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Sinister Subway

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Wazzamatta? Scared?

"Next stop is the end of the line."
Metro announcer, Final Destination 3

Subways are a staple of horror. There are long, winding, empty corridors in abandoned stations. There are escalators which invite vertigo and all kinds of fatal accidents. There are the endless tunnels, much like the Haunted Castle, but with the added charm only a Water Level with poor lighting and escalating claustrophobia can bring. Full of unexplained echoes, dripping water, clanking metal and chains, and the earthquake-like passing of other (functional) subway trains overhead. There is the subway itself, which can have criminals lurking or be dangerously overcrowded or ominously empty. And let's not forget the platforms and maintainence tunnels, which can be dirty and dimly lit and full of hiding places for all kinds of evil.

Fights that take place here usually have the fight on the platform with only way out cut off and trains constantly passing by waiting to splatter the loser with a Gory Discretion Shot.

Expect the Sinister Subway to be populated by monsters, mutants, vampires, alligators, mutant vampire alligators, and good old serial killers... or, alternatively, miles and miles of dimly lit, empty nothingness.

Where a Haunted Castle says "Victorian", the Sinister Subway says "art deco" or even "industrial", and can set the tone of this horror game or movie with the broken promises of an industrial age, rather than the forgotten splendor of a Victorian past.

Subways Suck is when they're merely full of inconveniences, though still not enjoyable.

Compare Absurdly Spacious Sewer, Locomotive Level, Ghost Train, and Afterlife Express (when it's the train itself that's otherworldly).

See also The London Underground, New York Subway, Le Métropolitain (Paris's transit system) and Moscow Metro. During the Cold War the Berlin U- and S-Bahn had actual "Geisterbahnhöfe" or ghost stations.note 


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 86 EIGHTY-SIX: The plot of volume 4 centers around the attempt to destroy an underground subway station that the Legion had converted into a factory. Inside the Strike Package is horrified to discover that Legion has been mass-producing Shepherds using captured civilians. The true horror comes when they find a chamber filled with thousands of rotting corpses that the Legion had callously disposed of after removing their brains.
  • The Big O: Somewhat subverted, as, while the subways of Paradigm City are not used by the residents for fear that they are haunted, they are actually quite safe, and are used by the eponymous robot and Roger Smith for secret transport, however, below the subway are numerous "facilities" that are so scary, even Roger Smith doesn't venture that deep.
    • Though it should be noted, that Roger has only mapped out the basic subway system, not the, undoubtedly numerous, auxiliary lines, branches, etc. that probably exist in the subway system.
  • The opening scene of Blood: The Last Vampire takes place in a subway. Subverted in that the person Saya was chasing wasn't actually a Chiropteran.
  • Ga-Rei -Zero-: Yomi and Kagura are called out to investigate one of these, where Kagura has her first encounter with Category D's. Yomi warns Kagura that the subway is still active, and suggests she not touch the electrical conducting wire unless she wants a "really bad hair day".
  • Hayate the Combat Butler features one of these. It ended with a barely-fended-off stampede of rats. Considering it was The Ojou's first attempt at taking a subway, not surprisingly she never tried that again, sticking with nice, safe, normal private jet travel.
  • Hellsing (2001): Episode 7 of the first anime takes place in The London Underground, battling vampires and a particularly tenacious priest.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Phantom Blood: While Jonathan, Speedwagon, and Zeppeli are traveling through a tunnel, their carriage is suddenly stopped and discover the drivers and horses slaughtered by Jack the Ripper who challenges Jonathan to battle him in a labyrinth within the tunnel.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Yuya Fugami has his Stand, Highway Star, reside in Morioh's Futatsumori Tunnel to absorb the nutrients of any passerby to heal his own body.
  • One episode of Pokémon the Series: Black & White showed Team Rocket running one of these and having Meowth pretend to be fired from them to lure Ash and friends into their subway to steal their Pokemon.
  • Vampire Princess Miyu: In one of the first episodes. Even after she finished exorcising the Shinma who'd made his home there, the place remained very, very, VERY creepy. Especially as she only killed the villain but did nothing to ease the suffering of his victims.

    Comic Books 
  • In Seven Soldiers: The Manhattan Guardian by Grant Morrison, the New York subway system is home to a bizarre underworld in which bands of subway pirates raid stations to kidnap commuters off the platforms as slaves, and their mad captains race each other in search of a 'god machine' somewhere deep under NYC.
  • During Garth Ennis' run on The Punisher, Frank occasionally had to deal to underground problems, like a gang of criminal midgets (which ended up with Wolverine getting his face and gonads shot off then literally steamrollered) or a hobo army led by a man who lived in a giant pile of corpses (because it reminded him of the time his morbidly obese mother died on top of him, forcing him to eat his way out).

