THE HAUNTED CAVE AT LEWISBURG




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What's Worse Than Being Assaulted By Two Chainsaw-Wielding Madmen?


Answer: Having The Other EIGHT That Weren't In The Photo Join In!



Here There Be Dragons


What Better Place For One Of These Mythical Beasts Than The Bowels Of A Cave?



As If Dragons, Chainsaw Maniacs, Giant Bats, T-Rex, Zombies, Demons,
And Two Story Tall Termites Aren't Bad Enough...


There Are Flying, Mammoth Sized Spirits Of The Undead.
ome days Life Just Ain't Fair!


INSANITY LIES AT THE EARTH’S CORE! 

Madame Macabre, the gypsy fortuneteller who sets up her wagon at the Lewisburg Haunted Cave each season, was intently gazing at our proffered palm as she began to unravel the mysteries held within. She commented on our strong spirit line, and how it intersected with our destiny line-showing that the spirits of our loved ones would have a major influence on our life. Noticing a break in our life line, she explained in a heavily accented tone that we would live a long life, but the majority of the latter part would be spent in insanity. Little did we suspect that her prediction would come true so quickly. Who knew that insanity would lie at the Earth’s core?

As guide Kyle Hatton led us away from the attentions of the colorful prognosticator, we entered the ‘feeder tunnel’ that slopes at a steep angle down into the mine. A gust of warm air greeted us as the Cave’s maw was approached-Kyle said that it’s just the fact that the mine is a pretty constant 54 degrees, warmer than the current outside temperature. Us, we can almost feel the blasts of fire from the Cave’s multiple pyro effects. As we reached the bottom (80 feet under the ground), we’re greeted by the Cave’s owner Mark Schaefer and his second-in-command Jarred. About that time, there’s an explosion behind us, the lights dim, and a huge cloud of smoke billows out of a large electrical panel! Three years and the Cave STILL hasn’t gotten that fixed. Mark grins and says, “Yeah, maybe I should give our electrician a case of beer and he’ll do it right this time”. Maybe he should wait and give him the case AFTER he fixes it-that might be the problem! At any rate, the lights flicker back on-at least until the next time the effect fires, leaving nervous members of the crowd wondering if it’s part of the show or if they’ve stumbled into a worst-case scenario in the bowels of the Cave.

And what’s more natural for the bowels of a Cave than a dragon? New for this season is a huge serpentine dragon with an extending neck and a maw that looks big enough to swallow a hauntgoer whole! As we passed, the huge reptilian creature roared and swung its head over the railing, snapping at the people trying to squeeze past it. Luckily, it’s not a fire-breathing dragon-but we half expect the Cave crew is working on that very thing as we speak. Also new are not one but two huge and impressive hellish specters-the Tormentors. Located in different parts of the Cave, these beasts take full advantage of the Cave’s expanse to wildly fly about as they track groups of hauntgoers. We’d say they’re the most impressive effects we’ve ever seen in the haunt business-at 11’ tall and 6’ wide, they’re also controlled by actors inside them, giving them the ability to react to what the groups passing by are doing.

The new arrivals comprise just a small fraction of the hundreds-yes, HUNDREDS-of animatronics and mechanical effects within the Cave. When asked just how many of these there actually are, Jarred didn’t have an exact figure-but he does know that there are 150 controllers in the Cave with multiple effects linked to each one. These run the gamut from standard automatic animatronics to vibrating floors, a Pepper’s Ghost illusion, floors that raise and lower at random, CGI effects, laser lights, jumping coffins, and breathing walls. Mark tells us many of the bigger effects come just a short distance away from special effects masters Scarefactory in Columbus. “We usually wait a year after something comes out before we buy it,” he explains. “That gives us a chance to talk to other haunt owners and see how it performed, how well it held up, and any issues that came up with it”. With animatronics from any company, it’s never a question of IF they’ll have problems, but rather WHEN. The new Dragon is just one example-the mounting pillar partially sunk into the ground of the Cave after being installed, and the screws on the armature proved problematic. There are also problems unique to the Cave-“You’d think lithium grease would be best, but we can’t use that here because of all the moisture in the Cave”. Keeping the Cave’s clockwork denizens in proper working order is a full time job, and Mark is aided in this by Jarred-in fact, he tells us “When Jarred tells me something, I pretty much always listen”.  To their credit, we didn’t spot a single effect that wasn’t working correctly. And in addition to the mechanical effects, just as amazing is the sheer number of candles that have to be lit in the graveyard every single night-hundreds of them!

