Several of the nine tunnels set into the hills of Colorado Springs’ Bear Creek Park are said to be severely haunted, and while this is just superstition, the threatening claws of the fence guarding one of the tunnels aren’t doing anything to discourage the stories.
Many of the locals in the Colorado Springs area are familiar with the legends surrounding the arched Gold Camp rail tunnels. Originally there were nine of the passageways dug into the hills, but as railroad travel in the area dwindled, three of the tunnels succumbed to age and vandalism and collapsed.
According to the most prevalent folktale, one of the remaining tunnels collapsed while a school bus full of waifs was driving through it killing the driver and the entire complement of kids. leaving their unquiet little spirits to linger around the tunnels. People have reported everything from tiny hand prints in the dust on their cars to being scratched and groped by unseen spirits.
The story is likely apocryphal as the tunnel collapsed in 1988 and no news reports of deaths caused by the tunnel collapse can be found. Other tunnels in the area are said to be haunted by the spririts of workers killed during construction, however.
In reality, three of the nine tunnels did collapse, and today these collapses have cause a major detour for automobile traffic. The collapsed tunnel above Helen Hunt Falls has been blocked off with a black steel fence adorned with ominous “Keep Out” signs that look like they are just begging someone to fabricate an outlandish horror story about the site. Anyone brave enough can still cross through the remaining tunnels, and listen for the ghostly giggles of the (probably not) dead.
Know Before You Go
Follow Gold Camp Road all the way up until it becomes a dirt road, continue on until the tunnels appear. The Helen Hunt Tunnel may also be accessed from Old Stage Road (US Forest Service Road 368. Park at the collapsed Tunnel 6. A six-mile hike or mountain bike ride will take you to Helen Hunt Falls tunnel. You will pass through Tunnels 5 and 4 on the way. Foot traffic, mountain bikes, and motorcycles are allowed to use Gold Camp from Tunnel 6 to Tunnel 3. You can continue west on Gold Camp Road to Victor, a trip of about 25 miles. The road is rough but passable by sedan. Be careful: people are known to stop and turn their lights off in the tunnels in order to experience the paranormal. This road is also narrow and can only fit one car width in the tunnel at any given time. Cars will be driving from either direction. It's best to flash your lights before you drive through on either side. It is also common to hike up to the third tunnel at night to see how spooked you can get.