Cosmic Witchcraft - Book Faerie

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Thursday 15 February 2024

The Toronto Tunnel Monster

A digital sketch of the creature based on artist’s rendition of the witness description. Created by the author’s daughter Stephanie Darroch in 1999. 

 It was a warm summer’s day in August of 1978 when a Toronto man had an experience with a strange creature that would forever change his life. Ernest was described as a soft-spoken fifty-one years old at the time of his harrowing experience. 

Ernest and Barbara his wife of nineteen years had been raising a litter of kittens, when one of the kittens disappeared. Thinking the kitten had gotten outside and concerned for its safety he decided to search for it in the vicinity of their Parliament street apartment.

Close to the apartment he stumbled upon the opening to a small dark “cave” and he crawled approximately ten feet inside. This is where he said, “I saw a living nightmare that I’ll never forget.”

Only armed with a flashlight Ernest encountered a creature of unknown origin. He described the monster as “long and thin, almost like a monkey, three ft long, large teeth, weighing maybe thirty lbs with slate-grey fur.” However it was the eyes that truly stood out “orange and red, slanted.”

Ernest who would only allow for his first name to be printed spoke reluctantly with reporters as to what occurred next. 

The creature spoke to him. “I’ll never forget it,” he said. “It said, ‘Go away, go away,’ in a hissing voice. Then it took off down a long tunnel off to the side. I got out of there as fast as I could. I was shaking with fear.”

Ernest never approached the media with his story. He was afraid that people would think that he was “drunk” or worse “crazy” and felt that no one would ever believe him. 

The Toronto Sun newspaper found him after hearing about his experience from a reliable contact who worked with a relative of Ernest, one of the handful of people to who he had confided in about his experience. 

“I believe Ernie saw exactly what he says he did”, said Ernest’s wife Barbara. “He was terrified when he came back to the apartment and he doesn’t scare easily. “Look he’s been known to have a drink in the past - like most people and to occasionally tie one on, but he’s not a drunk and he wasn’t drinking at all that day.”

The Toronto Sun did question some of Ernest’s relatives and neighbourhood acquaintances. They found that all agreed with and supported Barbara’s evaluation of her husband.

Ernest accompanied by Sun staff returned to the location of his strange sighting in March of 1979. The cave’s entrance was located at the bottom of a narrow passageway between the building where he lived and the one next door. Together they found the remains of a cat, which was “half-buried in the tunnel.” The sad discovery reminded Ernest of “strange noises, like animals in pain,” that he had heard emanating from the tunnel prior to his frightening encounter.

Ernest showed the Sun reporter exactly where he saw the strange being. He stated, “The last I saw the creature it was heading off into the dark.” The passage seemed to drop down very quickly and go a long way back.

It was speculated that the tunnel in fact led to the sewer system and that the entranceway beside Ernest’s apartment was “an access point used by the creature to the surface.” Safety concerns promoted Toronto’s Sewer Department to thoroughly inspect the tunnel as it was feared that area children may in fact try to enter it.

Ernest’s story was very strange; however sewage employees did not ridicule or scoff at it according to the report made by The Toronto Sun at that time. 

One worker who was quoted in the paper stated, “People who work on the surface just don’t know what it’s like down there. It’s a whole different world. Who would have thought a few years ago that people would live in sewers, and yet that’s what they found in New York a few years back. Another was quoted as saying, “I don’t know what Ernest saw down there.” He also stated, “I’ll tell you one thing. If we could get in there, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to go down alone.”

It’s is interesting to note that the description of the creature provided by Ernest and an artist’s rendering which was included in the original Toronto Sun article resemble some current reports of another strange creature - the South American Chupacabara.     


The Sunday Sun - March 25th, 1979

I will always fondly remember and be indebted to the late Larry Fenwick who was the founder of the Canadian UFO Research Network- CUFORN for generously providing me with a copy of the newspaper article along with many other stories and reports.

This is an edited version of an article I wrote for my website the ParaResearchers of Ontario and originally published here

This article also appeared in the February 2024 edition of AP Magazine