But animatronics, as large, cool, and impressive as they are, can’t take the place of a real actor. And the Cave has plenty of those as well-routinely a hundred or more ghouls, maniacs, and demons stalk the stygian underground darkness. And these are no ordinary haunt actors-not by a long shot. They’re the craziest, most aggressive, and relentless group of actors ever put together. They’re aided in their quest for the ultimate scare by the Cave’s policy of letting their actors initiate limited contact with the hauntgoers. And as we were to find out, ‘limited’ likely means ‘limited only by their imaginations’!

The tour always starts in the lair of the Water Monsters. Walking across a rickety bridge in complete darkness is nerve-wracking enough for most people, but add the sounds of splashing and waves from the wet-suited creatures lurking under the bridge, and you have a recipe for wet pants-and not just from the lake water. Halfway across we had creatures on each side of the bridge grab a leg and pull while another had clambered onto the bridge and grabbed us from behind. The Water Monsters perform a valuable function, and that is to let everyone know that the Lewisburg haunt means business-those that are faint of heart rarely make it past the water monsters, scurrying back to the relative safety of the entrance. Fortunately, we made it past the finny freaks and caught up with our group. In rapid succession, we were rousted by tree branches, snapped at by the giant skull of a T-Rex, ambushed from behind by a specter with glowing red eyes, hosed down with ‘gore’ from a zombie having its head blown off (special effects from a CGI window), and witness to a werewolf clinging tenaciously to a victim as he ran past us. Creatures from inside a wall came alive to grasp at us as we passed, two headless skeletons tore at a girl’s hair as they battled for control, and a corpse came flying out of a coffin. This all happened in about 30 seconds! The group was then met by a huge blast of fire from an outbuilding, pushing us further along the path. We were met by a miner wielding a large metal hook. When he deftly slipped the hook around our neck and began to pull us towards him, we knew this was going to be a tour unlike anything we’d ever experienced in 40 years of haunting…

Before long we had passed under ghouls in the ceiling that each grabbed an arm and tried to lift us up, zombies that took hold of a leg and attempted to drag us into an open grave, and became the target of a tug of war between two coffin-bound corpses. When one of the corpses screeched at the other, “Get away from him-he’s MINE!” the night began to take on a strange, EC comics feel. After being sent into the graveyard by a Latin-spouting priest and almost pummeled by a shovel, accosted by more grave bound undead, and having some…THING…zoom over our head at close range, we were almost glad to see the sanctuary of the Cave’s prison. That proved fleeting as well, as the female prison guards disregarded our claims of multiple assaults, took us for an inmate, roughly searched us, and sent us into what must’ve been cell block 666. The inmates there pulled us towards the wire of their cages, and whatever they had in mind was a lot worse than anything a ghost or dragon could do!

And the Cave was just getting started.

Entering the ‘Red’ maze, we were surrounded by what seemed like four or five crazy guys with fingers that emitted red lasers (Mark says there were only two of them in there, but they seemed to be everywhere at once). The too-helpful psychos slipped a glow necklace around our head and then the fun began. We here at the HOD!!! have a set of haunt rules for successfully navigating a haunted attraction. Rule #2 is “Never, EVER, trust directions given by a psychotic killer”. The problem is, these guys really, REALLY want to help, and they won’t take no for an answer. And that means you’ll be hopelessly lost with no clue on how to get out within minutes. And of course, the nutcases just blame everything on you, take you by the arm, and drag you off to another dead end. It’s a lot like being at work, actually. But eventually their attention was diverted by new arrivals long enough for us to slip away and luck into the way out. It felt pretty good looking at the other side of the fence and see all the unfortunates who were about to get the same treatment-until a demonic looking creep beckoned us through a curtain and escorted us into…Hell.

The Cave’s Hell is legendary among haunters. With a voice enhanced Devil (only one of several actors throughout the haunt that use voice amplification) and huge jets of flame spouting from the ground, it provides an unforgettable tableau as the Prince of Deceivers challenges you to find the only possible ‘path of redemption’ from among dozens of combinations and reclaim your soul. As they put it, “From the looks of you, there’s no doubt you’ll fail”. To reinforce what’s at stake, the Devil receives the flaming soul of someone who didn’t make it from a nearby demon, letting the flames engulf his hand for the audience to see. Hell in the Cave is so downright evil that it needs two Devils to watch over it-we had a chance to speak with Brent, Devil Number 1, as he was relieved by Kenton, Devil 2. Both demons sport different but effective looks-Brent is leather clad with a pentagram medallion and Black Sabbath T-Shirt, while Kenton has skulls on his shoulders, bat wings, and a pentagram painted on his chest. As Kenton barks out instructions to hauntgoers in a demonic voice and ‘turns up the heat’, Brent tells us of his several years at the haunt, starting out wielding a chainsaw inside the maze and eventually being ‘promoted’ to Satanhood. The most challenging part of the job is giving customers a memorable speech while keeping things moving-not to mention dealing with hecklers. So we were privileged to see not just one Devil, but two!

Once inside the maze, all hell truly broke loose when we became separated from everyone and walked past some ‘rathouses’ containing large rodents popping out at us. As if on cue, we were attacked by a burly guy with a chainsaw-and not just any chainsaw. This one shot sparks like it was a grinding wheel, and the killer ran it up and down our leg as he followed in our footsteps. He was soon joined by a second killer-and a third-and more. Mark says there are eight to ten guys with chainsaws in the haunt, and we think every single one of them attacked us at once. You could feel the heat from the sparks along with the distinctive smell. After that, you’d think nothing could phase you. Indeed, when we were later confronted by a ten foot tall troll scuttling our way, the fearsome beast raised hardly an eyebrow. But that all changed a couple of seconds later when we felt something bumping along into us and heard the sharp sizzling crack of electricity. We turned to see the ludicrous sight of a ten foot tall section of wall following us, shooting out sparks of electricity from a prod. There was nowhere for it to have been hidden, and yet there it was. And that did it. We turned right, we turned left, we turned around, and somehow the wall monster managed to stay directly behind us. Everything at that point seemed like it was really happening to someone else, certainly not us, and we would wake up any moment. The monster abandoned his attack a few moments later, but for one glorious moment, had achieved the almost impossible-mindfreaking a haunt reviewer.

Besides that epiphany, we made it past dragons, wrecked cars, a vortex tunnel, flying bat demons, a 15 foot tall giant termite alien, rattling coffins, spitting snakes, was fired at by a truck-mounted machine gun as it sped by, got ambushed while slogging through a swamp, and got insulted by a surly school bus driver-in a bus half buried in the ground. Giant leaping spiders, an octopus, and a huge prison guard dog/wolf showed us our friends from the animal kingdom were thinking of us too. Somewhere during the tour we were set upon by our fiends from goregrind band Fetus Omelete, who tore off a chunk of the young lady they were ‘working on’ in their blood soaked lab (the picture on top of the page-sepia tone disguises the blood, you know) and then had one of their experiments spit blood on us-nice guys, but they have a funny way of saying ’hi’. Finally, just as if it were a final shot from the Cave, we took the full force of a spirit spritz when it rose from the lake on our way out and were soaked. There was more, but we think our subconscious blocked it all out. I’m sure it’ll visit us in our dreams some night.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Cave’s soundtrack, easily the best in the business (Mark gives Jarred credit for that too). It’s a blend of prerecorded sound, sound from individual effects and weapons (chainsaws, a LOUD machine gun, cattle prods), the whoomph of fire effects, the chaotic soundtrack of the maze, the screams of the audience, the booming voices of the voice enhanced actors, even the watery sounds instigated by the water monsters, combine to provide a wall of sound that assaults the hauntgoers from the time they enter and never lets up.

