Halloween is really my favorite time of year. The weather is usually just right, the kids enjoy the festivities, and the trees are just beginning to turn colors. Halloween brings out spooky stories and scary nights....and I enjoy both. One of the more famous ghost stories in our area is about a train tunnel known as the Spurlington Tunnel. The tunnel was completed in July of 1874, after 7 years of construction. It is 1900 feet long with a 100 foot shaft hole that is carved in the middle of the tunnel, so the exhaust from the trains could escape.
In its heyday, the train ran four times a day carrying freight and passengers to Smalltownland and a neighboring county. The picture below was taken in 1983, during some obvious winter weather. The credit for this photo goes to a local radio personality, known as Larry Smith.
Legend has it that Nancy Bass, also known as, "Aunt Nancy", haunts this tunnel and puts a curse on all who dare to pass through it. Some claim that Nancy was a witch, but others do not. Legend claims that Nancy was witness to a group of robbers led by the one and only, Jessie James. The robbers were digging a hole to hide some stolen gold and silver that had been taken during a train robbery that occurred in the Cumberland Mountains.
After the men noticed that Nancy was a witness, they killed her...burying her body on top of the tunnel, along with the stolen loot. People claim that the gold and silver are still buried on top of this train tunnel. Treasure hunters have tried to find the buried fortune, to no avail.
At this point in time, the land on which this train tunnel sits is privately owned. Traditionally people flock to the tunnel on Halloween night. I did have a co-worker tell me that her daughter went in the tunnel. She stated that a strange whistling sound blows through the tunnel with the slightest wind. Some people think this is due to the 100 foot shaft hole in the middle of the tunnel. Also, bat guano emits a glow on the ceiling. Adding to the eeriness of the situation.
I won't lie.....Southern Fried Momma and myself are wishing we could go to the Spurlington Tunnel this year. I am keeping my fingers crossed.