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Beware the Black Ghost of the Bozeman Tunnel (standard:Ghost stories, 3534 words)
Author: G.H. HaddenAdded: Jun 04 2013Views/Reads: 3194/1720Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I don’t mean to scare you—honest I don’t, but you best be forewarned Mister. Beware the Black Ghost of the Bozeman tunnel!

Teaser:  I don't mean to scare you—honest I don't, but you best be
forewarned Mister.  Beware the Black Ghost of the Bozeman tunnel! 

Beware the Black Ghost of the Bozeman Tunnel 

By: G. H. Hadden 

I don't mean to scare you—honest I don't, but you best be forewarned
Mister.  Beware the Black Ghost of the Bozeman tunnel! 

Least that's what I wanna tell him if he'd just listen to me for a
minute.  But he just don't wanna hear anything a country boy like 
myself has to say about it.  Nope, he's much too busy settin' up all 
that fancy photography equipment at the side of the tracks down there 
in the gully about ten yards from the west portal of Bozeman Tunnel... 
Nosir, he's much too busy to listen to reason. 

See him?  Ya, right down there where I'm pointing...see?  What say,
Can't you help me get his attention Fella?  You look like you're 
already halfway convinced he's crazy yourself.  So let me tell it to 
you.  Then maybe we can both talk some sense into him. 

You're not from around here are ya?  Well, let me fill you in.  We're in
God's country out here in case you haven't noticed, Big Sky blue above, 
and seldom is heard a discouraging word unless from the mouth of the 
occasional motorist much like yourself...poor unfortunates unlucky 
enough to find themselves  stranded on the breakdown lane on the 
adjacent Interstate 90/Route191 at our backs.  This yours?...tricked 
out citified Toyota Tundra?   Ha, thought so.  Too clean to be a 
workingman's truck; my daddy always said black was a bad color for a 
truck, hard to see at night in a whiteout. 

Anyways, as you can see, traffic about 13 miles east of Bozeman, Montana
is pretty light this time in the early afternoon, wouldn't ya say?  A 
few cars whizin' past us, few trucks purr happily by along their 
smoothly paved way, but  luck's with us, it ain't near noisy enough to 
ruin the natural ambiance of this magic place—at least not yet.  For 
now the birds still warble and the heat bugs buzz in the grass at the 
side of the railway cutting that rises steeply along the gentle curve 
leading up to the new (completed in1955) concrete tunnel.  Asked me; it 
has all the modern charm of an oversized square rain culvert.  But 
hidden behind the bare and rocky rain-sculpted slope in front of us are 
the weed-choked remnants of the old right-of-way first carved through 
the pass in 1912. 

Go on...have a look for yourself if you want to.  There's an old sooty
stone arch façade that leads to nowheres now, fenced off to keep us 
locals out of trouble. Whatever ghosts lurked in that tunnel are long 
gone now, as is the Northern Pacific that built it. 

Hmmm. Seems to me conditions are ripe for the ghost to make an
appearance today. The breeze is gentle and cool here at 5,819 feet 
above sea level. The valley around us is green and unspoiled for the 
most part, and the mountains loom gray on each side of the horizon, 
just as pioneer John Bozeman must've saw them as he guided his fast 
moving wagon trains west through the pass in the 1860s.  The sun is 
hotly pleasant on the back of the neck don't ya think... although it 
leaves more of a tan today than what I can remember when I first 
started coming to the tunnel as a youngster in the ‘70s. 

Ha!  “Look at him!” you're probably thinking; “A grown man yet, in
pretty good shape surely, but why's he haulin' all that stuff down to 
the track's edge?”  Kinda leaves you scratchin' your head there, don't 
it Fella?   He's sturdy and sure-footed as the Great Northern's 
mountain goat mascot but a man his age (probably in his early thirties 
I'd say) oughta know better, right?  I've heard that complaint from all 
kinds of tongue-waggers before many a time, that a full grown man has 
no business at all setting up to photograph trains coming up out of 
this here tunnel.  You'd think so too, wouldn't you?   But ah 
well...Huhhhh, I sure can tell you somethin' about that too, stranger.  
 Can't say as I blame him ‘cause I've got the same bug in me that's in 
him too. 

So let me ‘splain it to you as best I can here.  I call it the train
bug, and once it crawls in you and gets under you skin there just ain't 

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