Get Lost in Vermont – The Shelburne Tunnel

One of the fictional places to visit in Vermont that you won’t find in any travel guide. Even the locals don’t know about them.



The Shelburne Tunnel was a strange and mysterious place, a hidden passage that had remained undiscovered for decades. Ed, a housing developer in Vermont, had stumbled upon the tunnel by accident while working on a new development site. He had noticed a piece of concrete that shouldn’t have been there, and, being the curious sort, he decided to investigate. As he dug deeper, he found a massive cavity beneath the ground that opened up into utter darkness. And this is how Ed, who I had met at a beer cheese thing relayed to me.

Without anyone else there to stop him, Ed descended into the hole. His flashlight cut through the inky blackness as he made his way down a set of roughly hewn stone steps. The air grew cooler and damper. At the bottom, Ed swept his flashlight beam around to reveal walls adorned with flowery red wallpaper and a floor carpeted in velvety purple. The edges were trimmed with bright white marble, and there were train tracks built into the floor for a small rail car. Ed’s footsteps echoed off the walls as he walked deeper into the tunnel’s depths.

As he ventured further, Ed noticed that the tunnel was impeccably maintained, with no signs of water damage, animals, or decay. He walked briskly for twenty minutes, his flashlight illuminating more of the ornate decorations along the way. Mostly uphill, until he reached the end of the tunnel. There, he found a French-style sofa and an N.C. Wyeth painting hanging above it. On one side, there was an old-fashioned elevator with manual accordion doors that could take anyone up to the surface.

Although the elevator had no power, Ed was able to use it to escape the tunnel. He lifted the upper grate and peered out, only to find himself outside the meeting house at the Shelburne Museum. Turning back, he walked in the opposite direction, westward through the tunnel, until he reached its far end. There, he found another empty elevator, a sofa, a Wyeth painting, and a pair of roller skates. Above this sofa was another grate in the ceiling, and when Ed lifted it, he could see that he was directly beneath the foyer of the Inn at Shelburne Farms.

According to Ed, the Shelburne Tunnel had been built in the 1930s or 1940s by the eccentric Webb family as a way to visit their various properties during the long Vermont winters. The Webbs were known for their vast wealth and peculiar hobbies, and it seemed that this tunnel was just one of their many oddities. But Ed had no desire to expose the tunnel’s existence, and upon returning to the worksite, he sealed the hole and placed a shed on top of it to keep it secret.

For over forty years, Ed dismissed rumors of the tunnel and other hidden passages, even as the whispers and legends persisted. Some claimed there were other tunnels connecting Electra Webb’s brick house to the museum’s general store. But Ed stubbornly stuck to his story, refusing to reveal the tunnel’s whereabouts.

Today, it is difficult to find any evidence of the Shelburne Tunnel, either at the museum or at the inn. Someone has taken great care to cover up any trace of its existence, leaving only Ed’s word and the faintest of rumors to hint at its mysterious past. But for those who are brave enough to dig deeper into the unknown, the Shelburne Tunnel remains a tantalizing mystery, a hidden treasure still waiting to be unearthed once more.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sebastian says:

    It feels like these stories are being told to you over beers at a shady bar. And Ed sounds like a character I want to hear more about 😀

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