Wheeling, W.Va (WTRF) – The leaves are finally changing, pumpkin spice is back on the menu, and the Witching Hour is about to begin.
Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn famously wrote that “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” Wheeling might be known as the “Friendly City,” but it isn’t without its dark side. Nothing exemplifies that concept better than Tunnel Green.
Originally known as the Hempfield Tunnel, it opened in 1857 to accommodate the Hempfield Railroad, connecting Wheeling to Greensburg, PA. But a decade later, it was the site of a savage murder, and ever since people have reported seeing some very spooky things inside.
But are those stories actually true? I teamed up with Tamara Hess and Tracy Johnston of the Belmont County Spirit Seekers for a good, old-fashioned Winchester Brothers ghost hunt.
From its inception, Wheeling’s Hempfield Tunnel was destined to be a lightning rod for the paranormal.
“The cemetery had to be moved. It was the Peninsula Cemetery directly above us, and there’s some questions as to whether or not all of the bodies were actually moved to make way for the railroad tunnel to be built.”Tamara Hess, Belmont County Spirit Seekers
In 1867, the tunnel would add to its dark legacy. A recent immigrant from Germany named Aloys Ulrich would be brutally murdered by Thomas Carr and Joseph Eisele.
“And they actually lured Mr. Ulrich into the tunnel where they robbed him and bludgeoned him to death with a hatchet. And it was later found out that Mr. Eisele had actually already murdered three other people down in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and had murdered them with a hatchet, and was known as the Hatchet Slayer.”Tamara Hess, Belmont County Spirit Seekers
Two years later, in 1869, Thomas Carr would stalk and then murder 13-year-old Louiza Fox in Belmont County. Before he was hanged for her death, Carr admitted to 14 other murders, including Aloys Ulrich.
People began reporting seeing strange things in the tunnel starting in the 1870s. Most famously, a green specter covered in slime hanging from the top of the tunnel.
“They see shadows, people hear voices, they hear moans. So we do believe this tunnel is actually haunted by the spirit of Aloys Ulrich.”Tamara Hess, Belmont County Spirit Seekers
If Ulrich’s ghost is in this tunnel, I want to find him. Thankfully, Tracy and Tamara brought along some specialized equipment for the task.
“Some of the equipment we have is stuff we use all the time. One is a REM-Pod. Most of the equipment we use picks up on electromagnetic energy, which is what spirits supposedly emit.”Tracy Johnston, Belmont County Spirit Seekers
They even brought a very cool piece of tech called an SLS camera that is able to map people in the area, giving you a stick figure-like rendering of their joints. This is a shot of the camera mapping me filming the tunnel. The Spirit Seekers tell me it can also pick up things the naked eye can’t see.
“We were here a couple weeks ago, and we actually used the EMF and the REM-Pod, and right about this area where we are now we were getting high EMF readings…it actually happened when we were talking to the spirit of Aloys. Asking about ‘who murdered you?’ ‘Were you murdered in this tunnel?’ And that’s when we started getting spikes.”Tracy Johnston, Belmont County Spirit Seekers
Sadly, we did not run into the spirit of Aloys Ulrich on our trip, but that’s okay. You don’t always bag a deer on the first hunt of the season. But just remember that next time you’re up here at Tunnel Green, maybe you’ll be luckier than we were.
Tune in next week as Spooky Steve and a special guest explore the most haunted parts of the Moundsville Penitentiary.