Cave Myths, Legends and Stories

NB: Caves are not places to be explored lightly... this is a list of myths and ghost stories - please ensure you do not become one of the latter...

Immortality

Location: Lisdoonvarna (County Clare) - Unknown cave between Lisdoonvarna and Ennis
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The waters of a secret cave located between these two places is said to make the old young, although anyone who was actively sought to bath within it was never seen again.


Singers

Location: Llangattock (Powys) - Caves in the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 23 June (or Midsummer Eve) (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A ghostly choir was said to sing once a year within the cave network.


Woman

Location: Middleton (West Glamorgan) - Goat's Cave, Paviland
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Red Lady of Paviland, an Upper Palaeolithic era skeleton found in the cave, was later discovered to be male rather than female. It is unclear how this misidentification has impacted the stories of how a phantom woman haunts the cave.


Shouting Shepherd

Location: Mitchelstown (County Cork) - Mitchelstown Caves
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ghostly shouts sometimes heard emerging from the caves is said to belong to a man looking for a fairy ewe which had helped him become wealthy. When the creature grew too old to produce quality wool, the shepherd tried to kill the creature, which escaped and led all his flock into the caves.


Wild Humphrey

Location: Nesscliffe (Shropshire) - Kynaston's Cave
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Circa 1500
Further Comments: Wild Humphrey Kynaston, local highwayman and friend to the poor, used this cave as a hideout. His horse was capable of making such daring jumps it was said to either be the Devil himself, or that the Devil helped the horse make the leaps.


Colt Pixie

Location: New Forest (Hampshire) - Cold Pixie's Cave, Beaulieu Heath
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A horse-like pixie, this fairy entity would play mild pranks and call out to horses so they became lost.


Underground Figures

Location: Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) - City of Caves, Broadmarsh shopping centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s?
Further Comments: This network of caves is said to be haunted by several figures. Dark indistinct shadows have been seen darting around, and an upset woman in Victorian clothing has been spotted. It has also been reported that a few people have heard explosions overhead - the caves were used as bomb shelters during the Second World War.


Murdered Girl

Location: Outer London: Bromley (Greater London) - Chislehurst Caves
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1961
Further Comments: Many ghosts are said to haunt the caves, including a woman who was drowned in a pool who was seen in 1961 - the witness knocked himself out on the cave roof while trying to escape the apparition. Other 'people' have been seen within, and the sounds of children and sometimes horses are reported. One myth says that a priest who spent the night at the site was found dead, the cause of death - fright!


Hob

Location: Over Silton (Yorkshire) - Carlhow Hill, Hobthrush Hall (cave) and surrounding area
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This member of the fairy family was said to be live in the caves and would occasionally leap around upon the hills in the area. He was also reported to churn butter for the local innkeeper in return for a slice of bread and butter. On one occasion, the innkeeper forgot to leave the food out for Hob, resulting in the entity leaving the area in disgust.


Fiddler

Location: Pendine (Dyfed) - Green Bridge Cave
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Said to have entered the cave but never to have left, the ghostly fiddler's music can still be heard.


Lost Fisherman

Location: Polperro (Cornwall) - Willy Willock's Hole (cave system)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Stormy nights (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A local fisherman once died in the maze of caves located here - he can still be heard crying out for help when the atmospheric conditions are right.


Sleeping Arthur

Location: Pont Nedd Fechan (Mid Glamorgan) - Craig-y-Ddinas, cave system
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This location is another contender for the place where King Arthur and his knights lay sleeping.


Drowning

Location: Portland (Dorset) - Cave Hole (or alternatively an unknown cave), close to the lighthouse
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The large, black dog that lives in an unknown cave grabs the unwary and drowns them.


Wrath

Location: Portreath (Cornwall) - Sea cave in the area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wrath was a giant who lived in a cave with direct access to the sea. He would wait for a ship to wreck before taking the surviving sailors home to eat.


White Woman

Location: Rhosili (West Glamorgan) - Paviland Cave, between village and Port Eynon
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This cave is haunted by a greedy woman who entered it looking for hidden treasure - a sudden storm blew up, trapping and drowning her.


Shadows

Location: Royston (Hertfordshire) - Royston Cave
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Shadowy figures have been briefly spotted in this cave.


Cure for Whooping Cough

Location: Runswick Bay (Yorkshire) - Hob Holes - caves along the coastline
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Any child taken into the caves at low tide would be cured by the little people (or little person, depending on the legend) who lived within.


Tangie

Location: Shetland Islands (Shetlands) - Fitful Head (cave), aka the Thief's Hole
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A mythical seahorse that was owned by the robber-bandit Black Eric. The creature continued to roam the area for a while following its master's death.


Dragon of Wormenhert

Location: St Albans (Hertfordshire) - Exact location unknown, said to have been a cave within a gorge in a nearby hill
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Eleventh century
Further Comments: Abbot Ealdred of St Albans rebuilt his abbey using the ruins of Verulamium, a Roman city located nearby. During the course of the work the Abbot destroyed the lair of the dragon of Wormenhert.


Crocodile

Location: St Asaph (Clwyd) - Cefn Caves
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1870
Further Comments: Measuring around one hundred and forty centimetres in length, a crocodile was said to have been killed by a local man in this cave.


Peter the Pirate

Location: St Donats (South Glamorgan) - Large cave at Tresilian Bay
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: First New Moon of the New Year (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Peter, pirate, was buried alive at the mouth of a large cave here. For one evening a year he screams out for help.


Leg Breaking

Location: Swordle (Highland) - St Columba's Cave
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The site where Saint Columba baptised two criminals became a site of pilgrimage where travellers left offerings. One man who stole some of the gifts fell from his horse and broke his leg.


Pixie Home

Location: Torquay (Devon) - Kents Cavern (aka Kent's Cavern)
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One of the stories the tour guides share is that the cave was once inhabited by pixies.


Way In

Location: Tunstead (Derbyshire) - Thor's Cave, Manifold Valley
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Wayne Anthony, in Haunted Derbyshire and the Peak District, writes that hidden within the cave is an entrance to the fairy kingdom, though one needs to possess second sight to find it. A Roman centurion also haunts the cave, and is said to guard the mouth.


Person Asleep

Location: Tynemouth (Durham) - Wizard's Cave (exact location not known)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Wizard's Cave is said to contain a person who is in a magical sleep.


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