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Miles gets chased by Prowler through subway tunnels, where the atmosphere is ominously dark and tense and Miles gets almost run over by an incoming train twice before making it out of the station.
  • Zootopia has an abandoned subway station, containing a subway car where Bellwether's hench-rams concoct the Night-Howler serum used to turn predators savage.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The hero of π, in the throes of a horrible migraine, experiences a nightmarish hallucination in the empty New York subway, in which he chases a bleeding man (who may be himself) and follows the trail of blood to a bloody brain lying at the foot of a staircase, which he probes with a pen, producing audio and visual hallucinations in his own brain.
  • 28 Weeks Later has the heroes flee into The London Underground to escape an attack helicopter and the rampaging zombie horde. Naturally, it's full of bodies and only one person has night vision (on the scope of her rifle).
  • An American Werewolf in London: Lucky Briton Gerald Bringsley gets stalked and eaten there by the eponymous werewolf.
  • Blade: Trinity has a troupe of newly turned teenage vampires try to turn a local subway station into their own personal buffet. It would have worked if their first victim didn't have silver tipped knives and an energy bow.
  • French film Buffet Froid is about a crime in the La Défense RER station in Paris.
  • Cloverfield has a very spooky sequence in a subway tunnel, which climaxes rather frighteningly when the cameraman turns on the nightvision and sees crawling xenomorph-like creatures following him and his friends.
  • Creep (2004) follows a woman locked in The London Underground overnight who finds herself being stalked by a hideously deformed killer living in the sewers below.
  • Death Line's plot follows two university students who find themselves at the centre of an investigation involving a man who goes missing on The London Underground, and ultimately discover the remnants of a Cannibal Clan dwelling in set of never completed tunnels.
  • Death Wish: The subway is one of several locales of seething, bald-faced criminal activity, as Paul Kersey is picked on by muggers twice in this setting.
  • The climax of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in a subway like this in New York. Being set in the 1930s, it feels creepier than a modern subway, too.
  • The subways of Daybreakers are infested with mutants.
  • The ending of Final Destination 3 shows a train crash in the subway that kills off the survivors. However, since it is a premonition and the end Fades to Black, it is ambiguous if the crash actually happened though its heavily implied it did.
  • Fright Night 2: New Blood: One of the vampire attacks takes place in the subway. The main characters have to jump out of the carriage and walk along the tracks to escape.
  • Ghost (1990) has the subway where a ghost (played by Vincent Schiavelli) knocks items around and whatnot. His tragic backstory also adds a layer to this.
  • Ghostbusters II has a subway sequence with a Ghost Train, and severed heads on pikes to boot.
  • An early scene of Jacob's Ladder has the title character lost in a New York subway station. The atmosphere is almost unbearably dark and creepy, and he catches the first glimpses of something not being right: an intestine crawling back into a sleeping homeless person, and being almost run over by a train filled with sinister people that glare at him from the windows.
  • Joker (2019): In a subway train, the protagonist is targeted by three drunken Wayne Enterprises businessmen that were harassing a woman, who beat him to a pulp, until Arthur shoots them turning the tables. The trope is on full effect when the last, panicking, wounded man attempts to flee screaming for help through the dark, deserted subway, only to be reached and riddled with bullets by a furious Monster Clown.
  • Kontroll: Before the film begins, a Budapest subway official assures the viewers that the subway is, in reality, perfectly safe. This was a condition for granting the filmmakers access to the subway.
  • The Matrix: While the subways shown aren't quite "abandoned", they certainly have an air of creepiness to them.
  • The Midnight Meat Train: Leon Kauffman, a photographer, is attempting to find the "real" New York City. He begins to delve into the city's inner "darkness", and while there, discovers a monstrous serial killer roaming the subways.
  • The action of Mimic takes place mostly in a subway system.
  • Moebius is a Argentinean film that features as protagonist the Buenos Aires subway, the "Subte". An ambitious and peculiar layout that tries to connect all the lines ends in an entangling figure akin to a Möbius Strip that ruptures the continuum of timespace, situating the speeding train in a neverending loop out of reach from our dimension... with thirty passengers on board. Corrupt corporate executives and neglectful government employees are involved in this mess, and hire a topologist to fix the problem. Based on a 1950 science fiction story, A Subway Named Möbius by A. J. Deutsch.
  • In Nemesis Game, one of the riddles left for Sara appears on the wall of the subway station and leads her to the dimly lit tunnels under the station. Here she is spooked by a menacing looking figure, who turns out to be the cleaner.
  • Fay gets stalked and harassed by the sleazeball Mickey Scellenda on a a scuzzy New York Subway train in The New York Ripper.
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1989): If we are to believe Robert Englund, if there'd been a sequel to his version, most of it would've been in an abandoned subway station.
  • Hobbs Lane Station in the film version of Quatermass and the Pit — not exactly abandoned, just closed for renovation, and the focus of unearthly events.
  • Spider-Man 3 includes a fight scene between Sandman and a venom-suited Spider-Man along the Subway tracks.
  • Stag Night, which is pretty much Wrong Turn IN A SUBWAY SYSTEM.
  • Luc Besson's Subway: Inverted. The subway system is a playing ground for some, and to others it's their home.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990): April is attacked by the Foot in the standard "dark and dirty" (and rather empty, as she just missed a train) subway.
    • Inverted in the sequel as the Turtles' new home is a bright and cheery forgotten old subway station with elegant art deco styling and stained glass accessories.
  • In Thirteen Women, Ursula coerces the swami into throwing himself under a subway train once she has no further use for him.
  • The Tunnel, Australian based horror movie. Similar again, except that it is based on actual events prior. The government did stop talking about the reservoir mysteriously, and film crews do actually go down there where there is hard-to-find hobos. Then add a superhuman stalker who's afraid of the light and you have one very creepy movie. Which could've as easily occurred with a regular stalker.
  • The Wiz has a rather infamous Nightmare Fuel scene in which Dorothy and her friends follow the Yellow Brick Road down into a subway where they get attacked by a peddler with creepy puppets that grow huge and chase them, and then the entire subway comes alive (moving trash cans with teeth, electrical wiring and pillars). The Cowardly Lion pulls off a Big Damn Heroes to save his friends.

