Several years ago, during the summer of my Freshman year of college, I lived with a married couple who would end up being my best friends. Part of that was because of the events of that summer. The following occurred in 1994 in Delaware, Ohio.
The couple, Wil and Wendy, were both into psychic phenomenon and witchcraft, but I was a skeptic and did not follow along, and certainly never thought I'd see a ghost.
One warm afternoon, while her husband was at work and I was at home, Wendy suddenly became very ill. She was pale, cold to the touch, and moan about pain running through her. I wanted to rush her to the hospital, but she didn't have insurance and also claimed that what was happening wasn't an illness. She swore she was being attacked.
At her request, I called a friend of hers, Deb, who was something of an occult expert. She came over, along with a couple of our other friends, and immediately said that Wendy was indeed under attack. While she prepared some kind of ritual (please understand that I did NOT believe this was going to work and was pleading with Wendy to let me take her to the hospital), Wendy demanded a piece of paper and a pencil. I gave her a sketchpad and a pencil, and she drew, in great detail, what looked like a tunnel with strange markings on it. Deb finished what she was doing, did her "magic" on Wendy, and a few minutes later to my surprise, Wendy was feeling much better and the colour returned to her cheeks.
Deb said that the thing that had come for Wendy had sensed her "openness" to the supernatural, and might well have been directed at her by a "coven" Wendy had refused to join earlier that year. She also said that she knew, in general, where the thing had come from. It was near water, she said, and in someplace very dark.
Despite not believing any of it, I loaded Deb and a friend of mine into my car and drove. By this point it was night, Wil had come home to care for Wendy, and I was basically just bored and played along. We went out to the large lake outside of town, but Deb "sensed" nothing. Then we tried a camp near the river. Still nothing. We were headed home when my friend, who had grown up in the town (I had come there for college, and Wil and Wendy were from Columbus, 20 miles to the south), suggested we check one last place.
Turning down a side street, we went down the steep incline into Blue Limestone Park. The park was very dark, and I had never known the place existed, even though it was across the main drag from the college dorms. It was down in a valley and you can't easily spot it from the main road.
The front of the park is pretty normal - baseball diamonds, basketball courts, shelter houses. But the place used to be a limestone quarry (hence the name), and had two back quarries in addition to the large pond in the front. Separating the front from the back quarries is a train track that forms a 60 foot wall between the two and is pierced by a single, old tunnel to let the Delaware Run (a small river) pass through.
Even in the dark, as we parked and walked down towards the tunnel, I knew it was the place Wendy had sketched earlier. I also knew she, like me, had never known the place existed. From inside the tunnel we saw moving lights, but they were odd, glowing and seemed to move towards us. We backed off, but Deb was certain this was the place. We returned and found that Wendy had drawn another picture, this time of a cone-shaped object that was truncated at the small end. We had no idea what it was, but she said it was an altar of some kind.
The next day, Wil and I decided to explore the park. The only access to the tunnel is by climbing over a fallen tree. The tree is very close to the entrance, and though you can see perfectly well through the tunnel (it's only about 100 feet long and straight), it was still quite frightening. We slipped around a metal gate that obviously wasn't meant to stop anyone.
Inside we heard the voices. At first we thought it was the echo of the water, but it didn't take long to pick out words and phrases. Graffiti filled the tunnel, and it matched Wendy's drawing. At the end we found a large manhole cover, which was a truncated cone. Painted on the top was a pentagram and there was evidence of wax at the corners. We continued to explore the park, found both quarries, and climbed up the back side to the railroad. The tunnel bears the inscription 1918, so we assume that's when it was built. The entire day we felt uncomfortable inside the tunnel.
Other than the voices, there was one other odd occurrence that first day. Wil and I saw a train coming. Oddly, the sound from its horn barely reached us by the time it arrived. We sat on a concrete footing waiting for it to pass. Once it did, Wil decided to check the rails. I tried to stop him, warning they would be hot from the friction of the train. Instead they were ice cold. He listened, assuming he'd hear the train still within our sight. Nothing, no sound. It was like the top of that tunnel was inside a bubble.
Later that night, Deb, Wendy, Wil, and a friend of ours convinced me to go back to the park, but this time, we would walk along the railroad from the street and not pass through the tunnel. It was midnight when we got there, and we were not alone. Down in the back quarry we could see them, and I nearly ran to the car in fear. Literally dozens of shapes, glowing, moving in the darkness. Some floated along, other bobbled. Ghosts. Dozens of ghosts.
I didn't want to believe...I didn't want to see. Then the train came along. This time we barely saw it in time, the twin lights appearing like a ghost themselves. It rocketed past us in the night, but I couldn't look away from the things down in the quarry. After a while, we saw something else, what we assume was a person, carrying a candle or something similar, who moved to the "altar". We decided to leave, quickly, before whoever it was noticed us.
When we got home, we decided on a plan of action. First, we called the police to report what we thought might be kids in the park lighting fires, or at least that's what we claimed. They called back 20 minutes later thanking us, because they had found several folks in the park after hours and some were apparently trying to start a fire.
The next day, Deb, Wil and I went back. She performed a "cleansing". I actually saw what looked like a doorway in the middle of the tunnel, hanging in air, but it vanished as Deb finished her work. After that, Wil and I appointed ourselves the "guardians" of the park, and went there often in the late afternoons after work. It was peaceful...for a time. We believe that some of the ghosts were finally released because of our actions.
Before we moved out of town, Wil and I returned a final time to the park. We hadn't been there in over a year, but thought it was safe. We walked around with a friend, showing him the sights and telling him of our "adventure" there. Then we found something horrible. I had walked out away from the tunnel, down a different path than I'd ever taken before...there I found the second sewer pipe entrance, also covered in a pentegram, and a painted on note that read "You missed this one!" Wil, my friend, and I ran, and never returned.
At some point I'll write about the ghosts that followed us home that strange night on the tracks, but that's a story for a different time.