Graded locations

Listed buildings are graded in each location in this blog. Eg. Grade I, II* II of grade I is of most importance. Grade A relates to Scotland. See BLB

Saturday, 7 February 2015



The longest, deepest, highest, darkest and most haunted canal tunnel in Europe? 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before - Edgar Allan Poe 

We set out to the snow covered moors of Huddersfield, travelling along the Colne Valley on a very bitter February afternoon, with a spaniel, a large thermos flask full of hot coffee and essential thermals.  On our arrival to Marsden village we found the place almost deserted, there was a jogger and a dog jogging along side him off the lead, a couple with an extremely yappy dog that actually looked like a cat and some travellers waiting for the next train to arrive on the northern railway station.

As we set out along the tow path, parts of the canal were completely frozen over, I chucked a couple of sticks onto the ice and it made a resonant percussive and almost tuneful clatter. It was only a half a mile walk down to the visitors centre and cafe, which we found closed, not to open until next week. I was hungry at this point and wished I had packed some sandwiches. Outside the deserted cafe I cracked open the coffee, the warm plastic cup warmed up my freezing hands. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the snow was just about melting on the hills.

As I sat watching my partner and Wizzy peer into the dark tunnel, a memory popped into my mind, I was sure I had read somewhere that the Standedge tunnels are allegedly haunted, yes I had read it in a book called 'Haunted Huddersfield' by Kai Roberts. I couldn't remember the story and promised myself when I got back home I would re-read that chapter.

I tried to take a photo of the inside of the tunnel, I was over-stretching and my toes were right on the very edge of the path, I feared that I would fall in and be a victim of the green murky water, I gave the camera to my partner. The tunnel was almost dungeon-like, a watery grave.

I am not too knowledgeable about the history of the place, I am not going to sit here until I get a crick in my neck, there are plenty more websites where you can read in great depth about its past.

Also, a lot is written about it's 'haunted history' whether or not these are just tall tales remain to be seen. I for one am a little sceptical.. as always. But, there are some interesting stories.

The first story can be found on Ghosts UK.. here is a snippet to whet your appetite...

"His waterlogged corpse hoisted aboard and carried clear at Tunnel End. His face (in true style) still baring the look of tortured, horrified terror which gave birth to his terrible scream". 

That night I decided to go to bed, get out my kindle and read chapter 4 of 'Haunted Huddersfield' 'The Colne Valley', 55% in - 'The Standedge Tunnels' All rights are reserved in this book, so you will have to get yourself a copy here for a couple of quid.

There are some interesting juicy bits of reading here, which I will dig out.... 

I found it amusing that British Waterways who are responsible for the canal do not like to encourage such 'fanciful' tales about the tunnel in fear that it may frighten children and put off folks of a nervous disposition, (yeh right, affecting the takings!) [sic]. Bargeman Fred Carter said in the Yorkshire Post that he doesn't believe in ghosts and he is not frightened of the tunnel, but other employees have recorded strange experiences in the vicinity. 

Tunnel entrance
So what have we got here, well there are claims people have seen pink orbs.. (pink orbs?) dead people residue, you can't see my face can you. What else have we got......strange noises in the tunnel, people have tragically died, there must be spirits! 

When the canal was drained, corpses were discovered, well I would imagine there will be cadavers , it took years for it to be dug out, folks lost there lives. There is a story of a woman who had her throat slashed, her body was dredged out too.  EEEEUUWWW !!

Groups of adventurers and nowadays called urban explorers, encounter odd things, a robed man was once seen entering the tunnel and a shrieking figure wearing a mask ran towards a group of people only for it to disappear into the shadows. Lights also appear in the tunnel then just disappear.

You can go in the tunnel yourself on one of the barges. 

Here are some links of interest.

Video if embed one doesn't work

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