For a person who loves spelunking as much as I love the paranormal, a haunted cave can’t be topped. Although I’ve visited many caves all over the United States, I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Mammoth Cave in central Kentucky.
As with many caves in the U.S., Mammoth Cave was allegedly discovered by a hunter, a man hunting bear, John Houchin, in the late 1700s.
One owner, John Croghan, ran a tuberculosis hospital in the cave in the late 1830s. Croghan, who eventually died from the disease, believed that the “vapors” in the cave was a cure for tuberculosis.
Another interesting individual associated with Mammoth Cave was Floyd Collins, who is also suspected to be one of the entities haunting the cave.
Floyd was a very well-known cave explorer in that area of Kentucky in the early and mid-1920s. He had explored many miles of Mammoth Cave. He passed away on February 13, 1925 (estimated) from exposure and thirst.
Floyd had become trapped in a narrow passageway when he left leg was caught under a fallen rock while attempting to find a new entrance to a caving system that is now known as Sand Cave.
Nationalized rescue attempts were made to reach the chamber behind Collins, but by the time he was reached in the 55-foot shaft, the man was dead. His body could not be retrieved; and, the body was left until a new tunnel was dug and his remains were recovered on April 23, 1925.
After Floyd’s father sold the property in 1927, the new owner, Dr. Harry B. Thomas, dentist, dug up Floyd’s body and put it on display in nearby Crystal Cave for several decades. His body now rests in Flint Ridge Baptist Cemetery, part of Mammoth Cave National Park.
Since his death in 1925, Floyd Collins is believed to play pranks at Crystal Cave such as dropping a whiskey bottle, crying out for help, and appearing where he is least expected.
Paranormal activity in the cave was first noticed by tour guides and groups touring Mammoth Cave. Two of the spirits said to haunt the cave is a young lady named Melissa who lived nearby, and the man who jilted her, Mr. Beverleigh. The story goes that Melissa fell in love with her tutor, but her love was unrequited. She was spoiled and jealous, and while leading him through the cave one day, purposely ditched him inside. He was unable to find his way out, and died in the cave. An entity considered to be his spirit has been noticed standing and sitting at various places inside the cave. Melissa supposedly died a short time later from consumption. Her spirit is said to have been heard in the cave calling out for the man who died at her hands.
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