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.