The dark reason we all toot in the Mt Victoria Tunnel

Opening of Mount Victoria traffic tunnel, 12 October 1931

If you’re a newbie to Wellington and travelling through the Mt Victoria tunnel, you’d think the locals are mad.

Why is everyone tooting their car horns like crazy in the tunnel?

Well, firstly it’s simply a Wellington tradition. For as long as locals can remember, Mt Victoria has been the tunnel where it’s normal to toot in.

BUT there is a reason (some say myth) behind this common behaviour.

In 1920/1930 when the tunnel was in construction, apparently a labourer working in it had murdered his pregnant wife Phillis Symons who was only 17 at the time, and burried her under the tunnel. He was found guilty and hanged for his crime at Mt Crawford prison.

The womans body was found, but it’s said her ghost lingers in the tunnel walls.

The reason then that we toot our car horns, is to keep the ghost away and show respect to her.

17 year old Phyllis Symons

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