Monday, August 2, 2010

Creepy Things

Some things are just inherently creepy. Old, broken-down houses. A creak of wood in the middle of the night. Thick fog on a dark evening. Back country roads with no streetlamps to light the way. Bridges over high chasms. And tunnels.

We have two major tunnels in Baltimore: the Harbor Tunnel and the newer Fort McHenry Tunnel. The newer tunnel is bigger with bright lights and it's not creepy at all. The Harbor Tunnel, though, is fabulous. When I drive through it, I turn the radio down and open the window so I can hear the echo of the cars. Sometimes, if it's late enough at night, there aren't many cars at all. You can almost imagine you are the only car in the tunnel, the only car in the world, the only person left, and who knows where the end of the tunnel will emerge, or if there's even an end. Perhaps you'll be driving and driving and driving, and the air will turn thick and stale with a faint undercurrent of rot and ruin...

The yellow lighting gives it a surreal and very creepy vibe. They've replaced the lights in at least one of the tunnel's bores with white lighting which totally ruins the creepy effect, in my opinion. When Stephen King did a signing in Maryland (Alas, I did not attend the signing.), he even mentioned the tunnel:

This is a video I found of a drive through the tunnel, but it's been set to music so it isn't creepy at all, but it gives you an idea of what the tunnel is like. Turn the sound off, though, before you watch it.

And yes, now I'm quite sure I have to write a short story about the tunnel.


LadyKuro said...

Speaking of tunnels, earlier this year (right before I graduated) two good friends and I went down into the steam tunnels at William and Mary. I ended up being the last in the tunnel (as the other two climbed out). Now THAT was creepy.

Damien Walters Grintalis said...

Kuro, it sounds fabulously creepy!

Ally said...

On our way to Cody earlier this spring, we discovered that there is a wonderfully creepy mountain tunnel(s) driving through the Wind River Reservation here in Wyoming. They run parallel to a train track on the side of another mountain, which also has rock tunnels and old timber frames.

Pitch black, long and echo-y. Also creepy that a very icy, cold-looking river separates the two. Just looking at that water makes one a careful driver.