Deep underground, construction of the newest line of the Pompeii Metro was moving smoothly until an ancient pipe was accidentally struck. At first, it seemed like steam. Then the mist became thicker, more sinister. Now the strange gas is leaking quickly, and everyone trapped inside is infected. The difficult decision was made to cut off all communication to the outside world. The Dead Line is off the grid.

Legends of Howl-O-Scream

Life on the Line

In 2005, the Pompeii Metro was growing at a rapid rate, with thousands of commuters already using it daily. A new line connecting the two sides of the city was scheduled to open the following year. Construction began and things were on track. The station was finished, the trains had been transferred and all that remained was the connection between the green and red lines. Construction crews worked day and night finalizing the underground subway until one evening they ran into a problem… an ancient pipe was struck while laying the track.

I’ll never forget seeing the look of horror in the eyes of the construction worker as he gave his statement. He heard the incident unfold on his radio as the crew supervisor narrated the events happening deep within the ground. He said that at first the crew thought steam was bursting through the pipes; Except, no one was burned and with each passing second the mist became thicker, more menacing. A strange whistling over the receiver suggested that the threatening gas had made its way to the crew, and all that could be heard for minutes were the static sounds of the old radio. Then the supervisor’s hoarse voice suddenly echoed, becoming deeper, vindictive even. He was barely audible against the background noise, but it sounded as if he was calling to those on the other end of the receiver, daring them to join him on the line. The huddled team above ground bowed their heads and took off their hats before giving the dreaded code over the radio, ceasing communication. From that moment on, the Dead Line was off the grid.