Old Tunnel used to be a railroad tunnel of the Fredericksburg and Northern Railway up until 1942 and became a State Park officially in 2012.
Today, it is frequented by tourists and is a popular school trip location.
It is the home of a variety of birds and other wild species.
Updated 2/11/2020 – Benches surround the entrance to the tunnel, and the hiking trail is only half a mile long.
Nature viewing is encouraged, due to the many different species of wildlife, including bats.
But nature and birds aren’t the only draws of this park, and nature-lovers aren’t the only type of visitors.
Old Tunnel State Park hides many secrets, revealing them only to a chosen few
Ghost hunters rarely dare to delve deep into Old Tunnel’s secrets these days, and there is a reason for it.
During a memorable visit, according to a ghost hunter, they heard the cries of children.
“I don’t remember the hour, it was late,” the ghost hunter said.
“It was just me and three others, thinking this would be a routine hunt, a myth we’d get to bust.
“As we approached the mouth, and it looked like a mouth of a dark cave in the faint light, we heard soft, nearly silent crying.
Immediately, I knew no adult could make such a sound.
I knew it was a child.
“We walked on, arranging ourselves around the entrance.
As we waited, we heard more cries, getting louder.
We entered quickly inside, and that was when our headlamps flickered and died.
“But there was light coming from the other side.
It was the intense light of an approaching train.
We turned to run, but a whooshing sound froze all of us in our tracks.
“I swear I saw my life flash ahead of me.
As I braced for impact, I felt thousands of things brush by me.
Bats, I realized, eons after the rush passed us.
“There was no more crying, and our headlamps came back on.
We turned around and got out of the tunnel.”
Dark rumors reveal the reason behind the children’s cries
Other Ghost hunters have gone back to Old Tunnel to hear the children’s cries.
Some of them have reported similar cries from Alamo State Park.
The Old Tunnel ghosts of crying children do not reveal themselves to every group, however.
Only one out of ten get the privilege.
The cries were never heard on the same day, or during the same hour.
Rumor has it that Old Tunnel was where unwanted children were taken in the middle of the night way before the railroad was shut down.
Some of the children were newborns, born out of wedlock, or with visible disabilities. Taking them to the tunnel was considered a mercy.
Despite the light, the children were small.
In the dark, accosted by the rumble of the approaching train, blinded by the train’s headlights, they were unable to run to save themselves.
They could only cry, unseen and unheard, as the train approached, ending their life.
Time, the wildlife and nature have all done their part together.
Today, all that’s left are the sounds of the children’s cries, the whoosh of the train and the blinding light.