The original founders of this mysterious cave established that it should be a type of burial ground. These people felt as if they buried the dead in the caves, their spirit could easily transition to the place where they would rest in the afterlife. As the years progressed, it was found that the minerals that lined the cave served as an excellent means of preserving bodies. This was discovered when early explorers to the haunted caves would go deep inside, get lost, and die only to be found much later by others. When discovered, it was found that their bodies would be in decent shape, despite the fact that they may have been dead for quite some time.
In the year of 1797, a white man was hunting near the cave and spotted a bear. This man’s name was “Houchins”. The bear ran away from the man, and desperate for his next meal, he followed the animal. It is said that they ran inside of Mammoth Cave. Shortly after this occurred, a man with a vast amount of money decided to purchase the land that contained the cave. Over time, the land that contained this mysterious cave would change hands several times. It was eventually found that at item that was called “saltpeter” was located in the cave. This would result in nearly one hundred slaves being put to work to obtain the substance from the dark passageways in order to make a profit for their owners.
Canyon passage in Mammoth CaveThe substance that was being removed from Mammoth Cave was a very important component of gunpowder mixes of the time. Eventually, interested buyers in the substance were able to discover saltpeter at better prices and the business operation at Mammoth Cave came to a halt. Just when things began to look grim, tourists started flocking in to the area in order to observe the cave for themselves. At the time, several who were employed to remove the saltpeter were then employed to act as tour guides for the cave. At this time, it was referred to as “Flatt’s Cave”. The owner discovered that
tourists would pay a nice price in order to experience the cave firsthand.
As more and more tours were given, the tourists and guides alike started to notice strange and unusual events. There was even an area that was called “Haunted Chambers” because of the strange and unusual events that started to occur. It was believed that the spirits that had been laid to rest there never discovered their way to the afterlife, and they were angry with the people touring. They saw these individuals as intruders and wanted them to quit interrupting the rest that they deserved in their spiritual state.
There are many spirits that are said to reside in Mammoth Cave. One of the most interesting of these spirits is a lady by the name of “Melissa”. A letter was discovered that indicated that she lived near the cave for quite some time. This occurred in the mid 1800’s. As it is told, Melissa fell in love with a man. He was named “Mr. Beverleigh” and acted as her tutor. Unfortunately, the tutor did not seem to feel the same way that she did, but fell in love with her neighbor and friend. It is believed that she intentionally led this individual on a tour of the cave, and then left him behind. Because he was not familiar with the passageways, he died. Today, many claim that Melissa still visits the cave as a spirit and that the man is still trying to find his way out, despite the fact that both are now deceased.
Floyd Collins is another spirit that seems to frequent the caves as a spirit. This man was an avid explorer in life, and it is said that as he ventured into the magnificent cave, rocks fell on him and left him trapped. While he was found by friends, it was difficult for them to conclude a method to remove him from the area. As time progressed, the cave fell a bit more. The new cave in eventually killed Floyd Collins. Today, it is said that his spirit still resides within the passageways of the cave.