By Cannibal Cam Schwarz
Many people have heard of the Screaming Tunnel in Niagara Falls. It’s become an urban legend: a girl is chased by her father and doused with gasoline after a nasty divorce. A girl is raped and burned alive in the middle of the tunnel or the young girl, who escaped a burning house, collapses. The one connection that brings them all together is this: if you light a match in the centre of the tunnel, a sudden gust of wind gently blows out the match. I mean you can try to light a match but usually there is a gust blowing through the tunnel so take the story for a fun ghost story.
Recently we were able to track down some descendants living around the tunnel. We wanted to know what really did happen or if anything actually did. Phil and myself finally got in contact with Sam, son of Donald who actually had a major part in the urban legend himself. This peaked our interest and we were ready to get the real story behind this world-wide known phenomenon.
Sam brought us down to the tunnel to talk about the picture he had. He had actual documentation of the accident or incident that occurred. This totally blew our minds. Was this event at all real or possible?
He began to tell us about the picture of the mangled pile of bodies which lay in the middle of the tunnel. The year was 1924. Donald Jordanson lived across from the tunnels on 16 acres of land where he farmed wheat and corn. He had a whole life ahead of him. He was newly married and had a new-born son Sam. How could life be any better? Well, it started with a level of drought that brought on the worst year of Donald’s life. Southern Ontario had some of the worst weather that summer.
In August of 1924, a storm blew in, with winds as high as 90-120 kilometres an hour through the area. It wiped out all his crop that year. It was devastating in every way, especially financially. By the end of 1924, Donald had lost everything – the farm, the house and his lovely family. Mrs. Donaldson took Sam, never to return. Donald slowly lost it, and fell into what one would call massive psychosis: what is real and what is fantasy.
Donald got to a point where everything that was living, he felt should be dead. Everything that was a functioning part of society in some way or another should be dead. He felt that he should be dead. No one could get a hold of him. He was nowhere to be found. Doors were locked. The city was closing in on his property since there was no answer of any kind from him, or even from his wife. Soon after, others disappeared. Where did the lawyer Frank Male, neighbours Ethal Davison and long-time business partner John Frew disappear?
Finally the police became involved to get to the bottom of it all. The day the police went to the Jordanson farm was the day all hell broke loose. As they approached the tunnel on the right hand side they began to notice a glow emanating from the tunnel. As they drove closer they realized there were at least a dozen bodies piled on each other, set ablaze. Black smoke began to billow from each end of the tunnel and the stench was impossible to take.
Standing at the other end of the tunnel was Donald. With a pitchfork tucked gently under his chin, he yelled out incoherently at the pile of burning bodies. He then began to fall forward and he impaled himself through the head. So until this day when you light a match in the tunnel, you can hear the ghostly voice of Donald before his ultimate decision.