Ancient Tunnels and Present Day Mysteries

I love a good mystery, don’t you? Winding its way beneath the green hills of Europe is the erdstall tunnel system.

These tunnels are believed to have been constructed in the Middle Ages, but no one can figure out who built them, or why. And there aren’t just a few…over 2,000 tunnels have been discovered so far! They are smooth and rounded, carved right into the bare earth. They aren’t very large, only a few feet tall and wide. "Slip outs" are small holes that connect passages that are running at different elevations. Some of these are so tight, a person would have to literally squeeze through them to move from one tunnel to another.

Erdstall tunnels have only one entrance and exit, typically buried in the wilderness or among the remnants of old settlements. Not especially convenient! They also have no system for ventilation, and some flood with water. These tunnels are not places where anyone would be able to hang out for long.

Adding to the mystery is the complete lack of archaeological and historical evidence. Their construction is not officially recorded anywhere, and no human artifacts seem to have been left behind in the tunnels themselves.  

What are some of the theories? Some say they were used for storage. Not likely given they were small, dirty, wet, and difficult to get in and out of. Another theory is they were places where people hid from marauders. The small size of the tunnels, and lack of oxygen inside, would make this fairly impractical, too. Not to mention with only one way in and out, if their hiding place was ever discovered it would become a tomb rather than a way of escape. Some think the tunnels might have spiritual significance; a place for the souls of the deceased, or perhaps even dark spirits to dwell. Austrian folklore gives goblins the credit for their existence.

I kind of wish I’d known about these erdstall tunnels when I lived in Germany so I could experience one for myself. In reality though, I’m horribly claustrophobic, so you’d have to practically kill me to get me in there. I’d no doubt peer with wonder into the small, dark entranceway, get a nose-tingling whiff of damp earth, take a couple of pictures, and that would be the extent of my adventure.

Mysteries such as these are a wonderful source of inspiration, though. One can imagine the erdstall tunnels weren’t carved by people at all (hence the lack of artifacts or construction records), but by serpents, or maybe hosts of dark fae. Austrian folklore could have it right after all.

In my own stories, I reference secret underground libraries which are connected by hidden tunnels and entranceways. Very few know they exist, and those who do are bound by oaths of silence. It is in my imaginary world that I can fill in my own answers to these questions that no one has been able to fully resolve in the real world. I can turn thousands of seemingly purposeless, dank tunnels into a vital network. Some of them are perhaps decoys, built only to confuse and misdirect. Yet others lead to glorious, irreplaceable collections of the world’s most sacred artifacts.

What do you imagine the erdstall tunnels were for? Who built and used them? You don’t have to be a writer to dream up a few ideas. It seems that even the historians are having to use their imaginations on this one.

Coming soon, thanks to all of you!

My last newsletter talked about how difficult it can be to find clean entertainment (including books) these days. I got lots of emailed responses from readers expressing the exact same frustration.

So I've decided to do something about it. I'm going to start a repository for clean reads called Pure Fiction. Through it you can share your favorites with each other, but I'm also going to include books from other authors I know who write clean books. This should give all of you, and other readers, a safe place to look for your next read!

So go ahead and send me the best clean books you've read--preferably the newer ones, since most of us are already familiar with the classics and cataloging those would be a full time job! As soon as I get a decent selection of books added, I'll share the link.

Submit your favorite clean books!

The Winner of the Autographed Book is...

Congratulations Lena Smith! I will contact you by email to find out where your book should be sent.

Didn't win this time? Don't worry, I'll raffle off another print book again this fall. I'm also going to do some kind of giveaway for the September Read-a-thon. I'm not sure what yet, so stay tuned!

The September Read-a-thon is almost here!

If you haven't signed up yet, now's the time. The fifth TackleTBR Readathon runs from September 11th to 24th, thanks to Tressa at Wishful Endings.

(*Note according to her blog, Teresa "geeks out" over YA books, and Christian Romance, so you might want to check out her regular posts. She may have some good clean reads to share.)

For the read-a-thon, you can set a specific reading goal, take on a challenge for the chance to win prizes, and join in on other fun activities.

Read all about it at Wishful Endings and sign up at any time through to 20th September.

Discover New Authors

Indie and small press authors work hard to market themselves, and we all depend on each other for support. So I've signed up with NewsletterSwap, where authors can feature each other in their newsletters. It helps readers too--you never know what unknown book, or author, will be your new favorite!

Full disclosure, here--I may not personally read all of the books I feature in this section, but I am actively seeking Christian fiction and/or CLEAN READS. If nothing else, these books should be safe. I will only feature one new author per newsletter as requests come in. If you find a new favorite from these sections of my newsletter, I'd love to hear about it!

A Sword of Fortune and Fate: Dare Valari Book 1

I am Lady Dare Valari and I am being hunted.

Exiled from my home at the castle, cut off from family and friends, I fled to the Blights, the last place in the kingdom anyone would run to. In exchange for allowing me to remain in his territory, the dangerous outlaw Blaze has tasked me with guarding his sister, Penny, from unknown attackers.

Now I have to dodge two teams of assassins while also trying to keep Blaze from learning the truth--that the man after me is none other than Prince Jasper, the most powerful man in the kingdom.

With only my sword beside me, I need to find a way to save Penny and myself without revealing all my secrets.

Buy it on Amazon, or get it FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Allison D. Reid, Christian Fantasy Author