He said the tunnels were originally built as an army base during WWI in case of invasion. They were also used for drills and training. There are miles of tunnels throughout the mountain. Visible concrete walls run through the woods. Each tunnel also has another tunnel under it. There are many secret caverns and rooms throughout the passageways. Some are collapsing and one tunnel you must crawl through a rotted tree to get into. There are also bomb shelter rooms and rooms under rooms called hell holes.
I’ve heard that dead bodies are often found in this area. Suicides are common, as are dumped homicide victims. My friend also told me of a dead cop with ties to the mob, who was stabbed 80 times and raped with a metal pole, whose body was found here. He said the police never go back there.
Many times he has seen much satanic evidence such as fire rings. Most people say the whole place is haunted. My friend’s English teacher’s daughter in high school blew her brains out with a shotgun in one of the hell holes.
On the brighter side, if you visit the tunnels, there is much great graffiti from crews like NVSP, 076, DMS, First Crew, and ABK. Other local writers such as Domain and Rook also have pieces there.
The area runs on top of the cliffs with the Hudson River underneath. You have to look for two painted rocks. Between the rocks runs a trail. Follow this trail downward for less than a 1/4 mile and you will run into the tunnels of Satan’s Lair.
My experience there was ridiculously terrifying. My friends and I were exploring the tunnels for a good hour. It was the middle of the summer at about three in the morning. These tunnels are in the middle of the woods and completely pitch dark. We had two flashlights for the five of us. Each time a light would hit the ceiling of a tunnel I would see huge spiders and other giant bugs. When the light hit the floor you could see rats scurrying to find darkness. Finally, we reached a room with a big noose tied to the ceiling. It was pure evil. We decided to drink a few beers and hang-out outside on top of the tunnel.
We were all starting to relax after making it out of the tunnel unharmed, just a little grimy. The whole time there we didn’t hear any noise in the quiet night air. All of a sudden from within the trees we heard the loudest, most morbid sound ever. It didn’t sound at all human. I was sure it was a werewolf. You had to be there to understand the intensity of this shrill scream. It could not have been other kids playing a joke. I swear it wasn’t human. We heard it moving through the woods towards us. We all stood up, dropped our beers, and took off through the forest. It was pitch dark and I remember running into trees and trying to follow the person’s sound in front of me. Finally we made it back to my car. I couldn’t open the doors fast enough. I peeled out a quick U-turn and we headed back down the mountain all breathing fast as hell. As we got into town at the bottom of the mountain there was a ton of cop cars and ambulances. As we drove past I saw the worst car accident I think I will ever see in my life. Visible through the side of an unrecognizable car was a pair of legs cut off; not attached to the rest of the body. There was tons of blood everywhere. After this sight of morbid reality, we agreed that the screams we had heard were of this poor person’s soul elevating through the mountains and up towards the heavens. –Ralph Sinisi
Not Just Evil, but Also a Dangerous, Haunted Place as Well
First, I do not know what your beliefs are on magic. I don't mean crap from movies, but real magic, wicca/paganism (not Satanism, which can be real also, but, completely different), but some things that I will say might be easier to swallow if you know of them and the truth of their existence.
In any case, the reason why the police don't like to go in "there" is because there was and still is a practicing satanic cult who use Clausland Mountain for their rituals. There have been many bodies found up there, most of whom have died in a sacrificial manner. The cult members are referred to as the "Omega Men." Their names are the only ones scribbled down the further tunnels and all around the opening of the first with threats and the like.
Anyway, I believe the one tunnel, the one where you have to crawl through a rotting tree to get in, has something very "evil" about it. A little ways down that tunnel, there is something like a "wormhole" or portal. This is not something physical, but metaphysical. When you stand beside it you can feel a wind blowing straight out of the side of the wall. There is no hole, nor is there a feasible scientific explanation. I myself am a bit of a cynic due to having a scientific mind, but I am still a believer. You can literally feel the emptiness and the presences pouring out from that spot.
Another thing about this spot is that before you go into any tunnel there are three buildings on the left following the walls in between each tunnel. They resemble small barracks, about 40 square feet in area. In the first one of these, before the first tunnel, there resides an apparition. The story as to who he was has always been unclear but there are two versions of the tale: 1) He was a soldier who went insane and killed many in his platoon, or 2) he was one of the people who was killed by an insane bunkmate.
This apparition has some weird events surrounding him also. When his presence is felt, there is always a feeling of absolute anger. Another symptom is that when he wakes he tends to give people bad headaches, nowhere near migraines, but enough to be noticeable. I have some friends who feel he is responsible for some of the suicides that have happened up there. They, all being Wiccans, decided for the better of the people to exorcise him. One of them began to try and then weakened. The apparition became enraged and they decided to leave quickly before matters got worse. As they speedily walked away, the apparition hurled two of them a couple of yards. One's walking stick flew out of his hand and continued to fly for ten feet. The two who were trying the most to get rid of him were the only ones attacked. After that they succeeded in their retreat they never really came back, except during daylight hours.