  • Confidence Trick by John Wyndham: A man gets on an underground train from Bank Station amongst a crowd, but then realises the train has only three people on board, and has been rolling for more than an hour at full power without getting anywhere. Pulling the emergency brake does nothing; the train stops at a terminal at midnight where a voice calls "All Change, End of the Line", where they are met and guided on by a demon.
  • The Directors Cut by Nicholas Royle: A psychotic film-maker murders passengers and lives in an abandoned station on the Tube.
  • In Downtown by George Right, the main character, a New Yorker called Tony Logan, gets on a wrong subway train and ends up in a creepy alternate version of New York.
  • In Stephen King's The Drawing of the Three from his The Dark Tower series a major plot theme revolves around Jack Mort, a homicidal maniac designated "the Pusher," who lurks in subways and pushes people onto the tracks in front of oncoming trains. (Among other vicious crimes.) Odetta Holmes falls victim to him and loses her legs at the knees in backstory, spending the whole series in a wheelchair. Roland takes control of Mort's body and throws him onto the tracks, under an oncoming train.
  • Creepy trains and train-related situations are the subject of the best known stories by Stefan Grabiński, collected in the Demon ruchu (The Motion Demon).
  • The Eighth Lamp is set during the First World War, in the fictitious Cheyne Road station on the London Underground. As he turns off the lamps on the platform one night he sees a Circle Line train that shouldn't exist. No-one believes him, but the next night he sees the train again and confront the reason it appears.
  • "Far Below": Most of the New York City Subway System is safe. The one exception is the lowest tunnel for a stretch of five miles, which is speculated to have been built adjacent to a cavern where ghouls reside. The creatures regularly dig their way into the tunnel in search of food, that being human flesh preferably. They are more than capable of derailing a subway train for that purpose. Because the city can't afford the chaos certain to erupt from public knowledge of ghouls and because the subway system is a project millions of dollars have been sunken into, administration has chosen to cover this up and to add the Subway Special Detail to the police department specifically to keep the subway ghoul-free.
  • Ghost Roads: In Angel of the Overpass, Rose visits a spectral subway station in the starlight, where human ghosts aren't meant to go. While waiting for Persephone's messenger to return, she's attacked by a creature made up of a swarm of flies and narrowly avoids being devoured by a demonic train.
  • In Kane Series story "At First Just Ghostly" an abandoned tunnel of London underground is the place where burnt-out writer Cody Lennox meets Satan himself.
  • Knifepoint Horror: The story "tunnel" deals with some very strange happenings on a DC metro train.
  • Harry Harrison's The Last Train involves a man going down into a station and finding himself apparently back in time - or is he among ghosts? The people there don't belong in the 70's when he enters the station - they appear to be sheltering from bombs during the Blitz.
  • Conrad Williams' London Revenant deals with drop-outs who haunt the underground; among them a Pusher similar to the Stephen King example above.
  • The whole point of Dmitry Glukhovsky's novel Metro 2033, where the Moscow Metro stations became shelters for a few survivors after The End of the World as We Know It, with all manners of nasty stuff lurking in the tunnels. All this makes communication between stations quite risky and outright dangerous, naturally setting up The Quest.
    • In a canon Alternate Universe novel, Moscow is A-OK but something turned the metro into a horrifying localized Death World hell-hole just as bad (if not worse) as canon.
  • The Midnight Meat Train: There's a subway where you can be murdered to be fed to the Elders of New York.
  • Neverwhere's London Below, which is essentially where everything that has ever slipped the cracks in the real world goes, has a few scenes with abandoned stations.
  • The Pendragon Adventure has an abandoned subway station as the location of Second Earth's flume entrance.
  • "Pickman's Model": One of Pickman's paintings is "Subway Accident" and it depicts people waiting on a subway platform being attacked by ghouls that evidently live in the subway tunnels.
  • Parts of Reliquary take place in abandoned subway tunnels (and active ones, like when the creatures massacre the occupants of a train)
  • In Rogue Male a fight to the death in a deserted tunnel of the now-disused Aldwych London Underground station ends with the "hideous, because domestic, sound of sizzling."
  • In Sourcery, the genie's fullomyth (a play on the filofax) includes a map of The London Underground with the hidden stations most people don't know about. It's not shown, but presumably they have at least a passing resemblance to the subway stations.
  • "South Kentish Town": In a closed London Transport underground station, a clerk gets off the train when finally the malfunctioning doors open. The train leaves before he comprehends his surroundings, leaving him alone in the dark, unable to leave as any gates to the outside world have been built over and forgotten.
  • Tobias Hill's Underground involves a search down disused tunnels, makeshift passages and locked/forgotten stations regarding a series of murders.
  • Two of the victims in Vasquez Private Eye were killed in subways, and the climactic battle takes place in a subway station.
  • Valiant: The protagonist makes her home in an abandoned subway station with some companions. Considering they are variously disturbed children doing Faerie drugs, they are the REASON it's sinister.
  • An unfortunate young man, after a pub crawl, ducks into a curiously tatty and ill-lit Tube station and boards an oddly dilapidated train in one of the short stories in The Wreck of the Lodewijk.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24 positively adored this. Many times they took advantage in the Los Angeles subway's middle-of-the-night 90-minute break to blow it up a few times.
  • Starling City in Arrow has an abandoned subway system.
  • CSI: NY:
    • There's a who-done-it with an electrocuted young man found on the tracks in "Tri-Borough."
    • Another body is found on the tracks in "Risk" and the team must determine if it was suicide, a murder, or if he died while "subway surfing."
    • While attending a party on a subway train, a young woman dies from profusely bleeding through her eyes, nose and mouth in "Murder Sings the Blues."
  • The Doctor Who episode "The Web of Fear" sees an alien menace invade The London Underground. With robot yeti.
  • The title sequence of The Equalizer also played up the New York subway system for all its crime-ridden menace.
  • An episode of Police Rescue featured a search through various tunnels leading out of the rail tunnels for two kids who tired of a delay and decided to leave the train while it was still underground.
  • Primeval episode 2. No serial killers though, just some giant spiders and a giant carnivorous Arthropleura.
  • The opening titles of the TV movie version of The Sunset Limited are set over an ominous sequence of shots of a scary and apparently deserted (but real) subway station in Harlem.
  • A TV Movie called The Undead Express, features a group of vampires in New York who live in an abandoned station.

