The Ghost of Sensabaugh Tunnel
Sensabaugh Tunnel is located just off Big Elm Road in Kingsport, TN, not far from Rotherwood Mansion. It was constructed in the 1920s, and today it sits in a state of disrepair. There are cracks in the cement, and graffiti is everywhere. The road that passes through it is only used by locals, and not often by them. The tunnel is most notorious for a murder that occurred there many years ago.
There are several versions of how the murder transpired. All of them involve a baby. One version is that many years ago, a hobo wandered to the home of a fairly prominent family named Sensabaugh. They welcomed the hobo into their home. The hobo, however, started to steal jewelry from the family, so Mr. Sensabaugh grabbed his pistol. The hobo then grabbed the couple's newborn baby, which he used as a human shield, and ran. The hobo was able to outpace the father, and ran into the tunnel. He didn't know what to do with the baby, so he drowned it in the stream that runs through the tunnel.
The other two versions do not involve a hobo. According to one, Mr. Sensabaugh lived with his family in a house near the entrance to the tunnel. One day he went crazy, and murdered them all, including his newborn baby, and threw their bodies into the creek in the tunnel. Other account says a young pregnant woman was kidnapped and murdered in the tunnel.
If any of these accounts is correct, there's no doubt that a tragedy occurred here years ago. And that tragedy has found it's way into the lore of the region. Today, the tunnel is a typical "lover's lane," where young couples go to enjoy each other's company in private. And of course, the tale of the tragedy always sparks the interest of those present.
The baby who was killed here is said to haunt the tunnel. It is said that you can hear the baby cry if you drive into the car, and cut off the ignition. It's also said that the ignition will not start if you kill it in the tunnel. Other people claim you can hear Mr. Sensabaugh's footsteps echoing in the tunnel, and see him approaching the car in your rearview mirror. That would be quite unsettling, indeed, if your car won't start!
So what is going on in the tunnel? Does the baby and Mr. Sensabaugh haunt the area? Or is it all just a myth? Who knows? I wouldn't advise killing your motor in the tunnel, though.
©2002-2005 John Norris Brown. Part of John Norris Brown.com