Horseshoe Curve in Altoona beckons tourists who want to experience the beauty and architectural wonder of the railroad line with tracks that curve around the mountainside like a horseshoe. But, not far away sits a tunnel, not really an architectural wonder like the Horseshoe Curve but memorable nonetheless. This tunnel – this haunted tunnel, to be exact – has spawned tales of terror for years. The question is: Do you believe the legend?
Local lore hangs heavy at the Horseshoe Curve Tunnel in Altoona but what exactly happened there remains somewhat murky. Legend states that an Irishwoman has haunted the tunnel since the late 1800s.
What happened to this young lady, said to be wearing a flowing white dress, is debatable. Many say that she was lurking outside of the tunnel on the Altoona side awaiting the return of her beloved after a day's work.
In one version, a murderer prematurely and brutally ends her life and her spirit remains in the dark, foreboding tunnel. Others assert that it was actually the Irishwoman's beloved who met a tragic end – perhaps murdered – on his way to meet her and her spirit has lurked in the tunnel for decades, still awaiting her love's return.
Whatever the true story, we may never know but many tell stories of having terrifying, ghostly encounters on the Altoona side of the Horseshoe Curve Tunnel. Do you dare to drive through – just shy of the midnight hour on a night when a full moon brightens the sky or…
When rain, fog, or snow hang heavy in the air? Such instances, some say, create the ideal conditions for experiencing the paranormal.
Some tell of a strong sulfur smell that lingers in the air as they draw closer to the tunnel and difficulty breathing before the Irish lass appears, none too happy to see her visitors. Others claim to have stopped in the tunnel, flashed their lights three times then honked their horn three times, and turned off their car only to be greeted by the laughter of children and shadows passing the vehicle. (Please note: Stopping in the middle of the tunnel can be extremely dangerous and is not advised.)
Drivers have told of placing a water bottle on the roof of their vehicle after they stopped in the middle of the darkened tunnel. The tortured spirit will then, again according to local lure, grab the water bottle and throw it off of the roof.
Upon exiting the tunnel, some visitors have seen the young Irish lass in the flowing white dress standing by a towering spruce tree.
If you dare to go through the haunted Horseshoe Curve Tunnel, find a safe place to pull over once you've driven through. You may see, as others have, hand prints on your car's windows.
Will you drive through this haunted tunnel in Pennsylvania to see for yourself if ghosts really do exist? Or, perhaps visit one of these
eight haunted cemeteries in Pennsylvania that will terrify you?