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Train Disaster at The Blue Ghost Tunnel

Ghost Guide Daniel – – Completed in 1876.  Converted to occasional use in 1887.  Closed in 1915. This is the quick history of the “Blue Ghost Tunnel”.

Not much use. The ghostly focus of the public comes from one tragic event inside the Tunnel. When in 1903, two trains collided causing the deaths of two men.

Written Saturday January 3, 1903

(edited for space & understanding) – Note, graphic depictions of death ahead. This article written during a more rough time.


No.4 Express Collides with a light Mogul Near Merritton Tunnel.  On the Grand Trunk line near Merritton, a fatal accident occurred today at around 7:03am. Engine Number 975 left Niagara Falls at 6:00am. Set to run through Hamilton. The Engine Number 4 express train scheduled for Merritton at 6:28am.

Blue Ghost Tunnel - Merritton Tunnel historic photo
Merritton Train Tunnel (now, Blue Ghost Tunnel)

As nearly as can be learned, it was 7:03 am when the express train passed a telegraph station near the tunnel, a few moments later Engine 4 and Engine 975 met with a terrible crash.

Both engines in full steam at 22 miles per hour.

The Engineers escaped with only broken limbs and minor cuts to face and arms.

Sadly, Mr. Charles Horning (fireman of Engine 4) was killed instantly.

Described by the reporter as “jammed in the boiler and mangled”. When rescuers tried to free Horning’s body, pulling on his limbs broke them off.

They took some remains away. His mid-section so wedged, it could not be freed. Rescuers noted that his wrist watch was still working.

Abraham Desult, fireman from Engine 975 smashed into the boiler of his train receiving burns to 90% of his body. They rushed Desult to the St. Catharine’s General Hospital where he died 5 hours later.


That explains the paranormal lure. But why the name? We explain that in King of Niagara’s Spooky Tunnels.

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