  • The Cure's 'Subway Song' is about a woman walking through the subway at night with the feeling that she is being followed. The track ends in a haunting scream, implying that she has been attacked.
  • The Jam Down in the Tube Station at Midnight. The Jam's 1978 single graphically describes an immigrant being chased and beaten up by racists in a London underground station. It was banned from radio airplay by The BBC.
  • Soft Cell. "Down in the Subway", the duo's last single before they disbanded in 1984, is about someone who is contemplating committing suicide by jumping onto the tracks in a subway:
    Going down in the subway
    Jump on the train-track and die


    Tabletop Games 


    Theme Parks 
  • Universal Studios:
    • The subway queue line in the former Kongfrontation attraction at Universal Studios Florida was purposely designed to look very ominous, in order to create a sense of dread. In a way it's also justified, as the ride was set in 70's NYC, when the subways were pretty shady-looking.
    • The also-defunct Earthquake: The Big One attraction, much like Kongfrontation, had its subway setting purposely designed to evoke a sense of dread long before the earthquake portion comes in.
    • Halloween Horror Nights:
      • The haunted house Terror Underground Transit To Torment from 1995 took place in one of these, being based on the urban legends about people born and raised in the tunnels.
      • The first Doomsday took place in the New York subway, where the worst of the city's population had hid to escape the Millennium Bug.

