ASTORIA, Ore. (KOIN) — Astoria is a known backdrop for many classic movies– like ”The Goonies” and “Free Willy.” While those famous film locations can be toured above ground, there’s also plenty of entertainment and history that lies beneath the city in century-old tunnels waiting to be explored.
Although most of the tunnels remain closed to the public, Astoria-native Jeff Daly has made a way to provide a unique perspective into the city’s history with the Astoria Underground Tour.
“The entire town of Astoria 30+ blocks is built above the water so underneath all the buildings all the streets all the sidewalks is what you see behind me,” Daly said as he stood at the entrance to the tunnels. “There’s history above the ground, but there’s even more history underneath.”
About three years ago, Daly restored a portion of Astoria’s subterranean tunnel system, clearing a pathway for those wanting to explore. Today he, along with tour guides Chad Gallup and Ray Merritt, offer guests a 45-minute self-guided walkthrough tour of the tunnels.
“We have a place where people can come to safely to search, explore the underground and that’s where we bring up our stories of the history: The fires that had burned Astoria in the past. Shanghai was going on underneath here. There were people that used to live down here,” Daly said.
The tunnels are filled with stories, artifacts, adventure, and mystery.
“It’s kind of the unseen side, but you get the chance to come down here and see it,” Gallup added. “It’s Astoria history. A history that needs to be shared.”
This year, those brave enough can explore the tunnels while experiencing the new Halloween special edition tour.
“This is our third year for Astoria Underground Tour. We’ve intentionally in the past years not done a Halloween tour. We’re involved with the history. We’re involved with the great stories that stand by themselves in Astoria, but this year with basically Halloween being canceled we just didn’t want to shut down and not do anything,” Daly added.
For the spooky special edition tour, Daly and his crew have added special effects, along with a fictional tale for scares. As for if you’ll encounter any actual ghost sightings or other paranormal activity while in the tunnels? “That’s for them to come [and] find out,” Gallup chuckled.
At last check, the Halloween special edition tour was almost sold out. Click below to find out more about Astoria’s Underground Tour: