(All images by Matt Andrews, reproduced with permission)
The Canadian city of Niagara Falls may be best known as the location of one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls, but if you’re a fan of the paranormal, there’s a story told by locals that will capture your imagination more firmly than the city’s fabled natural wonder.
The chilling urban legend concerns a small limestone passageway known as the Screaming Tunnel, originally built as a drainage system beneath the former Grand Trunk Railway (now Canadian National Railways).
The tunnel allowed farm animals to pass safely beneath the busy tracks while draining fields of excess water. But it also has a darker side. According to local folklore, the tunnel is haunted by the ghost of a girl who escaped a burning farm only to perish within its walls.
Several versions of the tale exist. One claims that the girl’s father set her alight after losing custody of his children during an accrimonious divorce. Another holds that the girl was raped inside the tunnel and her body burned to conceal the evidence.
Whatever the version, it’s said that striking a match inside the tunnel will conjure the gruesome screams of the spectral girl. And whether real or pure fantasy, the urban legend puts a dark twist on the more tacky and touristy side of Niagara Falls.
Such is its local notoriety that the Screaming Tunnel was used during the filming of David Cronenberg’s 1983 adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone.