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REMASTERED — Episode 2: The Bloody Pit

2021-04-19 | 🔗

It's our classic visit to the Hoosac Tunnel, reputed to be one of New England's most haunted locations. Freshly-recorded, newly produced, and scored with music from Chad Lawson...and don't miss the brand new story after the ads.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Most people are afraid of the dark, and while this is something that we expect from our children, adults hold onto that fear justice tightly, we simply don't talk about it any more, but it's their lurking in the back of our minds. Science calls it Nicky phobia. Fear of the dark, since the dawn of humanity, our ancestors have stared into the blackness of caves, tunnels and basements, with a feeling of wrought in panic in our bellies hp, love craft, the patriarch of the horror genre published an essay in eighteen, twenty seven entitled supernatural horror in literature, and it opens with this profound
a simple statement, the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. People fear the unknown the. What if and the things they cannot see. We humans are afraid of the dark, were afraid that our frailness and weakness might become laid bare in the presence of whatever it is that works in the shadows were afraid of opening up places. That should remain closed. We fear what we cannot see and sometimes for good reason. I'm Aaron Monkey- and this is lore
The Berkshire Mountain range in western Massachusetts sits in the very top left corner of the state. It's not the rockies by any stretch of the imagination, but an one thousand, eight hundred and fifty one, those hills were inside way. The Troy and Greenfield Railroad Company wanted to lay some track that would cut through the mountains, and so they began work on a tunnel western and set the tone of Florida with North Adams holding up the eastern and between them towns was about five miles of solid rock. This building. Project was no small undertaking, no matter how unimpressive the mountains might be. It ultimately took the work crew twenty four years to wrap things up and had a total cost of twenty one point: two million dollars that's over four hundred million dollars in today's money see it was a big deal.
monetary cost aside. However, construction of the tunnel came within even heavier price tag. At least two hundred men lost their lives. Cutting that whole through the bonds of the earth. One of the first major tragedies occurred on March twentieth of eighteen, sixty five, a team of explosive experts, and I use that term loosely because term loosely was incredibly new to just about every one in America. At the time enter the tunnel to plant the charge. The three men, Brinkmann NASH and Kelly was first name Ringo, which I think has just awesome, did their work and then ran back down the tunnel to the safety of the bunker. Only Kelly made it to safety. It turns out that he set off the explosion a bit too. Lee burying the other two men alive. Naturally, Kelly felt horrible about it, but no one expected him to go missing, which he did just a short while later or Ringo, but a sad as it sounds. The accidents didn't.
There building a way tunnel through a mountain is complex and one of the features most tunnels have is a vent. Shaft constant coal powered train traffic could result in a lot of smoke and fumes. So engineers thought it would be a good idea to have a ventilation shaft that would extend to the surface above and allow fumes and groundwater to be pumped out. The shaft would be roughly thirty feet in diameter and would eventually stretch over a thousand feet down and connect with the train tunnel below by October of eighteen sixty seven. It was only five hundred feet deep. Essentially, it was a really really deep hole in the ground to dig this whole. They built a small building at the top, which was used to raise and lower a hoist to get the debris out, as well as a pump system to renew
groundwater. Then they lowered a dozen or more crazy cornish minors, not under age, kids, the other kind of minors into the hall and set them to work. You see where this is going right. Please tell me you see. This is going on October, seventeenth, a leaky lantern filled the hoist house with NAFTA, an explosive natural gas in the place blue sky high. As a result, things started the fall down the shaft, what things while for starters, three hundred freshly sharpen drill bets, then the hoist mechanism itself and finally, the burning wreckage of the building. All of it fell five stories down the tunnel and onto the thirteen men working away at the bottom and because the water pump was destroyed in the explosion. The shaft, also
And to flood the workers on the surface tried to reach the man at the bottom, but failed. One man was lowered into the shaft in a basket, but he was pulled back up when the fumes became unbearable. You managed to gasp the words, no hope to the workers around him before slipping into unconsciousness. In the end, they gave up called it a loss and cut the shaft, but in the weeks that followed the workers in the mind frequently reported hearing the anguish, invoice of men crying out in pain, they said they saw lost minors carrying picks and shovels only to watch them vanish moments later. Even the people in the village nearby told tales of odd shapes and muffled cries near the covered pet. Highly educated people upon visiting the construction site recorded similar experiences.