After finishing the tour, we were given the opportunity to take a ride through the unused part of the Cave.  As he drives, Jarred explains the habits of the nesting and migrating bats, pointing out a few of the winged creatures on the ceiling (he’s written quite a few papers on the subject). Jarred’s been trying to talk Mark into using the old ‘refrigeration’ Cave as the ultimate black maze-his idea is to turn off all the lights, give hauntgoers a penlight or glow stick, and then challenge them to find their way out through the maze of pillars and passages. Having lost count of the identical tunnels we’ve passed, we can say with assurance we wouldn’t like our chances to succeed!

For now, you can experience the portion of the Cave that isn’t used by the haunt by taking one of the Lewisburg Historical Society’s wagon mine tours. You’ll take a tour of the old buildings used in the mining operation as well as explore a portion of the old limestone mine while a guide gives a history of its operations and the techniques used to blast and extract the ore. If you go in late September you’ll often get to see the swarming of migrating bats (the bats left in the Cave in October are generally hibernating as the weather turns colder). The tours are a lot of fun and also a great way to be introduced to the Cave’s ‘back story’-two men are rumored to have died around the tunnel that leads hauntgoers to the Cave’s entrance, giving you even more to mull over as you wait in line to enter.

Sadly, the spread of White-Nose Syndrome that Mark told us about two years is still spreading among the bat population of the Cave. It’s a nationwide problem that has killed millions of bats nationwide, wiping out as much as 95% of certain species and endangering even once common species such as the little brown bat. Striking at hibernating bats, the fungus appears to be spread from bat to bat and grows around their muzzles and wings. There’s no cure for it at present, and bat sanctuaries like Lewisburg can only do their best to prevent the spread of it.

While the bats are having a hard go of it, we came out somewhat better after our hour and a half long tour of the Cave. It was exhilarating, exhausting, thrilling, maddening, and just downright awe inspiring. And for just a moment, it managed to make us doubt that any of it was really happening. We couldn’t give a haunt any higher praise than that. For anyone looking for an intense, dark haunt in a sinister natural environment, loaded with talented actors and a warehouse of huge animatronics, with a bargain price for an hour and a half tour-look no further. You’ll find it at the Lewisburg Haunted Cave, where insanity lies at the Earth’s core!


The Dynamic Duo Of Hell

Hell Is Even Too Rough For Satan To Deal With On His Own, So...


...He Brought Along His Brother In Badassery!

Twice The Damnation For One Low Price!


2013 EVENT INFORMATION

 

The Haunted Cave At Lewisburg is located at 4392 Swishers Mill Road in Lewisburg, Ohio. It is open Fridays and Saturdays from September 20th through October 25th. Hours are 7 PM-Midnight. Ticket prices are $16 with children 10 and under $5-a $1 discount coupon is available on the Haunted Cave website. For more information email infoAThauntedcaveatlewisburg.com (replacing AT with @), visit the Cave on Facebook (they have two!) or check out the Haunted Cave At Lewisburg website.



THE HAUNTED CAVE AT LEWISBURG 2012



Making Things Hot For Sinners


Fire, Fire, Fire, Fire...


Pass It Down The Line...



THE HOTTEST HAUNT GOING!

