This train tunnel has an eerie past.

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The Big Tunnel / Tunnelton Tunnel

Depending on where you look, this tunnel has a couple of different names, but they're all referring to the Tunnelton Tunnel in Lawrence County, Indiana. According to BridgeHunter.com this specific tunnel was built in 1857, is 1,700 feet long, and is still open to traffic, so you just may catch a train going through it. However some legends about this tunnel claim that you may see more than just trains if you are to visit the Tunnelton Tunnel.

Photo by Lance Rogers
Photo by Lance Rogers
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One look at the brick tunnel with the words "Big Tunnel" over its entrance, and it's easy to see why so many would be fascinated with this structure.  It's truly a phenomenal work of masonry that has lasted since the 1800s.  In fact, the photos throughout this article were taken by Lance Rogers, who said he restores historic masonry and said he was intrigued by the brickwork that went into this tunnel.  With a tunnel that's been around for over two centuries, you know there have to be some legends about it, but the one about the night watchman really caught my eye.

Photo by Lance Rogers
Photo by Lance Rogers
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The Legend of the Tunnelton Tunnel Night Watchman

According to Paraholics.com a night watchman by the name of Henry Dixon was 35 years old when he was found dead inside the Tunnelton Tunnel.  The legend says he was found by the day watchman.  It is believed that Henry was placed inside of the tunnel in hopes that a passing train would hit him thus hiding evidence of the murder.

 Henry Dixon, 35-year-old night watchman at tunnel, found dead by day watchman about 200 feet from entrance to the tunnel with wound on head. Lantern found beside the track, still burning. Murder/robbery case never solved. Some cited hostility between Dixon and tunnel workers, or a motive of revenge.

Photo by Lance Rogers
Photo by Lance Rogers
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This story is actually true, and you can see a scan of the original article on it from the Indianapolis Star in 1908, here.  Legend says the spirit of Henry Dixon still haunts this tunnel in search of the person who murdered him.

You can read more legends from the Big Tunnel at Paraholics.com, here.

A big thank you to Lance Rogers for allowing me to share his photos in this article.

 

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