Glenn Rowan correspondent for the local newspaper wrote that the ghostly apparitions would appear briefly then vanish, leaving no footprints in the snow. Giving no answers to the miners call voices lights. Visions and odd shapes in the dark, all sorts of experiences we fear might happen to us when we step into a dark, bedroom or basement. A four year after the accident. They were open the shaft and drained out all five hundred feet of water. They wanted to get back to work, but when they did, they discovered something horrific bodies and a raft
Apparently, some of the men survive the falling drill, bits and debris long enough that they manage to build a raft. No one knows how long they stayed alive, but its clear that they all died because they had been abandoned in a flooding hole in the ground. After that, the workers began to call the tunnel by another name. The bloody pit catchy isn't it about four years after the gas explosion to men Did the tunnel the one was James MC industry, the drilling operations superintendent and the other was Doktor Clifford Owens, while in the tunnel the two men, both educated and respected, among their peers, had an encounter that was beyond unusual Owens wrote on the night of June twenty fifth:
One thousand eight hundred and seventy two James Mckinstry and I entered the great excavation at precisely one thousand one hundred and thirty p dot m. We had traveled about two full miles into the shaft when we finally halted to rest, except for the dim, smoky lightcast by our lives. The place was as cold and dark as a tomb James and I stood. talking for a minute or two and were just about to turn back. When I suddenly heard a strange mournful, sound, it was just as if someone or something with suffering great pain, The next thing I saw was a dim light, coming alone, the tunnel from a westerly direction. At first, I believed it was probably a work man with a lantern. Yet, as the light grew closer, it took on a strange, blue color and appeared to change shape almost into the form of a human being
without a head, the light seem to be floating along about a foot or to above the tunnel floor in the next instant it felt as if the temperature had suddenly dropped in a cold icy, chill ran up and down my spine. The headless form came so close that I could have reached out and touched it but I was too terrified to move for what seemed like an eternity makin story and I stood there gaping at the headless thing like two would in India, the blue light, remained motionless for a few seconds as if it were actually looking us over then floated off toward the east and the shaft and vanished into thin air I am, above all, a realist nor in my prone to heating gossip in wild tales that defy a reasonable explanation. However, in all truth, I cannot deny what James MC industry and I witnessed with our own eyes. The Hossack tunnel played hosted countless other species.
Lorries in the years that followed in eighteen, seventy four, a local hunter named Frank Webster, vanished when he finally stumbled up the banks of the deer filled river. Three days later, he was found by a search party without his rifle and appearing to have been beaten, bloody. He claimed he had been ordered into the tunnel by voices and lights and once he was inside, he saw ghostly figures that floated and wandered about in the dark. His experience, ended when something unseen reached out took his rifle from him in clubbed him with it, He had no memory of walking out at the tunnel in eighteen, thirty, six, a railroad employ named Joe in poker, claim that he was warned of danger the tunnel by a mysterious voice, not once but twice I'm thinking it was Ringo trying to make up for being an idiot,
one thousand nine hundred and seventy three for some unknown and God awful reason. A man decided to walk through the full length of the tunnel. This brilliant man Bernard has to but was never seen again One man who walk through the tunnel and did make it I'll go claims that, while he was in the tunnel, he saw the figure of a man dressed in the old clothing of nineteenth century minor, again, not a kid. He left in a hurry from what I've read, store, is about the Hossack tunnel persisted this day, its common for teams of paranormal investigators to walk the length of the tunnel, although it's still active with a dozen or so freight trains that pass through,
each day. There are rumours of a secret room or many rooms deep inside the tunnel as an old monitoring station built into the rock about halfway in, though few have been brave enough. adventure all the way there and see it. Those who have report more of the same unexplained sounds and lights, o dot and remember, Ringo Kelly, the sloppy demolition expert, who got his two co workers killed in eighteen, sixty five, while he showed up again in March of eighteen, sixty six a full year after the explosion. His body was found two miles inside the tunnel in the exact same spot where Brinkman and NASH had died, he had been strangled to death.