It was a typical October night at the Haunted Cave At Lewisburg-creatures lurking in an underground lake tried to pull hauntgoers into the murky depths, trucks with mounted machine guns roared through a cavern filled with swirling psychedelic lights, and live bats flitted around just to keep everyone on their toes. And in Hell, the Devil was putting the audience’s feet to the fire before sending them forth into his Maze of Misery and Despair. Punctuating his diatribe, huge jets of flame sporadically rose up from the floor-flames so intense you could feel the heat several yards away. One particularly feisty burst of pyro (pictured above) was so intense it hit the ceiling and spread out across the top of the cave for several feet in all directions (not to worry-it’s rock and won’t ignite)! After being suitably impressed, the hauntgoers filed off into the maze (it was the wrong door, of course) and we turned our eyes back to the Devil. He was frantically patting down his hair. Wisps of smoke could be seen rising from it. Laughing, the Lord of Darkness exclaimed, “I’m melting! I’m melting! My horns are on fire! That last flame was so hot it melted some of the hair on the top of my mask!”. Having at one point been the Guinness Book of World Record’s longest haunt, the Haunted Cave At Lewisburg can now lay claim to a new title-the hottest haunt going, both figuratively and literally!

Now entering its 35th season, the Cave’s popularity has spread like wildfire the past several seasons. This season it entered the #8 spot on Hauntworld’s list of the ‘Scariest Real Haunted Houses In America’. During the course of the evening we found that people had come from all across Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky to see it (and in some cases, hauntgoers hailed from Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even Hawaii!). Owner/operator Mark Schaefer has overseen the transformation of the Cave from a charity haunt with a cool location to an event that rides the cutting edge of haunt technology. What’s new down in the bowels of the cave, 80 feet under the ground? 

“Well”, said Mark, “We haven’t added many new scenes but have instead added more effects to what we already have. We have a new animated T-Rex skull that comes out of a wall and snaps at the crowd. We bought a shock panel that features a head that comes out to startle the audience-we used it as a template and built several more on our own and worked them into existing scenes. The machine gun on our truck is new, and the cavern it’s in has an elaborate lighting setup. The Devil’s Maze has had two new doorways added to it. The White Strobe Maze had all of its dead ends eliminated to cut back on some of the congestion of years past, although you can still easily go around in circles. The lighting in there isn’t as harsh, either (it’s now a subdued red rather than the glaring bright white of years past)”.

That isn’t to imply the Cave was lacking in effects-it’s loaded with them. It’s hard to walk ten feet without being blasted by an air cannon, having a flying spectre cut across your path, being sprayed with water by the vengeful spirits of the Cave rising from the lake, or having an entire room of coffins begin to thrash wildly. Then there are the show-stoppers-the giant animatronics that have the ‘wow’ factor. These range from the giant bat that comes flapping up from below a walkway to what we call the ‘giant termite’-a creature that stretches two stories up from the ground to strike at hauntgoers as they cross the same walkway. From there, you can look across an open cavern to see a huge gargoyle rising up from the ground and carrying away a human body. A vibrating walkway across a bridge creates the illusion (along with a train horn) that you’re soon going to be mashed by an onrushing train careening through the fog. The Cave also has two CGI effects-the Zombie Attack, which can leave you feeling as if you’ve just been splattered with the brains of a zombie hit by a shotgun blast, and the Asylum Door, which features a door that appears to be having dents hammered into it by an ax-wielding psycho that can be glimpsed through a window in the door.


As we intimated above, the Cave has several pyro effects. In addition to the flames of Hell, both the Devil and his assistant are seen to ignite their hands and pass fire from one to the other. The shed seen in the accompanying photo bellows out a flame that’s even larger than the one in Hell-even with being several yards away, you could almost feel your eyebrows singe!

