My Story Follows this brief history:

Excerpt From “Cherokee Caverns is the most beautiful and historical cavern in Knox County, Tennessee. That is why it is generally called Historic Cherokee Caverns. All in all it also has a long history of name changes and as a show cave.”

1947 sold,  leased and renamed Atomic Caverns.

1950’s redeveloped and renamed Palace Caverns.

1960s Restaurant built above the cave, trail and lighting improved, cave renamed Caverns Of The Ridge.
1970 cave renamed Cherokee Firesite Ceremonial Caverns.
1970s name shortened to Cherokee Caverns.
OCT-1980  fire destroys the restaurant built over the entrance to the caverns, cave closed.

“It was in 1984 that I first visited this cave as a teenager. My boyfriend and I enjoyed visiting caves; not that we were “spelunkers”, by a far stretch of the imagination. I always have enjoyed the unknown, or anything mysterious, (and what is more mysterious than an underground world, having developed for millions of years?), and he liked caves, yet he did not “explore” them as a sport.

We had visited a few caves by the time we discovered Cherokee Caverns. At this point, a few years after the fire that destroyed the restaurant over the cave, the entry to the cave was open and not protected. Little did we know that the cave was a meeting place for a known motorcycle group during unspecified years in the 80’s, and also a meeting place for curious teenagers, (like us), but many who carelessly vandalized the place, or at the minimum, disturbed the activity in the cave. During the mid eighties, there was also quiet a bit of occult activity in Knox County, I am certain there is plenty of that today, as well.

On this Summer day, we hoped to check out the cavern, and cool down, as Summer in Knoxville, TN can be quiet humid.

There wasn’t another vehicle around, and we assumed we were the only ones there.

My boyfriend got out and started toward the entrance, and I lingered in the car, probably putting my purse in a concealed spot, can’t really recall what caused the minute delay between my exit from the car and his. But when I got out, he was at the mouth of the cave, and I heard a “rustling” noise behind me. Which would have came from some trees and bushes. I glanced over my shoulder and didn’t see anyone, but I heard a buzzing noise, and looked toward that sound, to my right, and was shocked to see a bloody, checkered, discarded shirt with flies swarming it. This was alarming, but not nearly as alarming as my next discovery. I looked around me, and there was a large pile of intestines, (animal guts) dead center in front of me, maybe 15 feet from my person, also covered with flies.  Then, to my left, and on the other side of the car, there was the carcass. Skinned, so I haven’t a clue what it had been. Large enough for a deer. No head, no hooves, and gutted, split right down the center. And fresh… no smell or odor of decay, though flies were having a field day on all of these remains.

The rustling in the trees and bushes prompted me to literally scream for my boyfriend, especially after seeing these remains of a large animal. I startled him so badly, he wasn’t sure what to expect, but he ran back to me and was just as alarmed.

Needless to say, I did not want to hang around, or go inside the cave, all interest was lost.

I am unsure what happened at the cave that day; if we were in fact the only ones there; or if it had anything to do with an occult activity; or if a hunter had left the remains of his kill there for whatever reason. All I can say is, the very next week, the driveway off of  Oak Ridge Hwy was  barred off from further trespassing, and it has pretty much remained that way since, except for public events which are held in interest of preserving the cave.

Interestingly enough, our guide for the tour we recently took, explained that the cave had been used for wild parties, and “worse”, in the 1980’s and was heavily vandalized; there is a 30 caliber bullet hole, shown in my youtube video, plus damage to some “mud volcano” from motorcycle rides in the cave.  

I don’t think my particular experience had anything to do with the motorcycle gang. I do feel it had to do with some mischief, and I have a greater feeling it was more occult than dressing a deer, but my reasoning for that is because my boyfriend confided in me that he thought he saw a “skull” or “animal head” mounted just inside the cave. Just as his flashlight picked up something,  I screamed and he turned out of the entrance of the cave.

Too bad I waited 25 years to return to the cave. It is a very active cave, with so many interesting formations. I took a lot of pictures, and they turned out nice, Not only that, I was surprised again, in 2009, with some of the photo’s showing “orbs” and an unexplainable “image” that you’ll have to see the video to understand it. I know, “orbs” in moist or dirty environments aren’t so great. But what if you saw it before the photo was taken and so I took several of the same subject to see….”

I encourage you to visit Cherokee Caverns any time the cave is open to the public, or if you have a large group for a private tour. Google Cherokee Caverns TN for the direct website.

Hope you enjoy my youtube slideshow.