There's Something Lurking Beneath Cincinnati...And It's Truly Freaky To See

The city of Cincinnati, Ohio, was almost home to the greatest subway system in the Midwest. It was almost finished when the project was abandoned.


Mike is ViralNova's resident Editor of the Weird. If it makes you say "OMG! That's terrible!!!" then Mike probably wrote it. Despite the subject of his articles Mike is surprisingly well adjusted. When he's not writing, he's making music, performing, and producing podcasts. There aren't that many cities with subway systems in the United States. Sure, there's New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., but did you know that Los Angeles also has a limited subway system?

Near the turn of the century, even the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, nearly joined this exclusive public transportation fraternity.

Today, downtown Cincinnati looks like this. It's sliced almost down the middle by Interstate 75.

However, the congestion nightmare that is Interstate 75 almost never came to be. Shortly before World War I, the city of Cincinnati vowed to build a subway system modeled after New York City's system.

Of the cities who planned to have subways, Cincinnati was the only one to actually start construction.

You're probably wondering, "If they built most of the subway system, why is it not being used today?" Well, things were looking good for the Cincinnati subway until the U.S. got involved in World War I.

In the years since, there have been many attempts to revive the subway idea, but none of them have gained very much momentum.

Still, despite the age of the tunnels, recent inspections have found that they are still in remarkably good shape.

If you're walking around Cincinnati and paying attention, you might just come across one of the many sealed entrances to the subway system that never was, like the one below.

(via: Atlas Obscura)

That is both amazing and utterly heartbreaking. What a waste of manpower to build something that epic, then just have it sit there. If the tunnels are still good, hopefully one day city officials will make a real effort to revive the subway idea.