The Cave has also replaced much of its lighting this season with LED’s rather than traditional floodlights. Still, the Cave employs several distinct lighting schemes. The lair of the Water Monsters is lit with sporadic bursts of artificial lightning. The underground cemetery is lit largely with over a hundred candles, giving it a creepy gothic air. A lone coffin, seemingly laid out for a funeral viewing, is brightly lit with natural lighting. The swamp (featuring several ‘claustrophobia’ effects that give one the feeling of slogging through mud) has laser lighting that works with a layer of fog to obscure an entire cavern. A crafty cave creature took advantage of this fact to pop up directly in front of us from below, seemingly appearing out of thin air. The cavern that the ‘Machine Gun Truck’ roars through has a spectacular computerized lighting scheme that makes it look like a swirling portal to another dimension-it was the most breathtakingly beautiful thing we’ve ever seen in a haunt. The Cave also cannily follows up well lit scenes with completely dark ones, completely disorienting hauntgoers and playing havoc with their ability to adjust to the light. You haven’t seen-or NOT seen-dark until you’re 80 feet under the ground. The monsters have night vision goggles. You don’t. Good luck. And don’t think the two glowing ‘eyes’ in some scenes will lead you to the way out, because they don’t-except when they do, so you never know.

The soundtrack to the Cave sizzles as well. There is nothing more gloriously chaotic in hauntdom. The acoustics in the Cave carry sound to and fro, making some scenes ear-splitting and some so quiet you can hear the frantic heartbeats of the people trapped in the Devil’s Maze. Sparking electric fences and sizzling short circuited wiring add to the ca-‘coffiny’. With spoken dialogue, music, and the screams of actors and patrons alike reverberating everywhere, nowhere has a soundtrack more perfectly complemented its event.

While the Cave is well known for its elaborate and over-the-top effects, at times these features overshadow its fine cast and crew. Most haunts have problems trying to fill a couple of dozen acting positions with capable actors-but the Cave on any given night will have well over a hundred actors inside. When one considers that many of them are inside bulky and restrictive costumes or in exposed positions like lying on the floor, suspended on platforms, inside coffins, or immersed in the depths of icy water, the level of their performances is amazing. None of this happened by accident, something that became apparent as we followed Mark on his rounds. With the combination of being open a week early and a thunderstorm, crowds were lighter than usual (although there was still a constant line) and Mark took advantage of this to visit each area and work with the actors. His advice ranged from the best types of clothes to wear in a certain role to telling the gravediggers how to move around the candles in the graveyard to obscure their faces and help hide the other actors in the scene (placed on the ground or behind trees). The individual attention and encouragement each received spoke volumes towards the desire of the event to not only train them to be the best actors possible, but also to see to it that they were enjoying themselves doing so. It also gave The HOD!!! the opportunity to speak with many of the Cave’s characters, many of them longtime denizens with a unique perspective on the event.


Perhaps the most celebrated of the Cave’s actors are the ‘Water Monsters’, the creatures that set the stage for everything that comes after. They lurk in the dark waters underneath a floating bridge that winds its way over an underground lake. The path is normally cloaked in darkness, being lit only by an occasional far away burst of lightning and it’s cloaked in a dense blanket of fog to boot. Even with a flashlight on and the monsters making themselves available for a photo, you can’t see them even they’re only a scant two feet away. ‘Water Monster’ Allan, outfitted in wet suit and galoshes, is one of the guys that routinely attempts to grab your legs and drag you into the lake. He tells the HOD!!! that they keep a running total of the ‘incidents’ that occur in their scene. Mark Schaefer posted on the HOD!!! message board that the current totals are “32 people have cried, 15 have turned around and left, 4 have sat down on the bridge and given up”. By season’s end, Allan tells us the numbers will be far in excess of 100.

Ted’s currently hiding in the Cave’s graveyard, inside a ghillie suit (a camouflage suit that blends in with foliage-and in this case, the cave walls). He’s been with the attraction several seasons and started off as a ‘caveman’ (what better for a cave?) throwing a spear at the audience. The spear was attached to a line that prevented it from actually reaching them, although in the dark it was impossible for them to know that!

While most of the time you’ll get fired for laying down on the job, Amy’s playing an undead corpse inside a casket, so it’s OK. In her second year, she’s reprising her role from last season and is having a great time.