    Video Games 
  • One of the missions in Alpha Protocol involves Mike fighting/sneaking through the Taipei subway system while Chinese Secret Police agents try to stop him, in order to get information on the assassination plot. It eventually turns out that the CSP agents are actually working for a double agent who is working with the Taiwainese government to prevent the same assassination, but are convinced that Mike is the killer.
  • Ashes 2063
    • The fifth level of chapter 1, "The Sub-Caverns", takes place in metro tunnels, stations and caves abandoned for decades and is known across the wastes for "crazy ghost stories". The entire location is dark, dreary, difficult to navigate, and sardine-packed with mutants, beasts... and Haunts. There is an alternate path through that deviates to a less spooky abandoned mall, but years of disuse made the entrance hard to find.
    • In chapter 2, Afterglow, Atlanta'snote  subway is still dark, dreary and navigation can be difficult at times, but as it turns out, only the line traversed in 2063note  was that bad, and it was totally sealed off by Michonne Circle's militiamen between the two chapters. Hostile population in the lines is sparse and mostly made up of Vultures gang members and their guard bug-dogs. That said, once you get set to leave Atlanta, a cluster of Haunts warp in and if you don't kill them all before heading to the next level, the ending reveals Michonne Circle has become a ghost settlement and a "den of despair" that attracts more and more haunts to itself.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Batman has to go through one in order to find Wonder City.
  • In Beneath a Steel Sky, LINC is reachable through an old subway tunnel. There is also a monster lurking about there.
  • Bloody Zombies have a stage set in the London Tube, and it's infested with assorted zombies and monsters.
  • In BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm, there’s an eerie subway platform hidden down below the railway station in Chapter 2, haunted by a group of wistful shades waiting for a train that never comes. A valuable item can be found there starting in Chapter 6, but the nature of the area itself is never explained.
  • The first dungeon in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter takes place in a network of subway tunnels.
  • Part of Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror takes place in the (real life) abandoned British Museum tube station.
  • The Call of Duty: World at War level "Eviction" ends with a semi-lit shootout in a dark, dank Berlin metro tunnel, with occasional pauses in the fighting due to flickering lights. The level ends with the Nazis flooding the entire networknote  in an effort to stop you, drowning scores of their own troops in the process. The multiplayer map "Station" is similar, though brighter due to the fact that the tunnel has partially collapsed.
  • New Praetoria maps for the Going Rogue upgrade to City of Heroes have large underground subway tunnels filled with the usual roving gangs of bad guys.
  • Condemned: Criminal Origins has one populated by crazy hobos, emo morlocks, Kayako Saeki lookalikes, and freakish firemen with sledgehammers.
  • Cry of Fear has you go through one at one point. It’s a dark, monster infested hellhole. It only gets worse when your cellphone, the only source of light you have, goes out just before the underground maintenance tunnels. You find some flares, but you have to leave them behind each time you climb a ladder…
  • The fourth level of Descent 3 has you dodging trains in the futuristic subways of Seoul, Korea.
  • Deus Ex has an abandoned subway section as well, but it's just full of (otherwise) homeless people - which is Truth in Television, as abandoned sections of the New York subway are often occupied by sizable homeless communities.
  • The third Exmortis game has you escaping into one of these to take shelter from a nuke that goes off on the surface. It's plenty creepy - with an Eldritch Abomination stalking you and playing with your memories, you have to manually restart a train while avoiding booby traps, and there's a cannibal living in the tunnels.
  • Fallout 3: A great number of quests take place in the Washington D.C./Arlington, VA subway lines. Which are filled with Feral Ghouls (read: slavering zombies that run really fast), mole rats (scarier than they sound) and psychotic, sadistic Raiders.
    • Fallout 4 features similar situations in the former Boston subway lines, one of which houses an unfinished Vault that's been occupied by gangsters. There's also the Mass Pike Tunnel, which is part of the abandoned roadway network, but has the same hazards. Averted with the Third Rail, a nightclub established in the former subway station below the Old State House in Goodneighbor.
  • First Encounter Assault Recon
    • The Extraction Point Expansion Pack has "Descent", its longest chapter, set in Fairport's subway system, along with some storm drains.
    • Part of Project Origin involves moving through a city's subway system after The Squad's driver is forced to veer into a gap in the street to avoid a massive assault by Replica troops. For the most part the subway system is abandoned, save for the hundreds of Replica troops combing it for you specifically.
  • Final Fantasy XII has the Barheim Passage, an abandoned subway full of zombies, spellcasting ghosts, and giant electro-insects that suck at the electrical outlets, dimming the lights. The darker it gets, the more zombies and ghosts come out. It's also below the local Hellhole Prison, though this proves useful to the heroes as an escape route.
  • The second level of Final Fight takes place in a subway. You eventually brawl your way through a moving train before reaching the arena where you fight Sodom.
  • Future Cop: L.A.P.D. has a level starting out like this, where you fight mainly mutants. It gets kinda crazy as you go further down…
  • Half of the first level in Ghost Sweeper Mikami: Joreishi wa Nice Body, for the Super Famicom.
  • Inverted in Half-Life 2 Episode 1. After a long and harrowing journey through the tunnels and collapsed buildings under City 17, reaching a subway station is the sign that you've reached the surface.
  • Inverted in Hellgate: London, where The London Underground is the only place NOT infested with demons.
    • There are still infested portions outside the stations which, depending on the random load-out of enemies, can be more or less sinister.
  • Hellnight, a Japanese first person video game about being trapped and unarmed in the maze-like Tokyo subway system, along with various other scattered survivors, while being hunted down by a demonic creature. Did we also mention the serial killer running around?
  • The second stage of Winter Horns, Metro on Ice, in Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an abandoned metro station that is completely frozen over and overrun with enemies and hazards.
  • Left 4 Dead: The second level of the "No Mercy" campaign takes you through subway tunnels.
  • Much of Lost in Vivo seems to be set in creepy old subway tunnels and stations.
  • In MapleStory, the subways under Kenning City are infested with Stirges, Wights, and Specters; it's still in operation, but the player seems to be the only one who ever uses it.
    • One of the dungeons is populated by blue slimes, snakes, and later, ghosts. Also home to one of the most annoying jumping puzzles ever.
