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TIME: 7pm - 3am
ADDRESS: DRAKELOW TUNNELS, KINGSFORD LANE, WOLVERLY & COOKLEY, KIDDERMINSTER, WEST MIDLANDS, DY11 5SW
Location type: Old Nuclear Bunker / Tunnels
Type of Haunting: Residual, intelligent & elemental
The Drakelow Tunnels are maze of pitch black, underground tunnels which span over 285,000 square feet. They were constructed as part of the Ministry of Aircrafts Shadow Factory Scheme for use by Rover in WWII and were primarily used as storage and workshops. After the War, the Government took the building and prepared it as a Nuclear Bunker for use during the Cold War, with new rooms and equipment designed to house local & National Government officials, plus armed forces and medical teams. Thankfully the war ended, and the bunker was sold off in the early 1990s.
The tunnels contained dormitories, storage areas, workshops, electrical equipment, toilets, offices, a BBC studio, a GPO Telephones communications facility and other facilities. During the 1950s and the growing Cold War, the site was initially used by the Ministry of Supply for storage.
Around 1958 part of the site was developed by the Home Office as a Regional Seat of Government (RSG9). It was publicly exposed in a demonstration held there by the West Midlands Committee of 100 in the summer of 1963. Under later Home Defense schemes the bunker was designated a Sub-Regional Control (SRC), Sub-Regional Headquarters (SRHQ) and finally Regional Government Headquarters (RGHQ).
he current owners and visitors alike, have witnessed several unexplained occurrences within the complex. As with most MoD disposals, the history and what went on at their sites remain classified or is still under the Official Secrets Act. When Drakelow was disposed of, no history of the complex was given to the current owners. It is only through research and former workers who are coming forward that information has come to light, although there are still huge gaps in its history. Whether or not the MoD experienced strange events at Drakelow is unknown, and even if they did, they would never disclose it.
DEATHS AT DRAKELOW
The site was greatly modernized in the early 1980s, only a small portion of the site was designated for use. New blast doors were fitted in place of the previous wooden factory doors and the interior of the site was refurbished in the areas forward of tunnel 4.
In 1990 there was a plan to move the RGHQ to a much smaller bunker, formerly used by UKWMO, at Lawford Heath near Rugby. In the end this never happened, and the Drakelow site was decommissioned and sold in around 1993.
During the construction of Drakelow Tunnels several tragic accidents occurred, resulting in the deaths of six men and one woman. The first and most traumatic series of deaths occurred on the 31st October 1941, as a roof collapsed in Tunnel 1, this is documented in Rover's archives. Whilst blasting in Tunnel 1, the roof suddenly caved in without warning, Mr Harry Depper and two of his colleagues who were working in the tunnel were crushed to death by the falling rock. Mr Depper was buried in a local cemetery on the 5th November 1941, sadly the names of his two colleagues are not known.
The fourth death at Drakelow was that of Mrs Mary Ann Brettel, who was accidently hit by one John Cochrane & Sons dump trucks whilst outside the complex, she later died of shock. The last three death's at Drakelow were unfortunately down to sheer bad luck. To make excavation of the tunnels more effective, conveyor belts were installed to remove the loose rock caused by blasting. After a hard day of working the tunnels, two of the construction workers decided to ride on top of the conveyor, before they reached the end, they became entangled in the machinery which mangled them to death.
The last known death to occur at Drakelow was that of Mr. Eric Harold Newman, Mr. Newman was the Security Officer for Goods In & Out. Whilst leaving the complex one evening on his motorbike, he was accidently struck down by Mr. Wilkes, the coach driver who used to bring in the workers each day to Drakelow.
GHOSTS OF DRAKELOW TUNNELS
These sinister tunnels are terrifying to be in even in daylight. So many paranormal events have occurred here that those who have spent the night here in the past have found it very difficult to express how frightening this location is.
The ghosts and spirits that haunt Drakelow Tunnels are thought to be those of the people who have died tragically within the location, however, it is the sinister spirit of an ‘elemental creature’ often described as a ‘large dog that walks on its hind legs’ which seems to terrify visitors the most. Visitors have often spoken of seeing figures that dart behind walls and footsteps that follow them as they make their way through the vast amount of rooms here.
The site is currently also used by Airsoft for shooting activities. There have recently been reports of participants tracking a figure, only to turn the corner into a dead-end and find the person has vanished. People have reported hearing terrifying screams, feeling watched and surrounded within the tunnels and even being grabbed by unseen hands. Stones have even been thrown and ghost hunters have been chased out of the location by a malevolent presence in the dead of night, too terrified to return.
One evening in late 1993, the caretaker was inspecting the kitchen in the old RSG side of the complex when he began to hear faint 1940's music, it seemed to be coming from the old Rover Shadow Factory side, thinking it may possibly be a maintenance engineer who had left his radio on he went to investigate. As he approached Tunnel 1, the music began to get louder, as he stepped out into Tunnel 1, the music suddenly stopped. He walked the length of Tunnel 1 to see if he could find the radio, but nothing was found. Upon reaching the old-time office at the end of Tunnel 1 the music started again, the caretaker walked back down the tunnel only to find nothing again. The caretaker, now determined to find the mysterious radio, continued his search. This quick inspection then turned into a 6-hour search of the entire complex, but no radio was found. The only piece of equipment that could play music, was the old WWII tannoy system that had not worked since the 1950's.
Several people have captured full-bodied apparitions in their photographs, a common occurance in these tunnels. Recently, while filming 'Most Terrifying Places' for Travel Channel USA, MJ Dickson and the crew felt an extremely strong presence of a male spirit. He was described as wearing a boiler suit with a flat peak cap - they captured this apparition in a clear (and very creepy!) photograph.
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