You’ll also come across a blood drenched operating arena in the depths of the cave. Littered with severed heads under bell jars, amputated limbs, and other gruesome goodies, it’s also home to some of the most demented physicians in the haunt community. It’s given a whole new dimension by the fact that the unholy docs make up the local goregrind band “Fetus Omelete”. While the HOD!!! might be from the Beatles generation, you’ll find mostly goregrind and its ilk (well, that and twelfth century Japanese court music) on our IPhone-Splatterhouse, Lamb Of God, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, Mastadon, et al. Checking out some of the Fetus Omelete have posted on Youtube, we found it well worth a listen (although be warned, it’s not safe for work).  

We met many more of the Cave’s actors as they ramped their way up the old feeder shaft to the surface, all with their own unique experiences. We were impressed not only with how seriously they took their roles, but also at what a great and convivial group of teens and young adults they were. But when the lights go down and it’s time to get down to business, they’re among the best in the area. And boy, do they ever WANT to scare you. Allen, Ted, and Amy all said that terrifying people was the best part of the job by far. Unlike most area haunts, the actors at the Cave are allowed to touch you (the mudprints left by the water monsters on my pants cuffs are testament to that!) and this gives their performance an immediate impact. They’ll also come from any angle-from below, from behind, from up above, and suddenly right in your face-occasionally all at the same time!

Some scenes might not have fancy effects or lighting, but still manage to impress. The underground jail is one of those. Once you manage to squeeze through a narrow passage past a ground of burly…shall we say, ‘lonely’ inmates looking for companionship and groping at you through a fence, you make it to the safety of the guard station. Too bad they’ve mistaken you for inmates! You’re likely to be searched for weapons and then spun around like a top by the all-female guard staff-the three guards that descended on us literally bounced us from one to the other, turning us around in a circle while screaming abuse the whole time. It was a lot like being at work, but strangely enough, we liked it.

The only downside to the evening was the massive thunderstorm that hit the event about 9:30 that evening. While the Cave was unaffected (along with its covered queue line), the rain washed out for the evening its companion event, the "Historic Mine Tour" offered by the Lewisburg Historical Society. This wagon ride takes you through the grounds of the old mining operation and past many decrepit old buildings like the dynamite shack, drills, and the 100 foot tall kilns that were used to process the ore. It also enters a part of the cave that’s not being used for the haunt, which if anything is eerier than the part that is. With scattered pieces of old equipment scattered about and colonies of bats lining the ceilings, it’d be a perfect location for the next ‘My Bloody Valentine’ movie. The tour guide on the wagons explains the history of the cave along with detailing what each of the old buildings did. It added a whole new dimension to the Cave for us when we toured it last season and we highly recommend checking it out-preferably BEFORE you take the main tour.

Another effect the thunderstorm had was the HOD!!! getting the opportunity to sit in the Cave’s ticket office (thanks to Sandy Schaefer, who obviously took pity on a drowned rat) and observe things from the business side. Even with a raging storm that Sandy called “the worst I’ve seen in all my years here”, there was a steady stream of customers eager to get inside the attraction. We also saw one of the funniest things we’ve witnessed in over 40 years of covering haunts, and made the trip to Lewisburg worth it just for that. And no, we can’t tell you what it was, except that it involved someone collecting a bounty. While hiding out in the office, we also met the young lady that sells glow necklaces and other novelties in the queue line-she manages to fund her school volleyball team through the sales of the items, demonstrating another facet of the Cave’s contribution to the community.

The Cave continues to earn its reputation as one of the area’s elite attractions. With an hour plus tour, over a hundred crazy actors, tons of special effects, a killer soundtrack, and the cave’s natural creepiness, it’s a haunter’s dream come true. The Water Monsters would tell you a ‘wet dream’ come true. And the Devil would assure you as he puts out his smoking hair that it is indeed “The Hottest Haunt Going!” Head up to Lewisburg and see for yourself just how Smoooookin’ it is. 


Gateway To Another World


Our Photo Completely Fails To Capture The Beauty Of This Scene-

But Trust Us, It's Awesome!


Take Our Advice...


DON'T Stand In Front Of The Window.

Even If You Make The Zombie Cry.