All the things I have told you are true whether you choose to believe them or not. –Mark Miljko
Tweed is a Very Evil Place Indeed
About eight of us trekked through the woods to the first open area that had a tunnel entrance. After hanging out “above ground” for a while, someone suggested a walk through the pitch-black tunnel below us. As we walked, we couldn’t even see our hands in front of our faces. Every so often someone would light a lighter in an effort to feel better. This was always the wrong thing to do. The darkness may have kept your imagination active, but the light in the tunnel only showed the reality of the grotesque bugs stuck to the walls, or the creatures whose remains were left on the tunnel floor. Nevertheless, the group of us, one dumber than the next, continued down the tunnel. When we finally reached the end of the tunnel there was a platform you could get on and then with a little crafty climbing you could get out of the tunnel and on top of it, back into the fresh air.
We always had to watch our step while doing this. The other side of the wall was about a 50-foot drop off. Tweed has all kinds of underground tunnels and walls that drop off. Another time, a friend of mine stepped backwards by mistake and fell about 20 feet onto logs and broken bottles. That was when we realized that Tweed was not only a frightening place, but a downright dangerous place for a bunch of cocky teenagers to hang out. My friend was brought to a local hospital after his fall, where he was admitted for a couple days for observation and diagnosed with a bruised kidney.
It was just then, as the six of us were still stuck in the “pit” inside the tunnel that the platform collapsed! All you could hear was that horrible sound of crumbling and collapse and the echo throughout the tunnel. I remember thinking that no one would ever find our bodies. I too had heard the stories that the police were far too afraid to go back there. I remember thinking that our poor families would never know what happened to all of us.
The platform collapse severely redefined the exit to the tunnel. We now had to reach up and shimmy up on a very old, narrow, and now shaky metal beam before someone on top could reach in and pull you up the rest of the way. The near tunnel collapse seemed to slightly deter our attention from the mysterious light coming down from the other end. Everyone quickly shimmied up the metal beam and successfully reached the top of the tunnel.
We were shaking so much and were so scared that everyone was ready to leave, but no one wanted to go back the way we came. The walk on top of the tunnel could also be treacherous, especially at night. There were areas that the wall would be only a foot or so wide, forcing you to carefully balance or fall off one of the sides (anywhere from a 5 to 50 foot drop off). Just as we began to take the top of the tunnel back to the car (there was no way anyone was going back down inside that tunnel) we saw a lone stranger, stumbling and chanting something as he surfaced from the tunnel.
I didn’t get a good look at his face, but my friend said that it seemed that his face was all mauled up and bloody. Everyone stepped back and let him continue to stumble around. It wasn’t long before we saw him fall over the edge of the wall. There was no yelling or cries for help. He landed with a thud from about 30 feet up. By this point, no one had a single nerve left so we literally ran, boys and girls alike, in single file on top of the tunnel and carefully scaled the areas with high drop-offs.
We silently loaded back into the cars and drove home. I don’t know what happened to that strange man and I never went to “Tweed” again...and I never will. –T. Sarubbi
The History Behind the Clausland Mountain Mystery
The following history of the Clausland Mountain Tunnels was taken from a pamphlet provided by the Orangetown Parks and Recreation Department:
The Bluefields Rifle Range: A Vintage White Elephant
In1910 the New York National Guard built the range to replace Creedmoor, its old range on Long Island. However, the marksmen imported from Long Island and other parts of the Metropolitan area were not happy with the range. They claimed that the layout of the range necessitated shooting with the sun in one's eyes, and that Blauvelt was simply too inaccessible. (After all, twenty-two miles was quite a ride in those days). Soon after the range was opened it became evident that the weekend warriors were not the only ones who had gripes about Camp Bluefields. Irate citizens of South Nyack found that their southern neighbors were spewing a hail of lead upon them. Bullets for this range (built on high ground as it was) often overshot their targets, raining down upon the unhappy citizenry and causing quite a furor. By June of 1912, sufficient numbers of houses had been pierced by the errant missiles to cause the Guard to cease operation.
The embarrassed New York Guard gave this tract of land to the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, after only three years of use... This white elephant was last used during World War Two, when soldiers from nearby Camp Shanks used it for training. Since then, Camp Bluefields has been left alone to the dual ravages of time and the elements. Rumors about the range being cursed and haunted have abounded, which is not surprising considering its isolated location and state of disrepair.
For a firsthand look at some not so well known local history, as well as the chance to enjoy the mystery of these dark, abandoned, and man-made "caves," take some time from your hike to wander around and soak up the solitude. Be careful, though. The elements have not been kind, and sections of the tunnels have collapsed in places. Far from detracting from Bluefields' appeal, the weather-beating merely adds to the mystery of it all.
You can read more about Tweed and the many other Local Legends of New York in our book Weird New York.