I lived in Virginia for several years as a child/teenager. Growing up in a semi-rural area, I heard many "haint" stories from family and friends, some of them revolving around Cencibal (I'm not positive on the spelling) Tunnel. The paranormal has always interested me because I started having ghostly experiences at a young age, and of course as soon as I got the chance to check out this tunnel myself, I did.
Cencibal Tunnel is nestled in between two mountains in Hawkins County, VA. It stands almost at the end of a long and narrowly winding road. Houses are few and far between on this road, but there is a house at either end of the tunnel, one of which was coined the Cencibal Mansion. Across the road from the "mansion" is a small cemetery that I believe to be a family burial place. There is a creek that runs on one side of the tunnel, and now unused train tracks that lay on top of the tunnel.
My most hair-raising experience at Cencibal Tunnel happened when I was 14. It was winter and all of the schools in the area had been dismissed early because of snow. My boyfriend, Jake, and his friend, Opie, picked my best friend, Tonya and I up from school. We went to my house for a while but, being teenagers, we were soon bored. So, as soon as the sun went down, we decided to venture out to the tunnel. Opie had never been and Jake had only been once before. We all piled into Opie's truck, which was a small Ranger-type truck with bucket seats. Opie drove, Tonya sat in between the bucket seats, and I sat on Jake's lap on the passenger side.
When we got to the tunnel, there was about a half a foot of water standing in the middle of it due to snow that had melted from an earlier snow storm. We pulled into the middle of the tunnel and Opie turned the truck and lights off. We sat there for a few minutes, joking about the ghosts. Perhaps this was a mistake, because it wasn't long before strange things started happening. The other three in the truck were talking when I noticed that something was dripping from the inside rear-view mirror of the truck. I wiped it with my finger, and noticed it was the consistency of water. I pointed this out to everyone else, and Opie said, "That's never happened before." Tonya thought it may have been condensation, but Jake pointed out that the windows weren't fogged over.
Then we heard the footsteps in the water. It sounded like someone was walking up behind the truck. We all heard it, and we all turned to look at the same time. We saw nothing. Jake rolled down his window and stuck his head out, looking down the bed of the truck, to the back, and Opie did the same on his side. Neither of them saw anything. I remember them both rolling their windows back up, and Jake looking at me saying, "That was weird." I will never forget the look in his eyes. He was definitely getting scared. I replied, "Yeah, that was weird." Tonya requested that we leave, but the rest of us weren't ready. Then something hit the truck HARD, hard enough that it rocked the entire truck. It sounded like it came from Jake's side, on the truck bed. Tonya and I screamed, and the boys came close to screaming. It was then that a white, translucent figure appeared in front of us, at a distance of about 10 feet. It appeared to me as if it were a woman in a long, flowing dress. And she was getting closer, ever so slowly. It was at this point that Opie said, "It's time to go," and he started the truck and we drove back to my house.
When we pulled into my driveway, we all poured ourselves out of Opie's cramped truck. Jake said he wanted to know what hit the truck. He and Opie began looking at the truck to see if there was any damage, or sign that something had hit it. They found what they were looking for in the form of a hand-print longer and wider than any of ours. We all placed our hands in the print, and it was much larger than ours, at least three inches longer than the boys'.
About a week later, Opie decided he hadn't had enough of the tunnel. He talked our friend Clinton into going with him to the tunnel to spend the night. They stopped by KFC on the way and bought a bucket of chicken; they were ready to post up for the night. Their vigilance would go unrewarded that night. They eventually tired of waiting and seeing nothing, and decided to go home in the wee hours of the morning. Opie took Clinton back to his truck, and Clinton followed him the rest of the way into town.
Opie totaled his truck that night. He wrecked, with no good cause, while Clinton watched helpless behind him. Opie had no memory of why he wrecked, but I have a theory. I don't want to be quick to make a firm conclusion, because I wasn't there that night, but I do wonder if Opie picked something up in the tunnel. Is that even possible? I don't know, but if anyone has any thoughts, I'll be happy to listen. I have other stories as well, if anyone is interested.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I know it's long!