BEG: The Troll Hole
Troll Hole? This is more like a Troll Condominium
|Hazard Level: low||Main Tunnel Clearance: ~8' in rooms||Tidal Coverage: No||Known # of Tunnels/rooms: at least 48 rooms|
|Hazards: Head Injury; Falling; trolls|
|Construction Materials: in the areas that concern us, concrete and steel.|
Some interstate bridges are hollow and have rooms inside. We first heard about this in the early '90s when someone told one of our agents that interstate bridges were hollow inside so the military could hide tanks, weapons, and emergancy supplies inside secret rooms. We did not believe it, and looking at some of the interstate bridges around town, they were all too thin to have anything hidden in them. Then one day we noticed a particular bridge that was rather thick in depth, and there was a series of trapdoors on the underside of each end. At the time, the trapdoors were welded or bolted shut and we forgot about it for several years until we recieved information on the bridge from two separate sources. First, an informant passed us this interesting bit of information:
"I grew up in Bangor, and my uncle told me stories about hanging out "in" the I-95 bridge....(edit: at this time BEG is not disclosing this location). Apparently, there is a hatch under the bridge and the cement bridge spans under the lanes are hollow. Do you know anything about this? He said he and frieds hung out in there as teenages in the 60s. Could be a very cool place to explore and find old beer cans, magazines, and who knows what else."
We then heard that one of the trapdoors was open and one of our agents checked it out each end of the bridge and found that one out of the eight trapdoors was able to be lifted. Wally was sent to check on it and gives us the following account:
"First I checked the less accessable side of the bridge, which from the road I was on, was purhaps a half mile walk through knee deep snow. The snow was not so bad though, in that I could tell that someone else had walked the same path at some point in the last month or so, and I was able to tell that someone else had been checking out the underside of this end of the bridge. Unfortunately, all the hatches on this end were closed so I had to trudge back through the snow and go half a mile up the road to the other end of the bridge. The underside of this end of the bridge is very visable from a road but I'm sure I made it up the slope to the hatches without being seen. I checked the hatches and found the one that could be opened. It opened with a loud creek and booming sound as it hit something which held it slightly upright. I quickly affixed my headlamp and pulled myself up through the hatch.
The first thing I noticed was that the batteries in my lamp were almost dead so I could see very little of the room. The room looked disapointingly small at first. Only ten or so feet on each side, I had expected a long hallway spanning the length of the bridge. Then I noticed an octagonal hole in one of the cement walls so maybe there was something more to this than a small square room. That was all in the first few seconds... more so than the size of the room under the bridge, I was concerned about what else might be in the room with me. Animals would not be able to get in here on there own, but other creatures such as myself could, and it is hard to tell how they would react to someone else entering their space. they might try to escape or hide from the unknown intruder, or hide behind the open hatch in the floor, wait for whoever opened it to come up through, and bonk them over the head with a rock or club. So upon entering, the first place I looked was right around the trapdoor, then the corners of the room, and along the walls. The first things I saw was some clothing, two pairs of pants and a sweatshirt, on the floor near the hatch, as well as some candles and other rubbish scattered about. These were sure signs that someone had been camping out in here, though with just a quick look around, I could not tell how recently.
As mentioned before, my headlamp was almost dead so it only lit up a very small area at once. Not ideal for trying to see what might be lurking in an area that I was in for the first time. No sooner had I take a few steps toward the opening to the next room, that I heard a scuffing noise, like a shoe scuffing on rough cement or someone's shoulder brushing against a cement wall. I shined my light through the opening and could just barely make out an identical opening on the opposit wall of the next room. Fearing that the troll under the bridge might be waiting, pressed up against the wall on the other side of the door just a few feet from me... waiting for whoever had intruded into it's lair to come through the door and be smashed in the face with his big knarled club... I waited and listened for a minute and heard a similar noise again. Exactly what happened next is a bit of a blur. There are a number of things I might do when I suspect someone or something else is in a place with me and I do not know who or what they are. One of them is to turn around and leave, run away, or hide, etc. Or if I know that they can not see me, I might pick up a small rock and toss it across the room (not anywhere near them though) and listen for their reaction when they hear something move from someplace else. Sometimes I introduce myself, saying something like 'my name is Wally, I'm just in here seeing what is in here. I'm not going to take your stuff or mess with you. I will not tell anyone else you are here. I am armed but I do not want to hurt you.'... or something like that. I do not actually carry any weapons into these places so the bit about being armed is a bluf to make anyone think twice about being hostile. Other times I just leap headlong into danger and hope for the best.
I don't entirely remember what I did before jumping through the door. I may have introduced myself but if I did, there was no response. All I really remember was taking a moment to shine my dim light across the floor of the next room to make sure there were no large rocks, boards, or picknic tables to crash into, then leaping and diving through the door, hoping to take whatever was there by suprise and land out of it's swinging range and get up some sort of defense as it recovered from the unexpected shock of something hurling it's self into the middle of the room. I skidded across the cement on my shoulder but managed to roll with the fall and came up to my feet near the opposite wall next to the other doorway. With my shoulder feeling slightly bruised and my headlamp somehow ending up in my hand, I jumped through the little doorway into the next room. It fealt like something out of an movie and I realized that I may have made a bad decission.
