We had heard about the poor house road for several years on other websites such as Vamp Investigations
and at Virginia Paranormal's website www.virginiaparanormal.net
Vamp Investigations is located in Roanoke, Virginia and was founded by Jamie Spradlin. They have a very good web site. Jamie can be contacted at Jamie@vampinvestigations.com
. The tunnel is also listed in at least one book concerning Virginia's haunted areas. One of our members John had visited the site with some friends in the past and had said that he had not experienced anything unusual. Knowing that paranormal experiences can happen one day and then nothing on another day, we decided to travel to the tunnel and see what we could find.
We found many tragic stories associated with the tunnel, but none that we could verify with newpaper accounts or other historical sources. On Vamp's web site and on several others we read the story of how you could hear a woman's voice as well as children's voices saying "come on, come on" as if the voices were attempting to lead you away out of the tunnel. Also there have been reports of a "black mist" forming at the center of the tunnel. On the Virginia Paranormal web site we read how there had been lynchings at the tunnel as well as the murder of two young girls. Like so many stories that have been handed down these stories while interesting, could not be verified.
The tunnel allowed for traffic to pass under the rail line which used to run from Lexington to Staunton. It's located near the intersection of Poor House road and Old Valley Pike. Both of these roads are small so if you decide to visit the tunnel, take your time and allow plenty of room for passing traffic. We arrived in the daylight as we always try to do to look over the site before the investigation begins. We had heard that the roadbed inside the tunnel sometimes had water flowing over it. I was concerned that flowing water along with the unusual sounds such as echos a tunnel can create might create some false positives when it came to EVPs. Team members present were Joe, Scott, and myself. We found the tunnel easy enough and as we walked up to it we could hear the water that was flowing through it. Scott cut on his voice recorder and placed in in a dry spot near the center. I had started video taping as we approached the entrance while Joe was taking still photos. It was quickly noted that while there was a slight breeze outside of the tunnel, there was a fairly strong wind inside it where the breeze was bottlenecked into the tunnel. We thought that this too would make recording difficult. We quietly walked through the tunnel and looked over the other entrance. I set up the camcorder in a dry area inside the tunnel and began to shoot some still photos. Evidence of a teen hangout was apparent by the amount of graffitti spray painted on the interior walls. We climbed the hill to the top where the old railroad line had been looking for any evidence of the many stories of tragedy we had read about. Finding none, we took photos of the summit and returned to the interior of the tunnel. We assembled near the center and with the recorders running asked several questions such as if anyone was there and if so, who they were and what their resons for being there were. During our time there several vehicles passed through the tunnel causing a slight safety concern and of course adding to the concerns of contaminating the sound recordings. We stayed for about another hour before deciding to wrap it up. At the vehicles we played back some of the recordings and video and found that there was just too much sound from the water to get a quality recording from our equipment. We decided to put off the night time return until the water level had gone down as it usually does in the summer. When we returned home we reviewed our recordings and photos, but found nothing paranormal. We discussed a return trip when the water level was down and all agreed to it. Usually the creeks and rivers in this part of VA go down considerably in the summer. The area around the tunnel was quiet and the scenery was impressive making the trip worthwhile. We will be back to try it again.