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.
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