The UK’s longest canal tunnel – the Standedge Tunnel in West Yorkshire – is set this Hallowe’en to undergo one of the most rigorous paranormal investigations in UK history. The three-and-a-bit-miles long tunnel under the Pennines is alleged to be one of England’s most haunted spots.

Since the tunnel was first opened in 1811, staff working there and visitors have reported encountering unexplained sounds and eerie lights, and some have even encountered a mysterious ghostly figure lurking there.

Has the abandoned tunnel been used for black magic rituals?

The tunnel itself was closed in 1944 but was opened again briefly in 2001. Upon inspection in 2001 workers uncovered unexplained cave paintings and severed sheeps’ heads, giving rise to rumours that black magic rituals had been held deep underground.

Construction of the tunnel – which is so narrow only one boat is able to pass though it at any one time – commenced in the mid 1890s and took seventeen years to complete. The sheer scale of construction and inadequate working practices resulted in severe delays and over fifty deaths.

In October this year the Soul Reaper Paranormal team is inviting members of the tunnel to enter into its depths and see if any sign of ghouls or strange phenomenon can be found.

Eerie encounter with a shrieking man in a mask recalled

The main story of occult encounters at Standedge occurred in 1980 when a young man and a group of friends used the tunnel – which had been drained at the time – as a short cut between Diggie and Marsden. The man told the local press that around one third of the way down the tunnel someone wearing an old man’s mask ran towards the group shrieking. The man cut the young man’s face then promptly disappeared.

When the tunnel was drained in the late 1999s for restoration purposes the workers uncovered a number of corpses including, allegedly, one woman whose throat had been cut.

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