I was three rooms deep into a place that I had never been in before. My headlamp barely gave enough light to see by. I saw that there was another door on the opposite wall of this room and I had no idea what was further down, only that the hatch on the other end of the bridge was somehow sealed shut, and I did not know if this series of rooms went that far. The one way out that I knew of was back the way I came, through a room that I thought had someone else in it. If there was someone hiding in that room, they had shut their lights out when I opened the hatch to get in here, and they likely had no idea who or what I was. From their perspective they'd have noticed the trapdoor open, heard me entering, seen some dim light shining around, if I had said anything they did not respond, and I have no idea what it would have looked like to someone else that saw me go through the room they were in. I remember hearing the scuffing noise again, and decided to look back into the second room. I did not see anyone near the opposite wall so I held my headlamp in one hand and stuck it out through the opening. Nothing tried to tear my arm off so I stepped halfway through and looked around in all the corners and along the walls. Saw no one. They could have went back into the first room and maybe down the hatch and out of the bridge. daylight was comming up through the hatch in the first room, as well as through a small drainpipe in a corner of the second room. I waited there for a couple minutes and there was the occasional sound of traffic on the road below, and cars going over right above my head. I realized that the scuffing noise was actually the distorted sound of traffic echoing up through the drainpipe and into the room. Most of the rooms had these drainpipes, though as I got out over the stream, or areas not right above the road, the traffic sound did not come up from them and was audible throughout the rest of the bridge as the sound I heard that made me think I was not alone in there. I explored the rest of the bridge hearing this sound and as I got more towards the opposite end, it sounded even more like someone else walking around. Which was still a little unnerving since the trapdoor on the far end was securely sealed shut and there was only one other way in or out of the long series of rooms.
...the trolls must have been away from their lair. I did not encounter anyone or anything else and made it back out safely."
Wally's account of exploring the bridge went on to explain more details of the bridge, but as he can be rather longwinded... we've taken the information he left us and broken it down into just the important stuff.
Each end of the bridge has a set of four trapdoors. We suspect that they are all a series of rooms very similar to the ones Wally explored. It's a four lane interstate bridge with a trapdoor at each end leading into a series of rooms under each lane. The series of rooms that Wally explored had no connections to rooms under the lane next to it, just a strait line (slightly curved he says) of rooms connected by octaganal doorways. He described the effect of looking down them to be similar to holding two mirrors opposite each other and looking from one into the reflection of the other, which reflects the other mirror creating a reflection mirrors withen each other that stretches into infinity... or as far as his light could reach (he went back again with fresh batteries hoping to get pictures of this effect but was not succesful). There are two octagonal doorways that are different than the others, thicker walls between the rooms and the portals were higher up on the walls with step irons and handholds built in. He said that they seemed to be above the two supports of the bridge. Aside from remains of an old campfire in the first room, he also describes finding chared bits of wood, paper, and clothing in most of the rooms and thinks that other people must have explored the place with torches or burning sticks. He says there were old beercans in many of the rooms and also a lot of broken glass. The only thing he found with a date on it was a mostly burned University of Maine calander with 1971 printed on it. He also found a scrap of paper with a telephone number on one side, and directions to someone's house in Holden, as well as an address for someone's place in a trailor park which we suspect might be in Holden. We did a reverse telephone lookup on the number and found a name that goes with it, a Meg something (if we did remember the last name we'd not publish it anyways). The room at the far end of the bridge had a trapdoor which was securely barred shut and does not look as though it would be easy to open. There was also the remains of a large campfire in the middle of the floor of this last room.
Wally said that all the rooms were approximately the same size, some slightly longer than others but all equal in width. The average seeming to be about ten feet wide. He said that the first time he went through he thought he counted 14 rooms, he said the time after that he counted 16 rooms. That's under one lane. There are four lanes, so if each series of rooms are the same, then there are at least 56 rooms inside this bridge. There were no tanks or anything like that hidden in here. Before entering, we asked around and was told that having rooms inside was simply an engineering thing, to make the bridge stronger and so there were not as many exposed metal sides that would need to be painted and repainted. One of our theories was that utility lines might run through the hollow areas, but we found nothing of the sort. There is really nothing interesting in this bridge, except for some old beer cans, a bit of rubbish, and a lot of empty space. Still kind of neat though. Just be careful of trolls.
|Photo: Opened trapdoor in first room||Photo: Same thing, closed.|
|Photo: Candles and rubbish in first room||Photo: Fire pit in room at other end|
|Photo: Mysterious brown fuzzy stuff, determined to be fluffy pollen stuff.||Photo: barred trapdoor in the last room|
|Photo: room with one of the octagonal doorways||Photo: Closer picture of the doorway|
|Photo: Three of the old cans we found in one room.||More to come soon.|
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