Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Mines of Boonesboro

These mysterious tunnels, locked behind gates, have fascinated me for many years. They burrow straight into a Boonesboro mountain in three different directions, and have been abandoned for as long as I can remember.

Many years ago, anyone was free to wander in here and snoop around. But now the main entrance is securely closed off, and many overkill signs have been placed indicating that trespassing here is a federal offense (federal? why?). but It's truly an awe-inspiring sight inside, with a row of huge sculpted round pillars of stone, each big as a house, going off into the dark distance as far as the eye could see and as far as the flashlight could shine.

Once, while standing around the entry way, a group of teenagers emerged from deep within the catacombs. They told me they were trying to map out the place and it just kept on going. With a pedometer they said they'd mapped one corridor going for 6 miles, and that there were many other corridors going off in other directions. That simply boggles my mind. Yet I see no reason to disbelieve his story, as I've read about other mines that have gone ten miles straight down below the Earth's surface.

The first reported mine in Boonesboro was in 1863, though we're not sure where. This mine, though extremely old, is probably not that old, and the huge cavernous rooms and giant pillars were definitely not done with 19th century technology.

The place has always had a reputation for being a center of occult activity, and the graffiti around the area certainly bore this out. Rumors of a vampire/blood-drinking cult using the place as a meeting spot were common in the 1990s, and indeed there were some indications that there might be something to these rumors.

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