Thursday, 30 October 2014

Under the temple lay a cave, made by some guilty, coward slave.

The following photographs were taken at the Hellfire Caves in July of this year.  I originally shared them on my family history blog, but they are perfect for Halloween, so I hope you won’t mind me sharing them again here.

Located in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the Hellfire Caves have a notorious history and are reputed to conceal many mysteries.  They are actually a man-made network of tunnels carved out of the chalk and flint of West Wycombe Hill commissioned by Sir Francis Dashwood.

The caves and the terrible deeds that supposedly went on there were discussed at great length when I was a little girl.  Mutterings of dark deeds, devil worship and debauchery were not intended for my small ears – but I heard, and I remembered!  So an opportunity to visit was not to be turned down.


I felt a little disappointed when we first arrived there were just too many people making too much noise. But, as the saying goes ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ and ghostly noises sound so much better when you are deep underground. As we got further into the tunnels, much of the chatter and squeals died away, and then it began to feel a little cold and distinctly creepy.  I was, however, unprepared for some of the images picked up by my camera.  I would hate to be alone down there, especially if the lights went out! 

The first three photographs are exactly what we saw;






The two photographs that follow have not been changed or altered in any way. The camera settings were completely untouched during our visit. These were taken in a particularly dark part of the caves, so I've no idea why they are so much brighter than all the rest.

I make no claims about what they might show – I leave that to you. Suffice to say I find them very creepy!




Terry and I didn't notice a thing while in the caves, thank goodness! We would have left in a hurry had we seen this!

The ghost hunting team from the TV programme Most Haunted carried out an over-night vigil within the caves during December 2003. They spent the night without lights and members of the team said the caves were the darkest place they had ever visited. During the night, they had many paranormal experiences, seeing orbs of light and hearing noises. Without prior knowledge of the mysterious Hellfire caves Derek Achora, the medium, felt the presence of a young girl dressed in white, and of females dressed in nuns' habits. “Ladies of the night” were said to have worn such attire to disguise themselves whilst entertaining members of the Hellfire Club in the caves.



May you have good luck on Hallowe ' en..


I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween. 
Me? I will be hiding under the covers!

40 comments:

  1. Great post! photo'e and poem and the sweet little girls made it all complete. be well agman

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  2. ooooO! Yes! I'm into a bit horror....!
    I frighten myself every morning, when l look
    into the mirror to shave...! HeHe!

    Seriously though..The scariest experience l've
    ever had, besides seeing a ghost once in Germany,
    in a flat we lived in for 6mths...Was in Sicily, in Palermo.
    I went to the 'Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo'.
    There are some 8,000 mummies that line the walls!
    The main thing to see is a little girl....Rosalia Lombardo.
    She died a 1920. She is on display, in a glass top coffin.
    When you see her, it looks as though she died last week.
    They say it's a miracle...How well preserved she is.
    Some years ago, the air started to get into the coffin, and
    major repairs had to be done.
    I'm sure it's on line some place, interesting story, well worth
    a read, l'm sure!
    Anyway. l remember, it impressed me, in a scary sort of way!

    I'm home for the third year running...Well...The kids expect me
    to be here, with sweets, chocolate...AND...Buckets of water!
    When they knock on my door..It's...Trick or Trick...! :>).
    How they got hold of a flame thrower last year is beyond me!
    Kids! :>).

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    1. OoooO Willie, you are a one!

      I’ve just been looking at photographs of little Rosalia, the ones taken in 1982 are remarkable but also very sad. I hadn’t heard of the Catacombs of Palermo, so I’m very glad you mentioned them. Fascinating.

      I don’t believe a word of it, flame thrower indeed! I’m sure you are first on the list for treats. I’ve got my big bowl of sweeties ready for tomorrow evening. The trouble is it’s very tempting, but I must leave them alone – I keep reminding myself to stand away from the sweets they are not for me!

      Happy Halloween Willie, thanks for coming over. Barbara.

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  3. A perfect choice. Very eerie, thank goodness I'm reading this in daylight.

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    1. I’m sure I would have fainted away if the 'thing' on the ceiling had been visible to the naked eye. I'm not a bit brave and would sleep with the light on if I could get away with it!

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  4. Thank you for posting such a sweet picture after the scary ones!! I have a cave phobia anyway, but the spirit photos make it even creepier!!

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    1. Hello Teressa, I don’t mind caves, so long as I’m not alone and there are plenty of lights, but I certainly wouldn't want to down there alone. Glad the nice picture made up a little for the scary ones.

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  5. I am in awe of these photos - especially as they were taken by you, Barbara! .If you have any more please do let us have a look... Meanwhile, maybe it's time you wrote our own book?

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    1. Thank you Marilyn, I was pretty pleased with them myself, just hope whatever I photographed doesn’t decide to follow me home! I don't have any other photos, sorry. As for writing a book, I don’t have the skill, wish I did though!

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  6. Strange and eerie - wonderful to see pictures of these caves. I've been down there twice - once was for a concert years ago which was a very unusual experience to say the least!

