Megan Borchert

X Cave is one of three caves that make up the Carter Caves State Resort Park in Kentucky.  X Cave is named as such because the four entrances to the cave meet in the center, forming an X.  The other two caves in the resort are the Saltpetre Cave and Cascade Cave.  Saltpetre is known for its history with mining and as a preserve for certain species of bats.  Cascade cave is the biggest of the three caves and features an underground lake room and an underground waterfall.

(images:refmo/flickr)

(images:refmo/flickr)

The massive park is located in Carter County, Kentucky.  In 1981, the 146 acre park was designated as a nature preserve.  Thousands of people visit the Carter Caves State Resort Park to enjoy time at the lodges, cottages,  riding stables and campgrounds.  They also enjoy golfing, mini golfing, cave tours, hiking, and the Smoky Valley.

Unfortunately, while many people come to enjoy the cave tours and exploring interesting formations and history underground, many of them don’t come for the paranormal activity they succumb to, they stumble upon it by chance.  Many visitors and employees report feeling as though they are being watched or have someone walking closely behind them, even though there is no one they can see nearby.  They hear whispers or voices without being able to locate a source.  There are strange noises and echoes, and problems with electricity and mechanical systems.

Some people have even reported seeing apparitions appearing in their photos, despite seeing nothing there at the time of taking it.  After doing research of the area’s history, Carter Caves State Resort Park staff think they may finally have an answer for all the weird occurrences.  It turns out they think the cave is haunted by the ghosts of two Cherokee lovers.

A warrior, Huraken, was searching for food one afternoon when he stumbled across a cave.  Later turning out to be X Cave, the brave warrior ventured inside.  He could hardly believe his eyes when he located the vein of silver running throughout the cave.  Though he was tempted to share the news of his great find, he opted to keep the discovery of the cave a secret.

The Cherokee Chief’s daughter, Manuita, was the reason for the secret.  The brave warrior was in love with the young Cherokee princess.  He decided to keep the cave to himself so he could spend his days crafting gifts for his love.  He commonly brought her trinkets and worked hard to earn her trust, love and respect.

(images:furlong47/flickr)

(images:furlong47/flickr)

One night, Huraken did not return home after a fierce battle.  The sad princess believed her love to be dead.  Devastated she had never expressed her love to him, she was overcome with grief.  She left her village and threw herself off a tall cliff.  Unfortunately, Huraken had made a stop on his way home that day.  He had stopped at the cave in order to finish a gift for the princess.  He had planned to ask for her hand in marriage that night.

When the brave warrior was on his way home, he stumbled across the body of his love at the bottom of the cliff, near the cave.  Distraught, he brought her lifeless body back into the cave.  He left the princess there so he could keep watch over her body, as he was not ready to let her go.  When Manuita’s father found out about her death, he blamed the warrior and ordered him to be sentenced to death.

As his last wish, Huraken asked to be reunited with his love a final time.  The Cherokee people agreed and the man disappeared into the cave.  Neither Manuita or Huraken were ever seen again.  However, when later cave explorers were navigating new passages to the cave, they stumbled across the bones of two people, intertwined together with pieces of silver.  Many think the strange occurrences in the cave are the lasting energy from the two lovers, destined to spend their eternity wandering the cave.

September 1, 2016
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