Nearly Two Miles of Tunnels Confirmed Under Large State University in Missouri
Many universities around America have urban legends about tunnels. That's certainly the case with Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in Cape Girardeau.
The school's website published a story recently speaking with the Facilities Management department about the legendary tunnels under campus.
While they were quick to point out there are no reported hauntings in the tunnels, a fascinating fact was revealed that there are 9,700 feet of secret passageways. The university's mathematics department would be quick to tell you that converts to 1.8 miles of tunnel system.
Their purpose? According to Facilities Management:
[We are] aware that students are genuinely intrigued by the fact we have a tunnel system however the tunnel system’s sole purpose is to distribute utilities across campus. They are concrete structures defined as confined space and very dangerous because they contain high pressure steam and, in some cases, high voltage electricity. If a steam pipe were to burst, you would be disintegrated.
While the tunnels are mundane and utilitarian, that doesn't mean they are not without mystique.
The school's student-run publication ran a short article with a photo reported to be from inside the tunnel system in 2016 stating:
Did you know that tunnels exist underneath the campus? Used for cooling purposes to most of the buildings, some of the tunnels are big enough to drive a golf cart through while others are small enough to crawl through.
The topic also came up on Reddit of a happening during a campus visit
My son and I went to the KRCU and the Academic Hall open house this past weekend. Had a pretty good time going up into the dome. But before we went upstairs we decided to take a look around the theater. We then took a side door to the left of the stage and went down a few flights of stairs. We came to an open metal door and went inside. We could see bare dirt in some places and a bright white room with steam pipes and electrical equipment. We walked a few feet in and I decided I shouldn't go any further since I had my son with me. Did we find the infamous steam tunnels?
Though the SEMO, and likely most university tunnel systems, are very dull and mundane, they make for great campus stories and legends.