Truly one of the most frightening and sinister types of haunted places is that of the haunted tunnels of the world. The dim, dank corridors of such places and their pools of shadow seem to invite such tales to them, and some of the most supposedly haunted places in the world are tunnels. These subterranean lairs of the strange come in many forms, and one of the most haunted of all is a sprawling network of tunnels in England, which has a dark past and is among the most haunted places in the country, if not the world.

In April of 1941, England’s Ministry of Aircraft Production began an ambitious project to construct a sprawling underground military complex beneath the sandstone hills at a place called the Blakeshall Estate, at Drakelow, Wolverley, north of the town of Kidderminster, Worcestershire. The elaborate and vast system of tunnels and caverns was to act as a backup shadow factory for the Rover Car Company, which at the time was making guns and engines for the Bristol Aeroplane Company, to take up the reigns in the event that the main factory was damaged or destroyed by the enemy Nazis during the fighting of World War II. When the over-budget and behind schedule project was finally finished in early 1943, the massive subterranean complex consisted of a sprawling warren of caves, tunnels, and caverns that spanned over 285,000 sq. feet and included various facilities, including dormitories, storage areas, workshops, offices, telecommunications facilities, all of it laden with acid resistant floors, and there were also surface buildings, which included a boiler house, coal stores, electricity sub stations and a fire station.

Drakelow Tunnels Open day Tours 4
Drakelow Tunnels

Construction of the complex was far from smooth, with several tragic accidents causing the deaths of at least six men and one woman. The causes of death were varied, such as a roof collapse, a freak conveyer accident, a truck accident, and another death caused when a man was struck down by a coach bringing in workers for the next shift. So many deaths created rumors that the project was actually cursed, and in addition to all of the money being poured into it, it was a fairly unpopular endeavor.

When World War II ended, the Drakelow tunnels served as a storage area of machine tools, and was involved with work related to the development and manufacture of the Meteor tank engine until the 1950s. After this, it was repurposed into a Regional Seat of Government during the Cold War, to be used as a shadow command center and government center in the event that there was a nuclear war. During the decades that it served this purpose, the tunnels and facilities were completely renovated and modernized with state-of-the art technology as the threat of nuclear missiles loomed. Fortunately, the Drakelow tunnels were never used for this purpose, and in 1993 the site was decommissioned and sold off. The plan was to demolish the site to make way for commercial businesses and residences, but strong resistance by locals who wanted to preserve the complex as a historical site prevented this from ever happening.

Considering the turbulent history of the complex’s construction and the general unsettling eeriness of these gloomy underground tunnels, it is perhaps no surprise that the site has gained a reputation for being intensely haunted. One of the first widely publicized paranormal happenings here was in 1993, when a caretaker heard old fashioned 1940s style music wafting through the gloom, but he was unable to figure out where it was coming from, and indeed he was unable to even find a device capable of playing music at all. Another caretaker was doing his rounds with two dogs in 1996 when his animals began barking and snarling as they entered an empty room, aggressively gathering at one of the walls to snarl. The caretaker was able to pull them away, but in one of the tunnels they stopped and began growling and barking again, and as he looked on the caretaker could see a mist forming ahead of them and flowing towards them down the tunnel. Thinking it was a fire, he ran out of there with the two dogs, and when he went back the mist was gone. His dogs refused to enter the tunnels from that day on. To this day, people have continued to report hearing the eerie disembodied music, and there have been other accounts of seeing the mist, which sometimes allegedly forms into a humanoid shape.

In addition to these, there are various other types of paranormal activity reported from the Drakelow tunnels. People have seen the apparitions of construction workers in 1940s uniforms, as well as the horrifying visage of a half man-half dog figure covered in hair, which haunts one of the tunnels and creates feelings of intense animosity and dread. There is also a ghost affectionately known as Oswald, who is known as a mischievous sort who pushes people over, pulls hair, and throws rocks. Add to this the typical paranormal affairs of hot and cold spots, anomalous noises, voices, moans, or screams from the dark, and moving objects, and you have all of the ingredients for a place that has been called one of the most haunted locations in the world and has attracted numerous paranormal investigators. One of the most famous investigations done at the Drakelow tunnels was carried out by Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, with the TV show Paranormal Lockdown, and they did not go away disappointed.

The crew would stay there for three days, in what would prove to be one of the most harrowing investigations they had ever carried out. Things kicked off almost immediately, when they were followed around by a shadow figure, heard loud bangs, and picked up a lot of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) activity, including a voice saying “Hi there,” “Who’s that?” and “Americans,” as well as “Killed”, “Appear” and “Computer.” During this time readings on their ghost detection equipment were going off the charts. On the second day they investigated a location known as the canteen, one of the more haunted sections of the tunnels, where they felt an electrical charge to the air, as well as heard a door suddenly slam shut, and at one of the tunnels they allegedly called out to any entities and heard the sound of people running even though no one else was there. The third day would prove to be the most frightening, when Nick got lost and became increasingly alarmed by a heavy sense of being watched and followed, eventually managing to get a photograph of a shadow figure looming nearby.

They would set up an experiment with lasers and lights at the location of this encounter, in which the lasers act as a tripwire that will light up the area if anything passes through. They then called out to the entity and the lights suddenly went on for no discernible reason, after which they received EVP that said “Into a trap,” “Sid Sick,” and “Secret bunker.” To punctuate all of this, a brick was then thrown at them from the darkness. They then apparently asked who had thrown it, and got an EVP voice saying “It was him.” The voice then said “Sid sorry,” and there was no further activity. It is spooky stuff, and the episode proved to be a hit. The Drakelow tunnels have also been investigated by the show Most Haunted, which also turned up a bunch of weird stuff. It all seems fitting for such a dark and gloomy place pervaded by tragic history, and the Drakelow tunnels remain one of the most haunted places there is.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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