Have you ever been walking in the woods and come across a cave? Depending on where you live and hike, it could happen a lot. In Kentucky, caves are everywhere. Some, like Mammoth Cave, are huge. Others, like the ones near my house are smaller and lead to small tunnel passages on the rock.

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Natural, underground springs and water form caves. But, there are times when for the purpose of making roads and railroads, tunnels have to be made through the rock mountains. One such tunnel in Kentucky, built in the mid 1800's, has a bone-chilling past that involves a buried treasure, Jesse James and a witch.

The Spurlington Tunnel

According to Columbia Magazine, this is the history of the building of the railroad tunnel.

The Spurlington community in Taylor County is located 8 miles north of Campbellsville. It began as a small settlement of farmers in the 1840's, while Taylor County was still a part of Green County. Taylor County was created in 1848 and shortly after, work on the rail-line began.
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A 31 mile rail-line from Greensburg to Lebanon was created and with the creation came the Spurlington Tunnel. It took 7 years to build...historians say that the construction date was March 1,1867, and was completed on July 1,1874. The tunnel excavation was mostly blue limestone with a ledge of black flint. It took the average force of 75 men, 24 hours to go 6 feet into the rock.The tunnel is 1900 feet long with a 100 foot shaft hole carved out of the middle so the exhaust from the train could be released from the tunnel.
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The first train came through the tunnel in October of 1879, There were four trains a day to use the rail-system. The train carried passengers and shipments of freight to Taylor and Green Counties. For more than 100 years the legend of a witch has hovered over the Spurlington Tunnel and her name is Nancy Bass.
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The legend of Nancy Bass

Stories of Nancy have been passed down through families in Taylor County, KY. Legend has it that Aunt Nancy found Jesse James and his gang burying some gold and sliver in the tunnel. When they saw her, it's believed that they killed her and buried her in the ground above the tunnel.

Since then, people say that Nancy was a witch who now haunts the tunnel and will put a curse on anyone who enters or searches for the buried treasure. Many locals believe that the treasure remains buried somewhere in the tunnel.

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Video footage from inside the tunnel

[Columbia Magazine]

 

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