Drakelow Tunnels

Drakelow Tunnels are built into the sandstone near Kinver, in Worcestershire. They were originally designed as a mirror factory of the Rover works nearby, which was manufacturing engines for the war effort in the Second World War. They were built quickly because the sandstone was so easy to tunnel and are very extensive, with a total length of nearly four miles, although obviously very convoluted and twisting. Because of their original purpose of manufacturing quite large components, the tunnels have quite a lot of headroom so are not low and creepy as many underground places are, but the strange acoustic and their meandering nature makes them a very scary place to be, nonetheless.

A largely unsubstantiated story of an accident during the building of the tunnels is the explanation for all manner of ghostly goings on, involving a spirit which has come to be known as Oswald. Oswald is not malicious, having a kind of schoolboy humour, tapping people on the shoulder or pulling their hair, but this kind of behaviour is still scary when you can’t see who is doing it. Unless you have a torch with you the tunnels are totally dark of course, having no contact with the outside at all except a few doors which are soon out of sight after you have taken a few twists and turns.

Even those who are not claustrophobic or generally unhappy underground will be affected by the atmosphere of Drakelow Tunnels. Because there are so many blind corners it is almost impossible to shake off the feeling of something unknown either ahead or behind and it takes a very strong character not to feel more than a few goose pimples as soon as you go in and the door clangs shut behind you on the sunlit world above.

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