Colorado Tunnel Ghosts

Main Piece

JJ recently took a cross-country road trip with his girlfriend. While in Colorado Springs, they visited a friend of theirs from high school. As they drove to a hike, the road goes through many tunnels, one of which is allegedly haunted, according to his friend:

“It’s a super tight tunnel, one car wide. The road is super dusty, as you drive through you kick up a ton of dust.

100 years ago, 50 years ago, whatever–when buses were around, a tunnel collapsed on a school bus with elementary school kids on a trip up to the Rockies. If you drive through at night, or with your headlights off… you’ll have kid handprints in the dust on your car.”

The haunted tunnel (picture courtesy JJ)

Informant background

JJ is a student at the University of Southern California. He is from Newburyport, MA.

Performance context

This story was told during a folklore collection event that I set up with a diversity of members from the USC men’s Ultimate Frisbee team. We were in a classic folklore collection setting: sharing drinks around a campfire, in a free flowing conversation.


JJ’s story, along with every scary story I collected for this project, professes to be a “true story.” While the plausibility of this is in question, the effect of even the plausibility of this story having happened causes an extra layer of fear and fascination for the story—especially since the story is almost always told while the listeners are actually at the site.