Dark, dank, bat-filled caves are eerie enough on their own, but when you add ghosts to the mix, they get even creepier. What is it about these subterranean formations that make them such hotbeds of paranormal activity? The United States is home to some of the most haunted caves in the world just waiting for you to explore them and discover their secrets.
The famous man-made Robber's Cave in Lincoln, Nebraska is a 5,000-square-foot cave network of tunnels. While many businesses have opened and closed at the cave, one thing has remained consistent--the ghosts. Visitors and locals have explored the cave and tunnels and reported tales of terrifying ghostly encounters such as hearing eerie laughter and other disembodied sounds like crying and screaming. Visitors have also heard drumming and chanting, seen shadow figures, and heard muffled moaning.
The checkered history of Robber's Cave began in the 1860s when digging began for a brewery. After its construction, criminals like Jesse James used the cave as a hideout. Likewise, escapees from a nearby mental hospital and state penitentiary escapees hid there and never came out.
You can participate in a 45- to 60-minute tour of Robber's Cave. Visit, and you just may have your own creepy cave encounter.
Mammoth Cave is the longest known cave system in the world. The Kentucky national park is full of chambers and a labyrinth of networks and tunnels. Visitors and rangers tell stories of apparitions dressed in period clothing and report seeing two male ghosts that vanish in front of their eyes. People also report being pushed by unseen entities, seeing apparitions, hearing disembodied voices calling from a distance, and encountering two well-known resident ghosts.
Melissa is the spirit of a young woman who fell in love with her tutor. Unfortunately, he didn't feel the same way. She never accepted his rejection and devised a plan to exact revenge. She lured him to the cave and then slipped away, leaving him without a lantern. It was the last time anyone ever saw him. Visitors hear her calling from the depths of the cave.
Park rangers also report hearing the cries of a man begging for help. It's possible the man is Floyd Collins, who lingered in agonizing pain for over a week when he was was fatally trapped by a large boulder. He died before the rescuers could get to him. His body was displayed for over 60 years until grave robbers stole it. Eventually, poor Floyd received a proper burial, but many people claim to hear his wailing cries for help echoing throughout the cave.
The nearly 10-million-year-old cave has many such stories. It was once used as a misguided TB hospital where everyone died, including the doctor in charge. It's no wonder this incredible cave system has generated hundreds of haunted stories. So far, over 500 miles are charted, but that exploration is ongoing and those overseeing the exploration state they don't expect to finish any time soon.
There are several types of cave tours you can participate in that are led by park rangers. Some are only an hour long, while others take you deep into the cave network and can last up to three hours.
Bell Witch Cave
The Bell Witch Cave is on the US National Historical Registry (2008). The cave is haunted by the ghost of the Bell Witch. Some kids had a scary experience inside the cave when a candle went out, and the panicked children heard a disembodied voice. Another story claims a child got stuck in a recessed area of the cave and was pulled out of the hole by phantom hands. Visitors claim to hear whispering and a disembodied female voice.
The Bell Witch story is perhaps the most famous of many well-known Appalachian ghost stories. It tells of John Bell and his neighbor Kate Batts. Kate believed John had robbed her of the land he purchased and on her death bed, she swore vengeance on him and his family. She became known as the Bell Witch when John Bell and his daughter Betsy were victimized by many supernatural events, such as hair pulling and other physical assaults.
Neighbors and visitors, including former president, Andrew Jackson, witnessed the strange and frightening events. Curious about the stories, Jackson insisted on witnessing them for himself. After he and his troops spent the night at the farm, he later reported that he'd rather face the British army than spend yet another night there.
John Bell eventually suffered a swollen throat and gagged from what felt like a stick being jabbed down his esophagus. The Bell Witch's disembodied threats and curses were heard during times of her attacks. John succumbed to his suffering and died.
The Bell farmhouse was torn down in an attempt to discourage ghosts hunters. However, a replica of the farm house was built. If you wish to visit the cave, you can also take a tour of the reconstructed house.
Moaning Cavern Adventure Park in Vallecito, California was named for the sound that the air moving through the cave opening generates. With the expansion of the cave mouth, that sound isn't heard often; some say the moaning sound is gone. Visitors have reported seeing ghostly apparitions in the cavern.
Eyewitness have seen the ghostly figures of miners and other apparitions. Indigenous American spirits appear as misty figures, while other have a more corporeal look. Perhaps the scariest ghost is that of a saber-tooth tiger with a chipped tooth that earned him the name Chip.
There were many bodies discovered at the bottom of the 165-foot deep cave, said to be California's longest vertical chamber. Explorers found remains found were of prehistoric people, Indigenous Americans, and gold miners. All were believed to have fallen to their deaths. Perhaps some of them entered the cave to investigate the eerie moaning sound.
You can opt for one of the tours and then enjoy the adventure of a zip line. On the tour, you'll climb down a 100-foot spiral staircase to continue along the cavern trail.
Cave Spring is one of Georgia's most haunted places. The paranormal activity isn't confined just to the cave, but throughout the surrounding town and especially Rolater Park. A natural spring runs from the cave into a 1.5-acre lake and reflecting pond within the park.
The cave has a little girl resident ghost. She died of scarlet fever during the early 1900s. Visitors have seen her apparition in the cave, especially during night ghost tours. She appears as a faint mist, and her disembodied voice is often audible to visitors.
Historically, the Indigenous Americans would gather at the natural pond and lake for meetings, playing games, and of course, to replenish their water supply. The cave may also have a few Creek and/or Cherokee ghosts. Visitors have reported hearing drums and Indigenous American chants. Others have captured large orbs in photos and videos.
The town celebrates its ghosts during the month of October with its annual ghost tours led by storytellers with many local scary stories.
Exploring the Most Haunted Caves in the U.S.
There are quite a few haunted caves in the U.S. that you can explore or participate in a guided ghost tour. You can visit these haunts and discover for yourself if the ghost stories are true.