  • Max Payne: After the depressing opening level, we skip forward a few years, as Max is meeting up with his DEA partner in the Roscoe Street subway station... but the station is deserted, and the platform exit is locked. Then, if the player is paying attention, they'll notice a spent shotgun shell lying on the platform. From there, Max stumbles upon a mob operation that takes place in the station and another, older part of it that according to Max's narration, hasn't been used since The '40s.
  • An extended sequence in The Matrix: Path of Neo takes place in a train station similiar to the first movie - except that it's lights are even poorer and rats are seen running about on the floor.
  • Mega Man Network Transmission: The second half of the Vacant WWW Comp stage, taking place in an abandoned and dilapidated subway station crawling with Rattys, Spookies (when triggering the alarm systems), and Snappers. Shadow Man also resides in this stage.
  • The fragmented remains of the Moscow metro system, full of toxic air, radioactive water, monsters of all kinds and some other unpleasant "inhabitants", is the setting of Metro 2033 and its sequel Metro: Last Light, as per the original novel. The second sequel, Metro Exodus, features the Novosibirsk Metro.
  • The second part of the fifth mission from Metal Slug 2/X takes place in a subway system occupied by the Rebel Army. Here, the player fights both the Rebel soldiers and speeding subway trains that try to crush you. At the very end of the subway, lies the Rebel Army's laboratory, infested with grotesque mutants that swarm all over the players.
  • The Midnight Station has this in spades as the entire game seems to revolve around a creepy abandoned train station platform located in the centre of an Eldritch Location. The website capitalizes on this in spades.
  • One of the stages in Mortal Kombat 3 is an abandoned subway station, whose Stage Fatality, appropriately enough, involves uppercutting the opponent to the tracks on the other side and watch as the train (which was never there before) tramples them. If you uppercut your opponent during the match, however, they'll go up to the Street stage. The stage was revamped for Mortal Kombat: Armageddon: now the trains pass by periodically, and the opponent can be dropped into the tracks mid-round. It comes back in Mortal Kombat 9.
  • The Night Way Home: The first area in the game is a subway station in which Rina meets a girl crying in the washroom. After being touched by her, then regaining consciousness (Yes, that's what happens), the subway suddenly has a long-legged Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl in it that attacks Rina on sight.
  • No More Heroes has Travis fighting Mooks in the stations and trains of an abandoned (but still functional) subway system in two of the rank stages. In the second one, Travis falls asleep on one train and dreams a Shoot 'Em Up minigame.
  • Persona:
    • Persona has one as one of the early dungeons. And Yog-Sothoth is the boss fight.
    • Persona 5 has Mementos, the Palace of the public. It consists of an endless, shifting labyrinth of twisting tunnels infested with Shadows, howling winds described as screaming, with veins running along the walls into the depths below.
  • Project Downfall has the Pink Line. It's a filthy, dingy, ominous subway line that is (unofficially) reserved exclusively for members of organized crime. Normal citizens who try to ride are harassed, attacked, or even killed. Your first act as a vigilante is to try to clear it out.
  • The first Propagation is set in one, where in the aftermath of a Zombie Apocalypse you're in a pitch-black subway battling zombies lurking in the dark. Also, there are Giant Spider enemies.
  • Sailor Moon: Another Story features this very early on in the game. However, it is only populated by a couple of level-boosting enemies/bosses. Also, it's a regular train station.
  • Secret of Mana has a subway station populated with zombies.
  • An early level in Shadow Hearts: Covenant takes place in abandoned tunnels of the Paris subway, complete with Gothic Horror monsters and enemy Mooks.
  • Shadow Man: One level is through a crashed and bashed subway system in order to get to Jack The Ripper. No, really.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne had a lot of these, which were usually the entrances to long, annoying dungeons.
  • Silent Hill:
    • Silent Hill 3: The subway station Heather usually takes to and from the mall is suddenly devoid of people whe she arrives to take the train home, instead populated by demonic creatures and one vengeful ghost that will push you off the platform if you wander too close to the tracks.
    • Silent Hill 4: Includes a maze of half opened and closed subway cars... populated by unkillable ghosts who could phase between cars and caused you damage with mere proximity. Fun times.
  • The Si N series has several levels taking place in a fictional subway system:
    • SiN (1998) has the subway levels where Manumit!Mancini is fought against.
    • The Wages of Sin Expansion Pack for the above has Blade going through the same subway but from a different starting point in a construction zone.
  • The first mission of Soldier of Fortune is in the New York subway. Mission 6 also has a subway tunnel with electrified rails.
  • The plot of Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion takes place primarily in the Deepsea Metro, an old subway system that transports you to a series of test chambers.
  • Spider-Man (2000) had a level where Spidey had to ride a moving train from one station to the other. He gets attacked by an endless horde of lizard people for some reason.
  • In Syberia 3, while passing through Baranour, the ostrich caravan needs to take the abandoned subway tunnels in order to avoid the radioactive surface. At one point they get stuck on a station because the ostriches are scared of bats dwelling in the tunnel.
  • The Washington DC subways are the location of the first three missions in Syphon Filter and the last mission in Syphon Filter 3. The fictional town of Carthage in The Omega Strain also has a subway.The bottom of this page includes a description of it.
  • Transarctica has the underground tunnels, which can be very useful as shortcuts to distant locations, but their inhabitants, savage tribals called the Mole Men, have the nasty habit to ambush trains passing by. This can result in heavy losses in manpower and resources, but on the other hand it's an opportunity to catch fresh slaves. In the name of humanity's salvation, of course.
  • Twin Caliber has one such stage where you fight your way through a mutant-infested subway, ending with a Traintop Battle against a gigantic mutant boss.
  • Underrail takes place in the eponymous Underrail, an enormous subterranean complex of caverns, living facilities, laboratories, factories, and tertiary structures. Trains are the most common means of transport between civilized areas. Given that the Underrail is a minimum of two hundred years old, it goes without saying that most of the uninhabited regions, especially the train tunnels, have become places you don't want to be, for a number of reasons: mutant rodents, outlaws and deadly bugs among them.
  • World of Subways 4 - New York Line 7 invokes this during the Secret Level, "Midnight": You have to walk through an evacuated subway sector to find the missing parts for its respective train... while hiding from an unseen Serial Killer at the same time. The "Sinister" part gets even more so whenever a Jump Scare cue prompts you to deactivate your flashlight and stay still.

