The Haunted Cowee Tunnel
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad takes brave passengers through this historic old tunnel on it’s Tuckaseegee River excursion.
Built with convict labor back in 1880 -1882, the entire tunnel was hand carved with nothing more than pic axes and dynamite.
The haunted aspect comes about as a result of an accident that occurred in 1882 on the river itself. 19 convicts were on a flat boat being taken across the river to work in the tunnel. While chained at the ankle (chain gang style), the flatboat suddenly capsized throwing the men into icy river. Being as how they were all chained together at the ankle, they were all pulled under the water together and drowned.
It is said that since there is constant moisture on the ceiling of the tunnel and water is constantly flowing down the sides of the tunnel, it represents the “tears” of the men that lost their lives that day. Eerily, there are no springs or natural water sources in or around the tunnel that can account for this phenomenon.
Since then, unexplained wheel slips and sounds come from the tunnel that can’t be explained.
Let us know if you have ever taken this excursion of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad! We would love to hear about your experience!