. It’s way out in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere. The terrain leading down to the tunnel is dangerously steep and uneven, with jutting rock shards and tangling vines. Inside, the rotten rail-road ties could crumble, plunging me underneath, or trapping me inside. And that’s when Pennywise would…. BLERG. Okay, maybe I won’t go alone. Heh.

On our way out, we discovered this.

Yep. What you see here is the fucking door fucking opening because it wasn’t fucking locked to begin with. Or ghosts did it. But the point is, I crawled head-first into that disgusting little hole to the left when I could have just went through the gate. *nods* Yeah. But I wasn’t the only person who didn’t notice that.

Until next time, this is your intrepid reporter in the field of ridiculous research, Writerghoulie xo

(author’s note: This is me punching a ghost. Because that’s what you do, obviously. I mean, there’s no such things as ghosts, and I totally don’t believe in ghosts at all…but when there are ghosts, you punch them. Hmm, why was I wearing sunglasses in an underground tunnel? Were the ghosts too bright? Hey, does it seem to anyone else like that mist on the left is reaching for me? … Naaaaahhhh.)

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