    Visual Novels 
  • On his way to fight the "Big Bad", the protagonist of Chaos;Head goes through this. He hallucinates, thinking that there were enemies blocking his path, which makes the trek through the subway scarier. The music doesn't help to alleviate the suspense.
  • In The Devil on G-String, one of the endings features this as a "Final Battle" stage.


    Web Original 
  • In episode 3 of The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, Jane has a terrifying experience with the bus version. The bus terminal is very creepy, and she's actually at the bus stop in the middle of nowhere. It's late at night and she lost her mobile, so she can't contact anybody. Also the person supposed to pick her up didn't show. The video description reveals that they mixed up the times. She freaked out, but survived and was fine.
  • The Proper People explored the abandoned Cincinnati Subway in one episode.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventure Time episode "Mortal Folly", the monstrous Lych's Well Of Power is in a ruined subway station complete with undead skeletal passengers.
  • The Disney cartoon American Dragon: Jake Long has the Huntsmaster's lair like this.
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Clock King": Gotham citizens first laugh at Mayor Hill when the ceremonial first train to Gotham Central Station doesn't arrive when he announces it. Then they hear Fugate's voice asking them to "clear the platform", and the lights of two trains at one appear. Everyone panics.
  • In the episode "Knock Knock", The Real Ghostbusters and the entire Big Applesauce have to contend with subway trains and graffiti turned into monsters. On one occasion the busters board a subway car, the lights go out, and when they go on again they're surrounded by undead skeletal passengers.
  • The abandoned Springfield Subway System in The Simpsons, which is an aged underground subway that while still functional, driving any of the trains results in earthquakes on the surface.
  • Transformers: Prime: The team head to a subway station in "Tunnel Vision" to locate one of the Lacon Relics, and it's inhabited by albino alligators and mole men, if Vogel is to be believed.

