If you dare, come along on my hike to the Devil’s Hole Cave in winter. This cave has a tale spun around it by the Seneca Indians; they called it ‘The Cave of the Evil Spirit’. There was a rock, that if a hand was laid upon it, would keep the devil away for a year. I think it is gone now and was a ceremonial rock.
Luckily, Lucifer was out causing mayhem somewhere else when we arrived, but does he not have beautiful accommodations?
Let’s see how we had to get here. Here is my husband climbing the rock slide. I am not so close behind. This looks deceptive. The climb is both steep and difficult. The gorge cliff face is very high. It is distorted a bit because I too am on the incline and throwing off the perspective.
Here is how steep this hill slopes. Imagine this angle of repose. This is the view to the right of the cave opening.
Here we are looking to the left of the cave opening.
Look at my husband’s feet. This was a very bad spot to try to navigate. One misstep and no more GWGT. This is how we got back to the trail. It is an actual trail, but was taken out by the rock slides, like the rather large one he is leaning on.
Well, now some cave images. This small cave is carved into the Niagara Gorge. It is developed in Decew Dolostone, a very fine crystalline dolostone that is mostly a dark gray color. The rock dates from the Silurian Period and is over 400 million years old.
The name came from a Seneca legend that those that entered would befall misfortune and disaster. This was a sacred place to them and they held ceremony outside the cave. Still want to come in?
Is it not a crime what people do to deface such a wonderful natural place? And look at the boulder that fell in front of the opening. They even painted it too. The cave has had its photo taken many times through history. Here are just a few well known images.
You may also notice the cave was not defaced as far back as 1948.
A Seneca ceremonial rock is no longer present.
There was a massacre here in 1763. I was not going to mention it here, but you can look this up on your own. You will be surprised at what occurred and who was massacred. Not what you might expect. That is also why it is called Massacre Cave.
The stories are far grander than the cave itself. BTW. I did not hear voices in the cave which is often reported, but I did fall into a rather large hole in the dark.
Let us go in and take a look around. Sorry, I forgot the flashlight, so we will have to make do with the camera flash.
A lot of red clay is washed out of the cave by natural springs within. Also, look at the rock with the large scoop taken out. Do you see an eerie face?
Is it me, or does this not look like a petrified toad in the lower right, by the rock. My husband thought it looked like a beaver. But that looks like a big toad. It was so dark in here, the flash was our only means of light. We did not see it until I uploaded the images. I so want to go back and see it again. And speaking of life stopped in time, here are a couple of fossils from the gorge.
The cave is a little over six-foot high and over 25 feet long, before it narrows so that an adult sized human can not pass through. This indicates that the cave, long ago, was much deeper, but the settling and rock movement of the gorge made passage impossible.
A small rock from inside the cave with some remnants of life.
A much smaller rock with fossilized worms (I think) from a Gorge walk in summer.
How is this for scale? My husband is six foot one. The image below is taken from the mouth of the entrance looking out.
This is the opening in full size, from inside the cave, below. This is no Crystal Cave, like where I am from in Pennsylvania or Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, but it is kinda a fun little cave with a hauntingly cursed tale.