The Haunting Of Poor House Road Tunnel

An exploration into one of Rockbridge’s spookiest spots.

The Haunting Of Poor House Road Tunnel

Reagan Woody, Reporter

Rockbridge County, Virginia is home to many well known sights, including historical places and scenic beauties. However, there are some hidden places in Rockbridge County that hold a darker history as well. One of these places is the Poor House Road Tunnel, located along Route 39 in Lexington, Virginia. It is said to be one of the most haunted spots in the county. 

Poor House Road Tunnel, formally known as the B&O Tunnel, was built in the late 1800s. It is located along the old B&O Railroad that connected Lexington, VA to Staunton, VA. It is found off of a beaten path, in the middle of the woods on a street called Poor House Road. Located in a dense forest, this tunnel is an eerie sight. With overgrown vines and graffitied stone walls, Poor House Road Tunnel is not your ordinary haunt. A small creek runs along the right side of the tunnel, and the noise from it creates a loud echo throughout. 

Multiple spirits are said to haunt Poor House Road Tunnel. According to episode two of the Ghost Travelers Podcast, the most well-known ghosts that lurk in the darkness of the tunnel are the ghosts of two little girls. It is rumored that these two girls were off playing in the neighboring woods, and an unknown man shot and killed them. It is said that you can hear them saying “come on, come on,” luring people into their tunnel. 

A third spirit said to haunt the tunnel is one of a woman who was raped and murdered there. Other cases of paranormal activity in the tunnel include a mysterious fog surrounding the middle and shadowy figures that have been spotted nearby. 

Poor House Road Tunnel also reportedly used to be the site of many lynchings and other horrendous murders, which has left the area up for investigation. 

Recently, I took a trip out to the tunnel to explore this local haunting for myself. Going to this dark place is not for the faint of the heart. It is important to note that I came by myself, and no one else was there. After driving about 20 minutes on Route 39, I pulled off onto Reid Road and began to drive towards the tunnel. Once I entered onto Poor House Road, I started driving deeper into the forest. After about five minutes of driving down an icy, gravel road, I reached the tunnel. 

It was foggy outside, and the fog helped create an eerie theme to the place. Icicles hung from the top of the tunnel, and patches of ice littered the floor. I walked back and forth throughout the tunnel multiple times and had my camera rolling the entire time because I began to hear little sounds. These sounds resembled what would sound like two rocks being hit against one another. At one point during my visit there, I could hear a low, howling noise. 

I never once felt threatened during my visit at the tunnel, but after about an hour, I got the urge that it was time to go. Before I left, I took two photos of both sides of the tunnel with my Polaroid camera. While one picture came out normal, the second picture did not. In the second picture, a shadowy white figure appeared on one side of the tunnel. I had the camera on the high quality setting, so it could not have been an exposure problem. I then checked my pictures to make sure that it was not a patch of graffiti, and it was not. 

When I got home that night, I started to look through all of the videos and photos that I had taken. Once again, some photos had come out normal while others had not. In one picture, I can clearly see a human shaped figure standing there. Once again, I checked back through other pictures of that side of the tunnel, and was able to confirm that it was not graffiti. 

When playing back through my videos, I noticed numerous things that I did not hear in the tunnel. Multiple times I caught high pitched voices making noises that sounded like small words and yelps. I also heard the small rock sounding noises on multiple occasions. Even with the loud echo of the creek, these noises are prominent and can be easily heard, as if whatever was making them was very close to me. At one point in a video that I had taken, you can hear a very loud bang. Again, no one else was there with me. The final noise that I caught on camera was a low, roaring and growling noise. This noise scared me because it was so loud and continued on for quite some time. 

I wholeheartedly believe that the Poor House Road Tunnel is haunted, and whatever lurks in the tunnel is deeply troubled by past events. If you visit this location, it is key that you stay respectful, and not graffiti or harm any part of the tunnel. 


For a video tour of Poor House Road Tunnel, visit: