I thought this might be fitting, since it is almost Halloween.
If you grew up in my home town and went to my high school, you almost certainly know about the Satan Caves. Ok, I am pretty sure no one from anywhere is reading this, so let me explain. The Satan Caves are actual caves situated in a very strange area between three towns. The area is home to many man-made reservoirs that feed New York City. As such, you can imagine all the construction all those years ago that made the area mysterious…reservoirs and lakes, tunnels and caverns, canals and…well, caves.
Laura and I went to a very nice engagement party yesterday in Katonah. On the way home, since we were all the way over on the other side of the river, I decided to take a little detour. Heading up Rt.22, I decided to pull off onto a dirt road next to a reservoir with a nice stepped overflow. On this dirt road is the old garbage dump that my father and I used to go to when we needed to get rid of stuff. I remember that well…riding in the dump truck full of stuff. It was always an adventure. Anyway, I wanted to show it to her. I know…it’s strange, but it was a nice Autumn day and I was feeling nostalgic. I forgot that there was so much more to look at besides that beauty of a dump. We pulled over on the side of the road so we could climb the hill to get a look at the reservoir.
This next photo is of the single vehicle bridge that you have to pass through to get to the dump. It is old tradition to honk your horn before going through. You can see through to the other side, but it is still fun to honk the horn. I gave it a few honks to show off my mad skillz to Laura.
Right past the bridge on the right hand side is the weirdest, strangest thing. I should mention that when these reservoirs were created, tunnels and channels were made too…to connect them all. In the next few photos is one of the channels that connect this reservoir from one town to the one in another town. I think the building was some sort of a dam. I am not sure. Maybe if someone reads this and knows about these types of things, they will leave a comment explaining what we are looking at. All I know is, it was very quiet and the channel was very creepy. It doesn’t help that Laura gets into this kind of stuff. She likes horror films like there is no tomorrow. I hate that stuff. I am a comedy man, myself. Moving on…
You know, if the wrong type of person came back here at the wrong time, they might try to do some sort of drug. Good thing we were here to keep a lookout. So, you get the picture. Pretty Blair Witch looking.
So here is the exciting stuff. We left the canal area and passed by the old dump entrance. It wasn’t very exciting…just an overgrown dirt path type road. They closed it years ago and covered the entire area with dirt. It looks like a field today. We continued on the dirt road and I got an idea…I would show Laura the hill that leads to the Satan Caves. I read somewhere that these caves are the abandoned Tilly Foster mines.
That is some freaky stuff. We got to the hill and I opened the door to go up the hill. What the heck…it looked shorter than I remembered. It has been a while though…
I used to go up to these caves with my friends Rob, Gary, Pete and Frank. It was kind of like “Stand By Me.” We lived that movie. We used to hear so much about the place, but hadn’t gone up yet. Finally, when Gary got a car, we made the trip. We hiked up the two hills and made a right towards a huge ravine type side of a mountain. There she was…a huge cut out of a rocky cliff, dripping with water…and a small steel double door. It was dark and wet, with lots of green moss. Like stated above, there were beer cans and junk left over from partying. We slowly creaked the door open and inched through to discover there were tracks on the ground. We had to balance on them because there was about 6 inches of water covering the entire area. We continued through in the pitch black, just a small light from one flashlight. There were multiple caverns, divided by large steel walls and a door in the middle. Everything was covered with rust and water. There were smaller tunnels leading to nowhere along the sides of the main cave. We continued through a few more caverns to come to an odd end. There was a large rock dead ahead with a rubber hose hanging from above. We looked up about fifty feet and saw a small hole…about one and a half feet from side to side. There was daylight shining through. We hung and bounced on the hose a few times to make sure it was strong enough to hold us. Slowly, each one of us climbed the hose to emerge out of a large, steep funnel type hole at the top of the mountain. We crawled up the sides of the funnel in the leaves and realized where we were…about a half-mile from where we started. This whole trip was completely different than anything we ever expected…
Ok, back to the present day. I talked Laura (without much effort) into climbing the hill with me to see the entrance of the caves. I thought this would be the perfect Halloween type thing to do. The caves are enough to freak anyone out. We made it up the hills pretty quickly, even though the ground was wet. When we came around the corner, we saw what we came for…only there was a huge pile of dirt covering the steel doors.
This is the entrance to the Satan Caves from below. The photo below I took from the top of the hill, right at the doors. I guess the town or someone came and closed the entrance off.
You can see a little closer in the photo above. It looks like the entire cave system is filled with about ten feet of water.
The building on the right is totally ruined and full of beer cans. I have no idea why anyone would want to be in there drinking beer. Laura loved the caves and I bet she would’ve gone in, if it wasn’t filled with water. I have to watch this one…
So there you have it…the Satan Caves. They do exist, but you won’t be able to go inside unless someone goes up there with a backhoe to move that dirt and drain the water.
October 23, 2006 at 10:13 am
This reminds me of the “Chinese Mansion” in Millbrook. It was actually an Italian villa on a large hill. Rumor had it that it was built for this guy’s wife, but she died before it could be finished, so they just stopped working on it. That was aroun 1890. It sat empty (and still might be) in the middle of the woods. There were several dirt roads that were patrolled by the land owner. We used to sneak one by one and try to take something that proved we were there. It was pretty creapy on a cloudy day when the wind was blowing…
October 23, 2006 at 10:18 am
I am not sure if I mentioned this in the post, but I believe these caves were part of the Tilly Foster mines. There is another section of the mines over near Simon’s Auto Wrecking. The one near Simon’s is a totally different mine and is in kind of like a peninsula that juts out into the reservoir that is right in front of the end of Rt.312, heading towards Carmel. That mine is now filled with water and looks like a lake. You probably wouldn’t know it if you saw it.
October 23, 2006 at 11:23 am
Wow, I remember the Satan Caves. We used to go at night. I bet Laura would have loved that! We climbed down some of them and I remember it being slippery.
That old house/shed had beer cans in it 15 years ago. It does look a lot worse now though.
Oh yeah, and there were tons of bats EVERYWHERE….
October 23, 2006 at 11:45 am
My goodness, I used to live there and never even heard of the Satan caves, though I certainly knew about the dump and the Tilly Foster mines. I certainly didn’t let my sons explore anything so demonic and dangerous. Your mother should have kept a better eye on you.
You are a very good writer, Jay, have you ever thought about writing a novel?
October 23, 2006 at 12:42 pm
You know, when we were in there, we never even gave the fact that the place was filled with bats a thought? That kind of weirds me out.
I bet you are a great mother and your son appreciates your watchful eye. By the way, there is no way I would be able to write a novel. I almost can’t finish these posts…I am usually on to something else.
October 23, 2006 at 3:30 pm
I should only hope my son appreciates me! When I think of what I’ve been through with that boy …
What you do is a collection of stories – like Garrison Keillor. Just one a day and before you know it – a best seller! I personally have saved many e-mails from my son and will publish them one day when he isn’t looking.
October 23, 2006 at 4:50 pm
I used to work at the camp next to the caves. We used that camp while the one in Mahopac was being “remodeled”. I think the caves were old iron mines. I have been in them and have seen the tracks for the carts. When you are rowing a boat in the lake/reservoir you will find other “tunnels” that have since filled with water from the reservoir. These were all covered with wire mesh though so no Girl Scouts would swim into them and get trapped. Boy, that was such an adventure wasn’t it? (I remember ripping my jeans climbing over a fence trying to go into the cave system. We didn’t go in too far; only about 20 feet or so. It was so dark.)
October 23, 2006 at 7:07 pm
And here I am thinking that the Satan Caves are some hidden mystery only cracked by a few people. It seems that even the most tender of people have visited…my sister with the GIRL SCOUTS!
Ok, my toughness just got flushed down the toilet. Well, I am glad that everyone got to see them and has some stories to tell. Maybe you can tell the kids about the caves as a Halloween story.
Adam B says:
October 28, 2006 at 10:58 pm
Great shots of this place. Those 4 tower like structures were smelters for the ore they mined. I used to ride ATVs back there along time ago. Looks like alot of development back there now. Its a really great place to expore although Ive heard they chase people out of there now.
Mike P. says:
November 4, 2006 at 2:29 pm
I used to go in those mines with extension ladders and lanterns in the late 80′s. The Iron orr used to make the chain that stretched across the hudson at west point came from those mines. It connects to another entrance on the hill behind the train station.
November 4, 2006 at 4:20 pm
You’re kidding. There is another entrance behind the train station? How far does it go in? This I have to see…
December 1, 2006 at 12:23 am
You are going to think I am kidding, but I am the one who put that boat in there. I swear. I live less than a mile from that entrance. BTW bad things always happen when we go there. Not horrible, but there are always a couple of injuries, etc. I ride my dirt bike on the other side of the mountain in the former dump. Couple of nice jumps there, but it gets overgrown.
On the other side of the train tracks from the dump is another small outlet from the mines. Too small to get in. Must be an air shaft or something. It’s on some kind of electrical or gas pipeline that you can follow down from over by the arched one lane bridge.
Also, in the summer there is an awesome swimming hole on the other end of magnetic mine rd. Make a right out of the road and it’s on your left before the causeway starts. Follow the trail to the cliffs. Follow it even more up the hill for the big jumping spots. THIS IS IN HE RESERVOIR SO YOU CAN GET A TICKET! Make sure and park somewhere down the dirt road or you’ll most likely be paying 100 bucks in court.
That boat holds water BTW, it’s just swamped. you can empty it and it’ll be fine for a few hours at least. Dont Get Lost!
January 15, 2007 at 8:11 pm
Me and my childhood friend Morley used ta have adventures in them there caves when we was kids. we’d ride are box cart scooters down the dirt road with are lunch pails and a flint stone. we’d scramble up the hill and walk through the huge iron door at the entrance. we spent the lazy afternoon hours of summer catching leapin frogs and lizards. That led us further into the caves. Yea caves, there was an eloborate system of limestione caves that formed naturally. Morley was a bit yella about going past the darkness so i gave him the small torch we would light with the flint. he led the way, nervously looking back at me and calling, ” Rindcliff, you there?” sometimes i would stand completely still until the caves were filled with Morley’s heavy breathing followed by whimpers and then full out screams RINDCLIFF???? I would laugh and them sneek behind him and spook him. He usually dropped the torch and it snuffed out in the running stream at our feet. we had 5 adventures summers exploring the caves systems off the old dirt road. Morely and i wnet on to explore many greta places in our late teens and throught our adult lives. tahnks for the memories.. Rindcliff
February 16, 2007 at 1:05 am
Man i’ve been in the past to both the cliffs in the reservoir and the caves.i needed the boat to get into the one pictured but there are more if you climb the hill.crazy times.
March 27, 2007 at 7:30 pm
Im goin to the satans caves on thursday, should be awesome
April 9, 2007 at 7:42 pm
I grew up in Shenorock and heard many stories about the mines as a kid. Would like to get together with a few people some weekend in May ( I’ll be up that way on vacation) and do some exploring. Hope to hear from anybody soon….. Bothur8@yahoo.com
Michael Maruzzella says:
April 16, 2007 at 12:54 pm
There are 18 posts about the ‘Satan Caves’ and although the paragraphs
are personal references from childhood recollections, many of the facts are misleading about the history of Simewog Hill.
Urban Legend #1:
The caves are natural, made of limestone which reacted with groundwater to produce natural cavities underground.
There is no significant quantity of limestone. Limestone would have been with the iron-ore ( both used in the steel making process )
Urban Legend #2:
I always heard that the caves lead to an underground connection with the reservoir.
The Cave is actually a 1300′connecting tunnel to join two mines, and ease
the transportation of iron ore to the tramway ( cable driven ore bucket loader) and eventually to the Furnaces in Cold Spring Foundry, Peekskill iron stove Co.l, and Franklin. N.J.
The steel sheds were used to store dynamite.
The mine used compressed air and a jackhammer-like drills to dislodge the iron-ore. Most mines of the 1860′s- 1880′s used similar machinery. The sheds are most likely used in the mushroom growing enterprise in the 1960′s ( they contain shelves and were climate controlled and locked ). The shallow trays found inside the mine along the narrow gage tracks are probably the growing boxes that were transferred from the sheds to the mine during the initial stage of the mushroom growing process.
Urban Legend #4:
The are assorted references to the 11 side tunnels found inside the mine
The 11 small tunnels were dug by Bethlehem Steel during World War Two to test for the iron content of the ore. If the war was prolonged, the U.S. needed to ascertain were the best sources of steel were in the country.
The 4 towers are smelters for the iron-ore
Thomas Edison ( The NY Concentrating Works ) leased this land and built this structure after the mine had been closed due to falling iron ore prices
( Andrew Carnegie began developing the iron-ore of the Mesabi Mountains
and flooding the iron market with cheap, high quality iron-ore).
The cement structure is 4 concentrating bins (separate magnetic iron-ore from low content ore, by the use of 4′ bar magnets and the process was patented by Thomas Edison Patent # 248,432 issued on 10/18/1881 ).
Urban Legend #5:
The iron-ore from the ( Satan Caves) mine was used in making the chains that were placed across the lower Hudson River to prevent the British from sailing past the Revolutionary War troops at Fort Montgomery (West Point).
The iron-ore that was used to make the four chains that streached across the Hudson river were taken from local sources. The mines of the Greenwood group ( Bear mountain mines), and The Canada Group
( Faunstock State Park).
Urban Legend #6:
The Girl Scout Cave is an entrance to the larger ‘Satan Caves’
The Hatfield Audit is part of the Theall and McCullom Mines is NOT
connected physically to either of the large mines. NY State Geology Bulletin dated from 1956 states that the Hatfield Audit was 130′ long and not more than 12′ deep. The mine by the pond is over 2000′ from the Theall and McCollum mine, and in the 1880′s in would be a technological feat to tunnel and connect the mines ( and for what purpose?). The Mines are part of the Magnetite District which encompasses northern Somers ( Clove Hill Mines) and the Village (Cheever and Durant Mines).
There are no natural caves at Simewog Hill
There was no large furnace at Simewog Hill
There are no Aliens on Magnetic Mine Road.
The pictures are of a mine, storage sheds, a NYC weir for flood control in the ‘canal’ of the diverting reservoir.
Thanks for reading by response,
April 24, 2007 at 2:24 am
Michael, great info!.. where did you find this? I am very intersted in finding similar history in westchester/putnam areas. Thanks in advance.
May 21, 2007 at 6:23 pm
Hey, Me and a few friends were just there yesterday. When we got there I was instantly spooked by the reddish water in the mud and the red rocks. I assume thats all from the iron content. Then the freezing cold air hit me as we neared the entrance, i suppose theres a reason for that but it still creeped me out. We crawled inside even one of my freinds who is on crutches. Three of my freinds hopped in the boat right away. We knew about the boat form one of our friends and had planned on tying a rope to it so no one could get lost, but we abandoned the idea when we saw how big the tunnel was. Anyway They took off and three of us stayed behind. We tried to keep in touch but soon even their echoes couldnt reach us. Pretty quickly I started to wory about what had happened to them. I was worried about the serious issues of exploring an abandoned half underwater tunnel and I was pretty freaked out over spooky stuff. I stayed down in the entrance way for about ten minutes, but pretty soon the graffiti on the doors was really creeping me out. One door said Faith is reality and the other said exteme error, but that one was hard to make out . Finaly I was so freaked out I had to go stand outside. There was a frayed electric cable hanging over the side of the cliffs above the entrance and when I got outside i thought I noticed that it was lower than it had been when we went in. Every time I turned around i kept thinking this, but i was pretty spooked already. After more than a half hour went by every one shared my concern as to the situation of my other friends, so one of us decided to go look for another entrance, he found the one on top of the hill the shaft that goes down, kinda like a pitfall, but there was no way down it.
About ten minutes later our other friends returned form inside and we went up to see this other entance about half way up we decided that they would take the boat out again and switch some of the people who hadnt gone before. I was pretty much way too chicken to give it a shot so I said some of us should go up and see the other entrance (Mainly because i was under the impression that it was impossible to get down) So we split up again, a different friend of mine took a rope and tied it to a nearby tree when we got there and proposed to climb down. Now i was really worried because every thing was wet and if he fel it looked like a thirty foot drop. But he did it anyway even though I threatened to fight him. He couldnt get all the way down because his rope was to short but there were a few ledges he managed to get to. I was relieved when he climbed back up and after a while we met up with our friends who were on the boat. We left the mine
June 14, 2007 at 1:11 pm
Dan (and others), depending on your age and experience, I suggest you be very careful when exploring these (and any other) mines. While its a lot of fun, things can and occasionally do go wrong and you must always be thinking about this fact and how you might cope with any number of dangerous situations. As I always tell my daughter, safety first….. please dont ever do anything you arent quite sure you can handle. I have recently explored an area where I know for a fact someone died by falling into an old mine about 2 years ago. Also, respect the property you are on and the historical significance of what you are seeing.
June 19, 2007 at 10:16 pm
so what if the caves didn’t form naturally, they still were adventurous for me and Morley. One time on an adventure we found old rotted out sticks a dynomite when we was trying to break into the metal containers. They was all dried out a course and we emptied out all the black powder into nice big fat sasparilla leave and rolled it into a cylinder shape. We were gonna make blow another cave on the north side of the hill, so we stuck some rolled dried grasses into it as a fuse and coated it with some more powder. It was a good idea jes bad execution. And lets jes say’ole Morley’s mom had to buy him a new pair a britches after that day. It was a hoot, I had Morley lite the fuse with the flint, it took lonegr n ‘coons age an when he finally got it lit he turned and ran so quick he hit the tree behind him with his coconut head and fell right back on the burning fuse. Why, Morley was kickin and screaming up a storm while his hair was cooking and sizzeling. I was laughing so hard, I doubled over, nearly bus a gut with laughter. Eventually I looked back down at morley with his hair all a smoking and went to stopemd it out. I nearly gave Morley a concussion when I stepped on part of his head while I was puttin out the fire. Lucky for him I also broke the fuse just before it detonated in his head.
You shoulda seen Morley with his hair burned out in the back and smokin still, why that bald patch was with him nealy till the blue moom that September. He wore his cap rest a the summer. When he got back home his ma didn’t want hear it, she jus chased him roun the house with a rollin pin shoutin more profanities than Baby Jesus would care to hear on a Sunday afternoon. Needless to say , I didn’t see Morley for a few days after that. But our adventures didn’t end that summer at all. We explored Angry-Angry Lake, Frog Bog Log and Yakamyers Cave and a 100 other exciting advetures.
I still live near the cave today and Morley never moved out his Ma’s house so when she passed in ’72 he jes kept on living there. Now, me and Morley jes sit on our front porch and sip lemonade and remonice about are adventures. Morley’s not sore anymore bout he dynomite mishap, jes a bit bald there still.
July 14, 2007 at 6:14 am
I just happened to find this story while browsing internet and I find it quite interesting. I’ve never been to America, sinve I live in Estonia, Eeastern- Europe, but the Satan Caves remind me of similar experiences I have had with estonian caves. The land is here really flat and we don’t have natural caves, but there are some man-made caves, old mines for example. But I would say the most interesting is the Astangu area in Tallinn, capital of Estonia. It is part of the Baltic clint, but it was closed during soviet times. There are some very weird tunnels, some more than 20 ft high, not very deep. I don’t know it for sure, but some say it was a soviet rocket base. The are is practically inside the town. Nowadays it is just a abandoned bush people go to walk their dogs, but still very charmingly and mysteriously beautiful.
Just some thoughts I had when I was looking at the pictures of Satan Caves.
Faith is reality says:
August 5, 2007 at 8:52 pm
I was at the satan caves the other day and i had a very weird experiance, I went with one of my friends and he fell at the enterance and began to bleed uncontrollably from his arms/ wrists. As I told him to try to control the bleeding from becoming excessive, he passed out in my arms and started to turn blue. As I began to pick him up and get to the hospital, he suddenly awoke as if he was possesed gasping for air bt then became fine… The strangest part was the bleeding stopped but it became very cold and creepy. WE proceeded to get leave as quickly as possible.
August 28, 2007 at 10:27 am
I was there yesterday. I found the dirt road off route 22, then I found the single lane tunnel, made it across and ended-up in resevoir rd. I was not able to figure out where the entrance to the caves are. Can I get more details. How far from the tunnel? Is it to the left or the right?
August 30, 2007 at 1:55 pm
i was there today and the boat is not there but the oars are any info?
August 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm
I went to the caves today…the boat wasn’t there anymore or I would have gone in..but anyway you just keep driving straight after the tunnel and you will eventually come to an area where you can go right..and go acrossed a bridge..or go straight..you go straight on the dirt road and then just keep driving until you see a wide open trail on the left side..park there and just walk up it’s pretty steep.
August 30, 2007 at 9:21 pm
btw in the article u mentioned a frank and pete what is there last names?
October 7, 2007 at 10:43 am
i was there last night the i guess the town or someone cut down a whole bunch of trees down across the trail so its VERY hard to get up it and they closed the entrance to the cave off so u cant even go up into it anymore
October 14, 2007 at 9:16 pm
Hi, I just thought it was really funny that you don’t think anyone from your home town is reading this. Think again!
I do agree that Reservoir Road is an interesting place, though. Very pretty place to walk, but kind of creepy and blacker than anything at night. It’s an escape from suburbia hell, though, so I do enjoy spending time every now and then on this desolate little road.
As for aliens, I can’t say I’ve seen any there, though my close friend has regular encounters with them and I have seen a few UFO’s here and there.
Just thought I’d comment and let you know that you are wrong. Us people are out there and we will find your site!
Carry on, chap. Very cool to see others who enjoy the serene and spooky qualities of Reservoir Road and the mine system.
November 2, 2007 at 7:50 pm
My name is Morley. My best friend Rindcliff and I use to explore the Caves when we were kids. I see Rincliff has spoken of our mis-adventures there. I was always too scared to go up to the caves but my Ma was best friends with his Pa so we just naturally became good friends. Rindcliff use explore the caves on his own in the beginning, said he didn’t want ne to come along and all. But later on he strangley changed his mine. He came home one early fall night when the moon was full and low in the sky aLL spooked and nervoous like. I was concerned because rindcliff was the most adventurous boy in our village and for him to be spooked meant something wasn’t right. I asked him and he just cussed me out and socked me in the nose.
THE next morning He ran to my house and told me he was heading up to the caves and for me to come along. He seemed to be a different boy from the night before. Seeings that it was a school day, we pretended to get ready for school and all like usuall and instead of walking to GSS we played hookey and ducked up the woods and headed towards the mine.
We were preparied with sack lunch a compass and some flint to make a fire if necessary. We arrived there and instantly heard gurgerling noises coming from just beyond the entrance. It sounded as if rushing water was going down a tub drain. when we got to the mouth of the cave which was hidden by lush green ferns we felt the coolness and the air blowing at our faces. we heard dripping noises and echos of the dripps bounced off the walls in all directions. Rindcliff had some newsprint and wrapped it around a stick with dried moss and struck his flint on the stone to spark it up. We had a nice torched which casted eerie images on the rocky cave walls. The gurgeling noise was louder and cave floor was wet with still water. My heart was pounding as we got in further past the entrance. We saw giant bats fly though our lite and hard their wings flutter. The air was thich and humid with an waful smell. We heard muffeled grunts and tearing noises off to the side. I was crying by then and wanted to leave. But rindcliff yelled at me and kicked me in the arse. I fell intom the water and cut my hand. He just laughed at me and he laughter seemed to echoe in the cave for eternity.
Just then we heard a scary growl and the pads of some creature leaping in our direction and then rindcliff was knoced to the ground by it and then whatever it was fled out of the cave. I had never seen what it was, but we smelled dead things in the cave after that and what appeared to be blood. We quickly exited the cave and ran home; by then school was over but my ma and his pa new we skipped and we both got wippins. rindcliff’s shits was rippped and he had blood on his chest.
we never told our parents the truth, just that old man Marvin’s dog attacked us when we wnet fishing.
We went back several times that fall. and each time heard noises like something was being eaten and the sound of running water. I was scared all the time but being with a guy like rindcliff made me feel strong. I just saw ridcliff over halloween and he’s talkin about visiting the caves one last time.
February 15, 2008 at 4:59 am
i lived in Reed Farm, right there near reservoir road. always heard stories about the satan caves, but never went to visit. one thing thats not talked about is how the caves earned the name, the satan caves. i heard it was because devil worshippers would conduct ceremonies and sacrafices there. any idea?
That Guy says:
February 25, 2008 at 10:15 pm
I heard they got that name for the same reasons. I live there 2 and I haven’t been to that entrance, but I rode my bike up the backside of that mountain from a trail in the town and passed another entrance to the caves near the top. It was a small opening closed off by steel doors with a lock on them. I remember one of my friends telling me that was an entrance to the satan caves. After that I was kinda creeped out but we just continued past and came out at the end of a dead end street off of Drewville Rd.
The view from up there was amazing, but now it may be overgrown. There was no cut trail at the time when i was up there.
I also know some history of the mine and there was a collapse back in the late 1800s and many immigrant laborers died. I think the collapse happened on the mountain behind the train station and I know the mines run under the town as well, though I’ve never heard of anyone being able to access them.
June 15, 2008 at 8:44 pm
how do you get to this cave ? does anyone know anthing else cool
August 14, 2008 at 12:29 am
Where is the location on the Caves?
August 15, 2008 at 3:42 am
i have been there a thousand times , the entrance is easy to find once you get through the one lane bridge keep going straight you will see a river on the right hand side with a bridge to cross DONT TAKE THAT RIGHT KEEP GOING STRAIGHT its less than a 1/4 mile on the left . you cant see it from the road , you will see a clearing with a little hill go up that hill and there will be one more hill a little bigger after you get over that hill you will see the storage sheds and the caves will be to your right… there is also an abandon house that is kinda creepy right threw the woods infront of the caves . the smoke stacks are at the top of the hill there pretty cool to . also if you stay on the dirt road a little farther and take your first left stay on that road take your next left into the turnaround there is a nice house with a little lake follow the edge of the water and that is another entrance there
August 17, 2008 at 4:06 am
When where you there last? I was there yesterday and the area looks a lot different then it does in the pic. It looks like they filled in the caves again and that shed has been moved or something. Weird
September 11, 2008 at 4:35 pm
I was there this weekend. The entrance is filled in. the building is gone but there was a blue cooler right where it was, someone musta been drinking up there. theres also this long iron pipe sticking outta the ground. Anyway, it would be cool to organize a little expedition up there and dig the entrance out…
anyone interested send me an email
November 23, 2008 at 2:27 pm
I believe the name “Satan’s Caves” is relatively new. The was always mystery surrounding Dean’s Corners bridge and that area but I had never heard of Satan’s Cave. I believe it was around the time that I was going to High School (late 70′s to early 80′s)that candles arranged in some strange cult like way were found in that area. Maybe that is the reason for the name.
November 26, 2008 at 8:10 pm
Jay – you should blog about the Jesus Tree now. This was good.
November 26, 2008 at 9:17 pm
Yeah, but the problem is I don’t know anything about the Jesus Tree. I always heard that was cut down a while ago and now it’s the Jesus Stump.
February 19, 2009 at 7:49 pm
I’ve been to pretty much every cave in the area. The caver mentioned above has been completely filled in this past year. Before it was filled, my friends and i took that boat about a mile back into the caves. We went as far as we could possibly go. It was pretty creepy. thousands of bats in there. We also explored the caves behind the train station several times. They are much smaller, and it is only possible to go in about a 1/4 mile before you need ” cave exploring equipment.” I have many pictures if nobody believes me.
John D says:
July 15, 2009 at 7:15 pm
My friend Steve and I first started going to the “Satan Caves” or as we called it, the Daisy Lane Mine” when we were 12 (1968). With some rough directions from his older brothers, we located the mine entrance, locked shed out front, rear air shaft (audit) and flooded pit in the summer of 1968. It took 2 or 3 trips there before we summoned up the courage to “explore” the mine. At that time you could enter the front steel doors into a large entry room complete with an inch of water, shuttle tracks, and another large room off to the right which had an unreachable upper level to it. To the back of the entry room directly across from the steel doors was the tunnel. I recall walking the tunnel (mushroom box crates stacked floor to ceiling along the sides) to a steel dividing panel. You had to pull yourself through the panel to continue on through the tunnel. At some point the tunnel got very narrow and low before opening up to an air shaft that went up at a significant angle. The shaft was climbable without a rope and it lead out onto the hill top and flooded pit at the old girl scout camp.
The conditions inside the mine were dark and dank. When you entered the mine you were immediately covered in thick heavy air that stuck to you like a wet film. The smell was wet metallic rock. Sounds echoed off the walls and you could hear water dripping everywhere. One time we began to enter the mine, approx. 1970, and a dog began barking inside. Another time we entered from the rear air shaft and began going through the tunnel when we saw flashlights ahead of us in the distance. We turned around and high-tailed it out of there. Those were the only times from 1968-1974 we ever encountered anyone/anything else at the mine.
My friend and I continued to go and explore the mine until about the age of 17. We’d bring friends and could never get anyone to go in. We also mapped the mine and almost got killed trying to get up to the second level in the other big room. I don’t recall many side tunnels that didn’t terminate quickly. Lighting was always a problem as were our nerves (never got used to the mine) so I know there are things we missed no matter how well we thought we knew the place.
We went back in late 80s/early 90s and the place was covered with satanic graphics. It was some really sick stuff with sick quotations. This nonsense adorned the door, rock face and shed. There was also some ring of rocks laid out in front with a pentangle spray painted in the middle. I went to open the door of the mine and started to open it when I heard this low guttural growl emanate from inside. I have no idea what made the sound, but we left and flew over the berm and down the hill.
Sometime around 2004 we went again and the front entrance had been partially plowed over with a dirt mound. The shed was still there. We didn’t bother to climb the mound and look down. We just left.
July 10, 2009 my friend and I journeyed once again to the old mine. This time a major engineering event had taken place. As if it never existed the entire hill has been covered and is now overgrown with scrub brush. There is a cut for electric power lines that travel up and over the hill. It is as if it never happened, nor ever existed.
By the way, I’ve been there hundreds of times both day and night. No ghosts, no aliens, no strange things other than our own imaginations. However, my sister claims to have seen a UFO hovering over the reservoir there one night in the 80s.
It’s amazing how things change over time. I know I drank a few beers there in my time, but I knew the difference between a mine and a cave when I was 12. Also, no one knew where this place was or where my friend and I were when we were there. We walked about 4 miles from Somers at least once a week every summer to visit the Daisy Lane Mine. If something had ever happened to us our ghosts may have joined the others!
Steve W says:
July 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm
I’m the other half of John and Steve above. I had to laugh when I read about Satan’s Cave. What’s in a name anyway? Daisy Lane Mine, Magnetic Mine, Theall-McCollum mines…whatever…these are the real names. Some interesting history that sadly appears lost now.
We were only apprehensive in the big room of the mine because of a few huge bolders that apparently fell in recent times. The rest of the mine felt very safe. I think once or twice we may have entered the upper shaft when someone was entering from the iron doors. It made for good campfire stories, but no ghosts. The bats must have hidden well too because I don’t remember seeing any or any Guano on the floor; while I’m sure there had to be some.
I wish I could find my old hand drawn map. I believe we walked every inch that was navigable by mere mortals or not under water. Had some good times with John there. We’ll have to look for something new to explore in our mid-life crisis years. Maybe we can summon up spirits to creep out the cult types or signal aliens that we are not afraid. Satan Cave…go slaughter some furry creatures out in the open. Why hide in a cave (mine). I miss the mine! Maybe some photos if we can find them…later
August 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm
I went to these caves in the late 80′s. I did know it to be called Satan’s caves back then. I have a video tape taken on a camcorder, and we powered a car headlight with a car battery. It was shocking to me that the carts hauling the ore were still filled and inside the mines. Good stuff. I read a book not to long ago called the Ultimate Evil. It details a writers investigation of the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) murders of the 1970′s. Much of the cult’s time was said to of occurred at Untermeyer park in Yonkers, NY. (a great place to visit–Very pretty property) Aynway, the book did mention a meeting with Satanic Cultists an hour upstate, near North Salem, NY. I always thought the two to be connected. No proof, but quite a coincidence.
August 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm
I graduated BHS 1987. I spent alot of time going in mine at that time you could just walk in through steel door. At the end there was a rubber hose like they have on oil trucks. It was a hole going up on a angle like a 45. Also side tunnels had outlets i climbed out one of them once it was straight up. Ended up in the woods someplace. For a while my friend Pete and his father lived there next to the owner his name was Charles Nelson (Lord Nelson). The fishing was great in that lake. The ice fishing was good too but one spot never did freeze that good. I move away to Millerton NY in 1990 then to northwest CT in 2003. I just went to the mine yesterday but it is blocked with dirt and there are houses around the lake. At Lower Mine rd and Reservoir rd Lower Mine is closed and blocked off. So i wanted to check out where the old Brady Farm was on Nelon Blvd because that was a good place to go off road in my Jeep. Hunting and shooting was also permitted there. I miss the old days.
August 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm
I forgot to say i drove to Nelson Blvd and i couldn’t believe when i got there and it was closed. The weeds and trees grown up every place, and a pipe gate going across. It’s changed in the last 20 years.
August 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm
About that pile of dirt in front of steel doors. Without drainage, that’s a bad idea. I don’t think it will hold back all that water forever. It is not a dam , but is acting as one now. Somebody should have thought about that. If that ever goes about 1,000,000 gallons of water is going to wash out the road.
John D says:
October 3, 2009 at 12:13 pm
Steve and I are searching our archives to see if we can up with any phots from the late 60s and 70s. We’ll let know if we find them.
chris winfield says:
October 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm
Back in the early 60′s me and my friends would go there often. We would sometimes skip school and go there and drink beer or whatever else we could steal from our parents. It wasn’t called anything back then but the mines. Since none of us had cars we would always walk there. At that time you could walk all the way to the end where you had to climb up a hole to get out.
When you first entered it there was a large room off to the left that had a upper level and is was there we did most of our drinking and such. We always made sure we had flashlights with good batteries because the front doors never let in much light.
March 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm
I dont’ care what name ya call them damb caves up yonder. Thems Satan’s Caves, that’s fer sure, jess ask my buddy Morley. He’d tell ya.
Morley and me been going up those cave for nearly 60 years now. Yea tha’ts right we’re a couple a old coots now, but back in the 50′s and 60′s we were world explorers. Them cave’s were our very first exploration. A bit more history about the caves, there was a family livin up by where the old water tower in a shack in the woods. They was simple country folk huntin and eating what they killed. Well, the story goes one day, a town’s men wandered up there and got involved with the hunter’s daughter. Well he got caught and my pa tells me that boy went misisng ever since, Speculators say, the old man, chopped him up and drown him in that there cave and, now his spirit is restless and he moans and screams as he walks the hollow caverns.
Take it from me, I’ve heard it. One more thing, the old man disapeared one year to the day after the boy whent missing, and his daughter gave birt unexpectedly to a baby b oy named Walter.
Renee Fleury says:
May 23, 2010 at 10:46 am
If you want information on the Satanc Caves, Putnam’s stone chambers and more, feel free to contact me at the email listed on either this post or my website. I am founder of an organiation known as KEPRI: Keltic Energy Paranormal Research and Investigation. We study the paranormal phenomena int he area and are dedicated to research and preservation of the stone chambers.
Interesting post. I look forward to visiting the caves myself. It seems rather funny that I haven’t yet, with all that I know of them! …This inclused and is not limited to government covert operations during the 90′s.
I know this was written a long time ago, but for what it’s worth, I look forward to speaking with you.
October 11, 2010 at 11:19 pm
I just stumbled upon this writing, I knew it sounded familiar. Then I saw our names in it. Good times back then. Hope all is well.
October 24, 2010 at 11:11 pm
Hey idk if any of you look at this but this cave is covered up now me and my friends went to dig it out but some kids came along on dirtbikes so any of you want to start helping dig it up
December 9, 2010 at 12:11 am
yo.. I want to get that cave Open.
Lets meet up and dig it out..
tim cooke says:
January 7, 2011 at 12:11 am
i live on farm lake court off daisy lane, pretty much on top of the cave. were the camp use to be. I always walk down to the cave to see it, cant in it any more. they stories i heard about the cave are great, i wish i was alive back then when the mound of dirt wasnt there, i would have loved to go in the caves. if anyone wants to go back there one day let me know, i would really like to dig a way to get in. Just let me know if your interested.
January 10, 2011 at 10:50 pm
Use to go in the 80′s. Would def. help dig it out or explore. Drink beer.
March 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm
Hey, so im currently a sophomore at BHS and me and a group of friends recently herd about this cave, and we were all looking to head up there and check it out. But one thing is we don’t know exactly how to get there and we don’t really want to get lost in the woods up there. We know its about 5 minutes from my friends house but could anyone tell me directions on how to get to the entrance of the cave?
April 21, 2011 at 1:04 am
I went in the caves probably five or six years ago in high school. The pile of dirt was there but at the top of the mound was just enough room to squeeze in. We had to lie down and scoot down the mud to get in to the caves. When you get in there, there is a small crappy row boat tied up. We walked across planks of wood to get to the boat and the four of us climbed in. We rowed all around the different tunnels and got out a few times when we would hit land. We had one small flashlight that ended up dying so it got real interesting. It is cold down there and there is no life. Everything is all rusty, the water included. There are paintings and satanic verses written on the walls. We made it back to the entrance, tied the boat back up, walked across the planks and then had to climb out which was pretty hard. When we finally emerged at the top we looked at each other and just started laughing because we were all completely soaking wet and covered head to toe in mud. I took probably three showers and still could smell the caves. I never went back down but it definitely was an adventure and I’ll never forget it.
fat saul says:
May 4, 2011 at 1:52 pm
i am suprised nobody has dug that mound down to drain the water from the mine…..the real find as far as local mines goes, would be to find an entrance to the mines below the streets of brewster……nobody has found an entrance. there is access to the brewster mine up the hill behind the train station….maps from the 1800′s show a mine entrance behind the old brewster hotel, which is accross from the train station…..