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    1. Hi Sue, I would think the acoustics would be brilliant for a concert, but I’m not sure I would want to stay down there for too long.

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  7. Oh dearest Barbara! This is truly SPOOKY! As I read, I really enjoyed the history of these real places and underground activities, told as they were truly seen! That is a frightful photo with the ghostly apparition; I think this is a perfect story for bedtime tomorrow!!!!!!

    Hugs to you dear friend! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, being in the caves was a little creepy but the photos really spooked us out. We could not believe what we were seeing at first. Terry and I keep telling each other it’s some kind of trickery in the caves, but I don’t think either of us really believes that. I hope your Halloween was just spooky enough – but not too scary. Love Barbara xx

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  8. very creepy!! I have never heard of these but need to read up on it :)

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    1. Hi Joleene, you should. They have quite the history! Thanks for coming over, Barbara.

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  9. Oh my those pics. They definitely show something is going on down there.

    Jean
    x

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    1. Hi Jean, I think you might be right. I’m not sure we will be going back in too much of a hurry. xx

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  10. i know it should really scare me but I am laughing because of the saying Little elephants have big ears ha. Ha.. Ha.. Because you heard and remembered as well even though you were little :-) :-) very interesting place not sure if I am keen to go there though. Places like that make me feel claustrophobic not because of the haunting though.

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    1. Hi Shashi, The fright I got when looking at the photos probably serves me right for being so nosy! It’s funny how things you are not supposed to hear stay with you life! I don’t think you would like it very much because you do go a long way into the hillside, and it does feel a little oppressive, not the place to be with claustrophobia.

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  11. Very creepy! I'm hiding in the basement with the cats right now, they are terrified when they hear the doorbell! Must sneak up to check out some of the kiddies costumes though! Happy Halloween! By now I'm sure you are fast asleep!

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    1. Oh poor you and the cats, I hope your basement is comfy. Our dogs always hated bonfire night because of the fireworks, but they loved visitors on Halloween and didn’t seem at all scared by the costumes. I hope you are all safely up from the basement now. 

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  12. Oh wow. That second scary picture is pretty spooky!!! That looks like a fun place to visit.

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    1. Hi Stephanie, well it was a lovely day out, but I’m not sure about fun. It was pretty scary.

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  13. I love to see spooky pictures like these- but I agree with you that it is better to see the spooky images later when you are feeling safe. :) Sounds like an all around interesting experience. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hello Stephanie, I’m glad we went, but I would certainly be looking over my shoulder (and everywhere else) if we went again. In fact, I don’t think I want to go again! :-)

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  14. Beautiful friend, you are such a dear to come and visit my post! THANK YOU! How I look forward to the holidays that will allow more time for PLAY.

    I hope you are enjoying a great November so far...before we know it here, it will be a white winterwonderland.

    BE WELL! Off to school now....Anita

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    1. Hello Anita, I promise you the pleasure was all mine. Such a lovely post, beautiful words, pictures and music. It must take you hours and hours to put together.
      November is turning out to be a beautiful month. I hope the same is true for you.
      Have a lovely day. Barbara x

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  15. Wow, good thing you didn't see your photos until you were safely outside of the caves. Thanks for sharing them!

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    1. You’re not wrong Marcia. I would have been a gibbering wreck had I seen it while in the caves!

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  16. I used to love ghost stories as a child and now I'm such a chicken. The poem is divine though!

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    1. Hi Eve, I’m a bit like that myself. I prefer a nice love story now!

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  17. Hello Barbara ..its eerie.... though I THINK its the lights of the lamps which played tricks in pics when we click pics while moving or when the camera shakes by a sudden unnoticed jerk ... but what I BELIEVE and FEEL is that I am spooked !
    Had I notice these things 'inside' the caves, all my physics of lensse shake and light-ray rules would have been tasted dirt .... right now Thanks for a good Halloween Spook :)

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    1. Hello Kokila, I’m sure you’re right. There was nothing but blackness, but I guess the lights from the tableau must have been responsible. I don’t think I will go back to test out the theory though! :-)

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  18. Very creepy, indeed! I have pale guts for these sort of things yet on the other hand, I think they'd make the perfect setting for a horror story and I'd be professionally challenged to stay and uncover more. Hope you had a cozy Halloween, Barbara!

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    1. It would be a marvellous setting for a horror story, but I would have no problem with leaving before the end! I’m too much of a coward for anything like that. I spent Halloween hiding under the covers (with a good book and a cup of tea!) Hope you had fun. xx

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  19. It would be worth sending these photos off to someone who investigates this sort of thing Barbara. I wouldn't know where to start finding out who that might be but I'm sure they are worth examining.

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    1. Hi Sharon, I keep intending to send the photos to the people who look after the caves, but then I forget! I have tweeted them so maybe they will take a look and perhaps leave a comment. It would be interesting to hear what they say.

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  20. Oh, how spooky. Particularly the last one. Definitely a presence there.

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    1. It was spooky, but even more so when we saw the pics. Thanks for calling in.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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