Friday, August 21, 2015

The Silver Run Tunnel

The Silver Run 1,376-foot tunnel is a former Baltimore & Ohio Railway tunnel that lies between Clarksburg and Parkersburg located in Ritchie County in West Virginia. 

Over the years many witnesses have seen the specter of a young woman appear out of nowhere near its entrance.

Train engineers for almost a century reported seeing this ghost at night. They described her as wearing a long flowing white dress.

An early report about one engineer’s experience in the 19th century described what he encountered on his midnight run.

“ . . . as he was coming around a bend approaching tunnel #19 he saw a girl suddenly appear on the tracks. She had pitch-black hair and bloodless skin. She was wearing a light colored gown, standing at the entrance to the tunnel.”

This engineer first thought she must be “sleepwalking” so he slammed on his brakes frantically to avoid hitting her. The figure appeared to be unaware of the train that was barreling down on her.

At the last minute, when the train was about to hit her,

“She screamed and jumped straight up into the air.”

When the train stopped he got out to look for a body but there was no evidence a person had been struck.

When this engineer reached Parkersburg he told about his encounter with this strange girl, the stationmaster reassured him not to worry several others had reported the same sight.

Other engineers continued to report seeing this ghost at the Silver Run Tunnel. One engineer reported his encounters so often the railroad officials felt he was “cracking up.”

They replaced him with a new engineer by the name of O’Flannery. This Irishman proclaimed that no ghost was going to get the best of him.

On his first run he put his train at full throttle and stated he was not going to stop regardless of what happened. At dusk he reached the tunnel. It was foggy and there was a full moon.

He spotted the woman in white but he kept going. The ghost screamed and shot straight up.

When he reached the station at Parkersburg he noticed a crowd waiting for his arrival. When he asked what was going on he was told as his train passed each station they telegraphed to say there was a girl riding on the front of the train—her arms outstretched and screaming.

The fog had lifted by the time he arrived and when he inspected his engine nothing was there.

He requested a transfer after this.

The story behind this haunting is vague. It is believed a young woman was traveling from Grafton to Parkersburg to get married.

“Something happened to her along the way.” One version states a jealous former lover followed her, stabbed her and then threw her off the train. Another version states this young women jumped off the train committing suicide.

Years later, the legend states when part of the tunnel was being dismantled the workers found a skeleton behind one wall. It was wearing the remnants of a white wedding dress.

Today the tunnel is a part of the recreational North Bend Rail Trail so it is mostly bikers and hikers that encounter the ghost at Silver Run. Two recent witnesses were a man and a woman hiking through the area.

As they walked into the tunnel they spotted this female ghost standing directly in front of their flashlight beams. They left the tunnel quickly. They did not know the tunnel was considered haunted until after their encounter.

One ghost hunting couple also encountered the Lady in White as they investigated the tunnel. She made an appearance and these two have not returned since.

The following video shows what this abandoned train tunnel looks like today.

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