October 6, 2011 at 11:13 am
I recall going into this cave back in the early 80s…I seem to remember that we went there the day after earth day or satan day or something like that. We had heard that there was some kind of candle ritual. There were melted candles throughout the cave. We went at night….really spooky. We came over from Carmel.
John D says:
December 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm
I saw a video from the period when the dirt pile was pushed up over the front door of the mine and then flooded. Very cool none-the-less. Wish they had video equipment when Steve and I explored every inch the mine back in the 60s.
December 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm
Somers, class of 90. Went through that place more than a few times. Called the satan caves because putnam co. sheriffs found something like 13 dead german shepards in a pit outside the mine- mid 70′s???? I understand that satanic cults were all the rage back then- northern suburbia must have been even more boreing in the 70′s. last time I went through in the late 80′s , we were equipted with 12 guages and six-packs of molotov cocktails. a lot of bats died that day. very cool place but not really worthy of digging up. theres still a few in fahnstock that you can get into
February 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm
Hello. Putnam County is celebrating it’s bi centenial this year..all year. anyone interested in coming forward with some folklore about the cave for my short doc film…let me know here.
rob moore says:
April 23, 2012 at 12:22 am
I know lots about it-worked at the Daisey Lane camp for seven years from 83-1990. Renee–would love to share stories with you–grew up just south of Ninham Mountain-know where lots of the chambers are. Never saw anything extra weird, but had the creeps many times–the caves were covered with Satanic graffiti–we entered on the hill above the girl scout camo and camr all the way through–creepy, but not really paralnormal–read Phil Imbrogno’s book (sp?) and its funny because I lived and worked in all of that area…
April 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm
I grew up on a road just off Daisy Lane, and I had always heard SO MANY rumors about the Satan Caves but never really got up the courage to explore any more than the outsides of them.
I grew up on the hill they are in, though, and my parents would always attribute super weird things to the mines. For example, frequently, (usually in the evenings) there would be a super loud BOOM and our house would shake; think a small earthquake. It wasn’t an earthquake, though, and we were told that it was the mine shafts in the earth collapsing. I don’t know how much of that is true, though. We were also told that satanic worshippers would use the mines for rituals and such, and that we were hearing/feeling dynamite and other things. I don’t know if there’s much truth to that, either, except that fairly often if you drove down Magnetic Mine Road at night, there would be tons of cars lining the roads on either sides near the caves. There was nothing there at the time (tons of neighborhoods have sprung up since I lived there) so there were no reasons at all for that many cars to be there late at night – it truly was odd.
Like I said, I never explored the caves myself. I saw a lot of the outsides of entrances – especially around the lake. My friends and I did used to explore the abandoned girl scout camp back there, but from what I understand that has been completely demolished and a neighborhood is now there. There were tons of entrances into the mines in the lake, though, completely with rowboats. There were also a lot of holes in the ground that would drop down into the mines, but I bet those have been filled in with the neighborhood being put in and all. I do know the lake is private property, so don’t go exploring if you’re not willing to trespass. The openings were super creepy though. They all had chain link put up over the entrances to prevent people from getting in, but they were always torn open. I don’t think I ever saw one completely closed up. It’s been awhile though.
I can honestly say I never saw a UFO, though I know a lot of people who say they definitely have. A lot of weird things definitely did happen when we lived there, though.
Thanks for the article and the pictures, and all the comments! I’ve really enjoyed reading them
May 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm
Anyone no any other creepy/haunted places to explore in northern westchester and putnam. Like caves, cemeteries etc. Me and my friends love this type of stuff and are constantly bored living here. Anything would be greatly appreciated.
May 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Call me a weirdo, but I’ve done ENDLESS hours of research- public records, actual exploring and all that jazz. I’ve managed to get two decent EVPs from the collapsed mine shaft accident that happened in the 1800s; the bodies of 3 or 4 of the miners were never taken out… Along with the deep sea diving practices the navy held there, and the mob dumping cars and bodies in the 80s….. I DO have a ton of factual information- from police reports, to like I said public records.. and I’m always dying to get more information. It’s almost like it’s become an obsession. I am ALWAYS willing to go to any abandoned area for not only photo opportunites, but the rich history and exploring. I’ve experienced my weird stuff, and am ITCHING to head into those stone chambers at Ninham. Anyone EVER interested in taking the trip, email me. I’m always willing.
August 28, 2012 at 2:03 am
Becca, I think you are confusing these mines with the Tilly Foster mines. That is off Route 312 and 6 (or 22), I believe? As you go from Brewster towards Carmel. That mine had the collapse that killed the miners. The government subsequently trained deep sea divers, during WWII, there as it was one of the deepest man made holes in the country at the time..
These mines are across the way..
Also, for those wondering I have seen the entrance to the caves in Brewster. It’s actually not an entrance to the satan’s caves but rather an entrance to the old drainage tunnels running under Brewster and the other caves under George’s Mountain or whatever that hill is. Sadly, the majority of the tunnels under the village have been backfilled in recent years due to the village’s sewer system being installed. The entrance is still there though.. About 500 feet up from the Brewster train station. Be careful it’s private property..
October 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm
Hello, today is oct. 24th 2012. I’m trying to enter in the caves but its not completely covered with dirt and rocks from the govt. does anyone know where the other entrance is to get inside satans cave
October 25, 2012 at 10:00 pm
Hey everybody, I just moved in the neighborhood by the caves and went there today with some buddies.. The cave entrance is completely filled with dirt! Is there another entrance?
December 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm
I have heard a lot of storys over the years about the mines my mother grew up around there but time has taken a lot of her mind away iam trying to find anyone that would know anything about the brady farm where the vassak family lived or would have any old pictures