Salem State University Tunnels

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

An Education in Tunnels

Well Salem State University poses a few questions. Did they re-utilize old tunnels or did they conduct in new construction? These tunnels from the Horace Mann Laboratory School, which is closing this year, led to the art department in the Sullivan Building on the Salem State University campus. Many people who are over 50 remember stories of their adventures heading to the gym which used to be in the art department. Some were pretty scurrilous. There is some graffiti left behind from them. Little boys kissing girls and skipping class in these tunnels. Many mention the asbestos pipes have always been there plus it has always been a concrete tunnel and not refaced.

Now leaving the Sullivan Building you can take another set of tunnels to the Administration building, the building with the theater, and the one after that. In many ways they just look like hallways.

Then Dr. Loring’s estate, which is now part of their South Campus buildings,  had a few more secrets that the nuns have kept a vow of silence on… The two buildings at the top of the hill are connected which was the doctor’s residence to the gym below near the cafeteria at the bottom of the hill. The tunnel comes out of the basement of the mansion and through the hill to the building below.

Many secrets in Salem!

For more read info Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and

Salem State University and the Tunnels in Salem

I just was able to walk the tunnel from the Horace Mann Laboratory School to the Art Room in the basement of the Sullivan Building.  Before I had taken pictures of the tunnels between the Sullivan Building to the Administration Building and the Gordon Center of the Arts. Plus when you venture to the old South Campus on Dr. Loring’s old estate, there is a tunnel leaving the grammar school through the side of the hill to the gym below.

Just one of the new of the thousands of tunnels in Salem. Almost got to film this one with a new Travel Channel show…

Look out for me talking about the tunnels in April on the Travel Channel! More info to be released closer to airing!


To find out more about the tunnels in Salem read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City, now in its 3rd edition. New tunnel finds, more stories, and even more pictures! Read the book everyone digs! Catch up on the book that Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton used to write Wicked Charms, Carol Perry with her Witch City Mysteries, and the Librarians  TV Show! Stories from the book airing in April on the Travel Channel!