    Real Life 
  • The London Underground:
    • Aldwych station and the closed Charing Cross Jubilee line platforms are unused but completely intact, primarily so they can be rented out for filming every now and then. Wikipedia has a list of similarly abandoned stations.
    • On Thameslink, the former King's Cross platforms were closed in 2007 when the more modern St. Pancras station opened nearby. The platforms are still there today and visible to everybody on the line, having now fallen into disrepair and featuring bright red 'DO NOT ALIGHT HERE' signs along the platforms while still proudly displaying advertisements promoting the station's replacement.
    • The Northern City Line, a pseudo-Underground line that is run as part of the mainline railway network, held a reputation for its relatively ancient rolling stock and stations alongside the Uncanny Valley effect of "almost but not quite" looking like an Underground stop. This has improved a bit in recent years, though the old Network South East branding is still present if you know where to look.
  • Lower Bay station in Toronto's subway system sits empty in its Sinister Subway aura 90% of the time...except when it's being used for filming (it even has its own collection of MTA signs to make the station look like New York), being opened to tourists once a year, or being turned into a Genre Savvy piece of installation art.
  • The Berlin U- and S-Bahn tunnels in the latter stages of the battle for Berlin in WWII. Already seeing widespread use as impromptu shelters and field hospitals, they were also the scene of several battles and retreating SS fanatics blew one of the river tunnels to flood the network. This wasn't as effective as hoped, since it only filled some tunnels to a depth of 3-4 ft. Unfortunately one of these was an unused siding holding at least 200 incapacitated wounded at ground level...
    • Berlin is this trope's codifier, if not even Trope Namer. Berlin gave birth to the word Geisterbahnhof after all, meaning "ghost station" or "haunted station". When the Berlin Wall was erected, the GDR closed East Berlin subway stations at lines running from the West through the East back into West (modern-day U6, U8 and the North-South S-Bahn) and secured them with all handy technological and of course personnel measures (read: armed guards) to combat any remote possibility for republic flight. When a subway train from the West slowed down at said stations, passengers could pick up the silhouettes of the armed guards in these darkened closed station, looking like ghost, hence the name. Of course, all said stations were renovated and reopened after Hole in Flag made their raison d'être obsolete.
  • Paris has the Haxo subway station, the only intermediate station on a line built initially in the 1920s as a connection between lines 3-bis and 7-bis, but later abandoned on account of being considered superfluous. Not so sinister, as special trains packed with enthusiasts stop there every now and then.
  • Stockholm, meanwhile, has the Kymlinge station, which was never opened, connected with the legend of the Silverpilen ghost train, a subway train meant for testing that was left unpainted and occasionally used as backup: according to legend, Silverpilen would stop at the Kymlinge station to pick up the souls of the dead, and if a living person boarded the train, he would disappear forever or get off several years afterwards.
  • In Singapore, one station on the North-East Line, Woodleigh, was built and completed in the early 2000s but never opened due to lack of much commercial or residential developments nearby (another station that was left unopened, Buangkok (not to be confused with Bangkok), created much controversy and was finally opened a few years later). The kicker? The station is built under a former cemetery. Another station on the still-under-construction portion of the Circle Line, Bukit Brown, is being deliberately left half-finished (and obviously will not be opened), with just ventilation shafts marking the location of the station on the surface. The station is built as a provision for a future residential town that will be built in the area. And the kicker here? That area is yet another cemetery that has not been cleared or exhumed yet.
  • Rochester, New York has one, which is surprising given the city's small size. The subway opened in 1927 but was plagued by inadequate resources and the growth of the automobile industry. It was closed in 1956 but its wonderfully creepy ambiance (complete with an underground pool and pitch-black passages with no natural light) has made it a favorite of urban explorers and photographers. It's also homeless central.
  • The Belgian city of Charleroi had its own subway system built despite being way too small (pop. around 400,000 and dropping) to ever make running it remotely profitable. A result of insane Belgian politics allocating equal amounts of money to infrastructural projects on both sides of the language border (the north built a port that still serves its purpose). The original plans included 8 metro lines, only 3 were built, and one of those was never used despite being fully completed. As a result, some tunnels and stations have been decaying over the past 25 years without ever having seen any train passing, although they are fully operational, including working signage and, occasionally, even the escalators. Unsettling.
  • Madrid Metro has the Chamberi station, that was closed in 1966 as it was too close to other two of the same line. During some decades, as trains slowed down when crossing it, it was possible to see from them 60's vintage stuff (advertising, posters, turnstiles, etc). It was re-opened in 2008 as a museum.
    • A better example, however, would be the Arroyo del Fresnonote  station. It was constructed to serve a proposed housing development, but never opened as said housing didn't materialise in time and the area around remained very sparsely populated suffering vandalism as a result. It's expected to open it in 2019, twenty years after other stations of the same line.
  • Chicago has the abandoned tunnels of the Chicago Tunnel Company, a narrow gauge railway under the streets of Chicago. Built to remove debris during the installation of underground telephone cables, it was later used to make deliveries to downtown businesses and remove ash from buildings with coal-powered furnaces and boilers. Many parts of the route were replaced by subway tunnels. The rest was abandoned after the railway shut down in 1959...and rediscovered in 1992 when a pile being driven into the Chicago River penetrated the ceiling of one tunnnel, flooding the remaining network (and the basements of buildings still connected to it) with over 250 million gallons of water.
  • Many stations of the New York City Subway have since been abandoned due to low patronage or track alterations that left portions of a line unusable. Also, the older els were removed because a nearby subway line duplicated the el's route or were seen as a blight. Portions of existing stops have also been shuttered due to redundancy or low patronage, leaving them to either rot or be used as storage facilities, while funding issues and political bickering have largely ignored proposed expansions.
    • The old City Hall loop station opened in 1904 but closed in 1945. The station under City Hall had low patronage (about 800 people daily) and the curved platform could not handle longer ten car trains; the station could only handle six car trains. The long curved platform also created a large, dangerous gap between the train doors and platform. The City Hall station was also 600 feet (180 m) from the nearby Brooklyn Bridge station. Given the cost of renovation and upgrades to modern standards, the city closed the station. Today, it is open for tours run by the Transit Museum.

Alternative Title(s): Abandoned Subway