What Is the Cave of the Evil Spirit?

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Person exploring the Cave of the Evil Spirit

You may have heard endless legends and folklore about hauntings, evil spirits, witchcraft, and more. But this legend may just have some truth to it. The next time you travel to Niagara Falls, you may find a small cave hidden in Devil’s Hole State Park called the Cave of the Evil Spirit.

According to legend, it’s haunted by an evil spirit, and the warnings and prophecies of the Evil Spirit actually come true. Let’s learn more.

What Is the Cave of the Evil Spirit?

The Cave of the Evil Spirit is a small limestone cave carved into the side of the Niagara Gorge, The Niagara River flows past it, and the rapids of Devil’s Hole State Park are nearby. 

According to the Seneca people, the Evil Spirit inhabits the cave, and misfortune and destruction follow anyone who dares to enter. Today, it’s graffiti-laden with lots of trash, indicating not many visitors believe the centuries-old legend.

Where Is the Cave of the Evil Spirit?

You can find the Cave of the Evil Spirit in Lewiston, N.Y., in Devil’s Hole State Park. You can easily access the state park about 10 minutes north of Niagara Falls via the Niagara Scenic Parkway. The Niagara River forms the park’s western border, and Highway 104 forms the eastern.

The 42 acres of Devil’s Hole State Park feature whirlpool rapids, a nature trail, gorge caves, a picnic area, winter snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and a 300-foot walkway that winds its way along the Niagara River. 

Visitors enjoy a stunning view of the rapids at the end of the walkway. Additionally, hikers, photographers, bird watchers, and anglers enjoy Devil’s Hole State Park.

Why Is It Called the Cave of the Evil Spirit? 

According to Native American legend, anyone who enters the Cave of the Evil Spirit is cursed by tragedy and misfortune. The Seneca people named this cave as such because the Great Spirit no longer loved them because of their war parties. 

When the land changed from falling rocks, rapids opened up, and the Evil Spirit got out. Every time a brave man would go into the cave, he either never came back out or was maniacal upon return.

In 1669 a Native American guide named Garonkouthie led the Canadian explorer Robert Cavalier de LaSalle through the area. He warned him not to enter the Cave of the Evil Spirit. 

But LaSalle’s curiosity got the best of him, and he ventured into the deep hole. Almost immediately, the Evil Spirit whispered to him and told him to return to Canada and enjoy riches and fame. 

However, if he turned West, he would lose everything and eventually end up murdered and left in the woods. LaSalle ran from the cave, completely terrified, but didn’t heed the warning of the Evil Spirit. 

As the legend goes, all of his fortunes had dwindled within a decade. LaSalle did as the Evil Spirit advised against and set out West, where later, some of his men murdered him. 

To this day, the legend of the cave remains strong, and many visitors claim the cave is haunted.

Inside the Cave of the Evil Spirit

How Do You Access the Cave of the Evil Spirit?

To get to the cave, hikers must descend a stone staircase about a third of the way into the gorge from Devil’s Hole State Park. It’s a steep climb and probably takes an hour or more. 

A sign on the way down will lead hikers partially back up to the cave. The cave isn’t the most accessible, and the trek can be dangerous.

Traveler’s Tip: Scary sites aren’t for everyone. Instead, find your inner Zen by adding This Secret Monastery to Your Bucket List.

What Else Is There to Do Near the Cave of the Evil Spirit?

You can visit Niagara Falls and take the short drive up to Devil’s Hole State Park to see the Cave of the Evil Spirit. However, you’ll find many other things to do nearby.

The Niagara Gorge and Niagara Falls State Park offer beautiful scenery and opportunities for hiking. And the Butterfly Conservatory and White Water Walk make great family-friendly activities. Let’s learn more.

Niagara Gorge

According to the New York State Parks System, about 12,300 years ago, the Niagara River began to flow over a large cliff at the northern end of the gorge. 

This is where Niagara Falls first formed. “Over thousands of years, the falls carved through the underlying rock, and as the falls receded, formed the 7.1-mile gorge that we see today.”

Within the Niagara Gorge, you’ll find eight trails ranging from easy to difficult. The Whirlpool Rapids Trail is the hardest, even though it’s only 1.3 miles. 

It includes boulder jumping, stairs, and narrow sections. Rock falls are common in winter and spring, so always be aware of your surroundings. The Niagara Gorge is also a great location to see wildlife.

Niagara Falls State Park

Visiting the Cave of the Evil Spirit probably isn’t your main reason for visiting this area, but Niagara Falls State Park, that’s another story. Unlike some locations in this part of the Empire State, Niagara Falls remains open 365 days a year. Here you can experience the power of the falls from the Hurricane Deck at the Cave of the Winds. 

You can also book a tour on the Maid of the Mist boat or dine at the Top of the Falls Restaurant. The park has hiking trails, interactive exhibits, shopping, a trolley service, the Aquarium of Niagara, and an Observation Tower. It’s truly a family-friendly experience that requires no passport.

Butterfly Conservatory

The Butterfly Conservatory lies across the Niagara River from Devil’s Hole State Park. But because it has no bridge, you’ll have to drive down to Niagara Falls to cross the river and then back up to the conservatory. It’s about a 25-minute drive. 

The Butterfly Conservatory is a tropical garden oasis with over 2,000 butterflies fluttering freely. Additionally, it is one of the largest glass-enclosed butterfly conservatories in North America. Guests also enjoy the beautiful scenery of lush vegetation and waterfalls.

The conservatory sits on the Canadian side, so you’ll need your passports and Canadian currency. Tickets cost $17 for adults, $11.25 for children ages 6-12, and kids five and under get in free. These prices are in Canadian Dollars. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

White Water Walk

Also on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is the White Water Walk. This quarter-mile boardwalk takes visitors to many platforms that offer breathtaking views of the Niagara River, specifically the Class 6 whitewater rapids. 

The self-guided walk includes stories about the geology of the Niagara Gorge and the plant and animal life of the area. Ticket prices are the same for the White Water Walk as for the Butterfly Conservatory.

Is the Cave of the Evil Spirit Worth Visiting? 

If you don’t believe the Seneca legend, venture down to the Cave of the Evil Spirit. However, remember the stories about people who never returned or experienced misfortune because they didn’t heed the Evil Spirit’s warnings.

If you choose to visit, make sure to listen if you start to hear whispering. Your life may depend on it!

Are you brave enough to enter the dark cave in Devil’s Hole State Park?

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