It's difficult to ignore the pain and tragedy that the miners endured as they carved out the historic tunnel. It back it's one of those locations. All of that suffering seems to have lingered becoming part of the atmosphere. Even today, many visitors can still feel it But it's not the only one I have one a story to tell you from the depths of the earth and if you stick around through this brief, sponsor break I'll, let you hear all about it any time we dig. We take on a bit of risk. I can remember countless times during my childhood when I try to
carve a tunnel out of a tall snow pile only to have a collapse from its own weight, so it shouldn't be difficult to admit that mining is a dangerous occupation. One of the things that amplifies that danger, though, is rushing the work for a very long Time, tools and technology limited just how fast people could dig into the earth in search of the resources there, but during the one thousand, eight hundred a massive boom in industrialization gave miners a whole new set of tools and they use them to dig deep and dig fast results, though weren't always productive or safe. At the morphic call Yuri on the Southwest coast of Wales in the 1800's was a brutal century for everyone involved. If that in the twelve years, between one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight and one thousand eight hundred and seventy over, seventy men lost their lives and explosions, while digging for call, but the worst was yet to come.
On the morning of Tuesday marched tenth of eighteen. Ninety they probably started out like any other day. Workers arrived at the mind, dressed in their worn out filthy uniforms. Despite their best efforts to clean off the previous days, black dust, their faces would probably have looked like shadows and despite their tired bodies, they would have all climb back inside down to the farthest reaches of tunnels and tools when the explosion went off the earth. Trembled, mine, shafts, deep inside collapsed and the force pushed air out of the tunnels toward the surface where people, standing beneath the bright blue sky- were knocked off their feet and that subterranean wind brought something else: a sulfuric gas they referred to as Afterdamp, causing their lips and tongues to swell the miners who weren't trapped quickly began trying to reach the ones who were some bodies were recovered, but most were trapped behind tons of debris, but they kept
it even to the point that some of the rescuers lost their lives and brought more and more bodies to the surface when it was over lust and ninety men were dead. There's an old bit of superstition that still hangs around mining operations. Today, it's this belief that the spirits of dead minors tend to stick around the places they died until their bodies are properly buried. We saw this in the House tunnel stories and even for those men in eighteen, ninety across the Atlantic, in Wales, it was. Just as real and true workers there at the more for mine, claimed here strange, knocking sounds as if some we're still alive deep inside the earth, some of them You did as an ill omen a harbinger of bad things to come. Others felt it was the spirits of the dead making their presence known one may and returned to the surface in the middle of the day, refusing to go back inside when pressed for a reason. He reported seen the ghostly figure
a man dressed in mining gear, slowly walking down the tunnel. In fact, those reports became so common that most of the workers started, referring to the mind by a different name, the pit of ghosts, Not long after the explosion, no wells journalist visited the site to speak with some of the miners and hear their stories. What he published is a vivid glimpse into the power of fear and superstition strange as it may appear, he later wrote. It is beyond doubt that the belief has, for a long time been entertained by the morphine workmen at the pit was haunted it then said by reliable men that there were strange noises heard like thunder in a distance and the slamming of air doors during the last week and strange visions alleged to have been seen in the gallery. The more for clearing shut down over a century ago. Nineteen thirteen. But it's not that easy to closed the book on folklore. To this day, there is still the
asian or report by visitors to the site of unusual experiences. Maybe it's nothing more than the weight of history or the heavy price paid by so many minors for something as mundane and temporary as coal or perhaps it's the eternal residents of the pits of ghosts. This episode of war was researched, written and produced by me, Erin Mahnke, with music by Chad Lawson.
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-11.