June 9, 2016 10:02 am

Haunted Moaning Caverns
By Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.
Paranormal Hotline: (916) 203-7503 – 4 Advice & Investigations
Email: jazmaonline@gmail.com


When I got out of the Army in 1986, one of the things on my bucket list was to rappel down Moaning Caverns. My bucket list was long. Here are some of the things that were on my bucket list and I accomplished (or maybe didn’t accomplish). 1. Rappel down Moaning Caverns. Completed. 2. Fly a Cessna airplane. Completed at Sacramento Executive Airport – 6151 Freeport Blvd, Sacramento, CA. 3. Fly a helicopter. Completed. 4. Skydive from an airplane. Completed at Sky Dance – Sky Diving – 24390 Aviation Avenue, Davis, CA. 5. Para-sail. Completed in Pattaya Island – Thailand. 6. Snorkel in Tahiti. Completed. 7. Travel in outer space. Not completed. 8. Ride in a hot air balloon. Completed in Napa. 9. Ride in a glider. Completed in Sonoma. 10. Ride in a submarine. Completed in Tahiti.

So as you can see, I did most everything on my bucket list, except travel in space. Now back to Moaning Caverns. Moaning Caverns is basically a big hole in the ground. Saber-tooth tigers fell into the hole. Native American Indians indigenous to the region fell into the hole. A few cowboys fell into the hole. A few miners fell into the hole. Well, I think you get it. People and animals would fall into this huge hole and die when their bodies made contact with the jagged rocks. When I rappelled down Moaning Caverns, one of my latches snapped open. If I fell, I would fall upon jagged sharp rocks and instantly die. I was very happy when I finally reached bottom and I had my two feet on solid rock.


Moaning Cavern is a solutional cave located in the Calaveras County, California, near Vallecito, California in the heart of the state’s Gold Country. It is developed in marble of the Calaveras Formation. It was discovered in modern times by gold miners in 1851, but it has long been known as an interesting geological feature by prehistoric peoples.

Special Note: Three gold miners fell into Moaning Caverns. All 3 died. One miner that almost fell into the hole made sure that no more miners would fall into that gaping hole, by roping off the area. People have seen ghostly miners near Moaning Caverns and they have also heard what sounds like a hammer hitting rock. Sometime this sound echoes every where. People say that these sounds originate from the Moaning Caverns Tommy Knockers. The Moaning Cavern Tommy Knockers are ghostly miners that are still looking for gold and they will pound rock to warn visitors about the deadly hole that is known as Moaning Caverns.

Moaning Caverns gets its name from the moaning sound that echoed out of the cave luring people to the entrance, however expansion of the opening to allow access for the public disrupted the sounds. The portion of the cave developed for tourists consists of a spacious vertical shaft 165 feet tall, which is descended by a combination of stairs and a unique 100-foot-high (30 m) spiral staircase built in the early 1900s. It is open to the public for walking tours, rappelling, and spelunking. Including the off-trail areas, the cave reaches a depth of 410 feet (124 m).

Moaning Cavern is also an archaeological site, where some of the oldest human remains known in America were discovered. According to archaeologist Phil C. Orr, these human deposits were about 12,000 years old, for they were under 420 mm. of speleothem mineral deposits. Nevertheless, there are also many other human bones in these caves, some of them from the more recent periods.

Phil C. Orr also discovered the important Arlington Springs Man remains that are now considered authentic.

There was a lot of controversy about these and other remains in the caves. For example, the Calaveras Skull, found in the same area was deemed to be a hoax.


Special Note: Some witnesses have seen a ghostly saber-tooth tiger near the cave’s entrance. It is believed that this saber-tooth tiger fell into the hole and died. The saber-tooth tiger is known to just stare at people. People have noticed that one of its fangs has a large chip in it. Daniel Jonhue who witnessed this big cat says that people sometimes refer to this ghostly saber-tooth as ‘Chip’, because of the chip on it’s right fang. GHOST IDENTIFIED: CHIP THE SABER-TOOTH TIGER.

Besides a saber-tooth that faced its demise at this cave, the cave has long been the resting spot for the bodies of prehistoric people who fell into its gaping opening.

The Main Chamber
Moaning Cavern is home of the largest single cave chamber in California. The massive room reaches over 180 feet before funneling into smaller passageways. With a 20 30 foot thick ceiling, the open area inside the chamber is, in fact, tall enough to hold the Statue of Liberty (pedestal excluded). There is only one natural entrance into the chamber in the form of a 30-foot vertical chimney dropping into the center of the room. This does make commercial entry a little difficult so dynamite was used in the mid 1800s to expand a natural crack in the ground wide enough for stairs to be built down. The narrow wooden staircase ends at a flat platform 65 feet underground. From there, a ten story spiral staircase leads down to a second platform at the base of the chamber.


Special Note: The Grey Fox after robbing a stage coach with his gentleman politeness, took his stolen property to Moaning Caverns and hid it between some rocks. When returning to the spot one week later, the Grey Fox was unable to find his stolen loot. Majorie Layman who rappelled down Moaning Caverns witnessed a man in 1800s garb searching through the weeds, shrubbery and rocks looking for something. The man wearing a grey cowboy hat and a grey jacket looked at her and then faded away. Marjorie will never forget that experience and she would never forget the face on this ghost. 8 years later while she was in an antique shop, she came upon a photo and to her surprise it was the ghost that she saw at Moaning Caverns. Marjorie actually screamed in this antique shop when looking at the photo. The antique shop owner walked over to her and asked what happened? Marjorie demanded to know who it was in that photo and the owner said: “That is an original photo of The Grey Fox, also known as Bill Miner, an outlaw of California who was originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky. If you want the photo, it will cost you $35.00, because Bill Miner was a California legend.” Marjorie actually did purchase the photo and proudly displays it in her home, she knows in her heart that she did indeed encounter The Grey Fox at Moaning Caverns.”

Special Note: My wife Deanna Jaxine Stinson used to explore the uncharted caves of Sonora with locals and always felt the caves in this area were mystical and could feel the ghosts that haunt these caves. Deanna has also explored Mercer Caverns, California Caverns. It is noted that Samuel Langhorne Clemens aka Mark Twain received a lot of his inspiration for his story about Tom Sawyer from Mercer Caverns, California Caverns and Moaning Caverns.


Campers and hikers have witnessed ghostly Indians marching near the Calaveras River and near Moaning Caverns. Calaveras actually means ‘skulls’ and many skulls were discovered near Calaveras River and it is believed that the Miwuks were slaughtered by many Spanish soldiers near the river and near Moaning Caverns.

So as you can see Moaning Caverns is very haunted. Calaveras County and the caverns were engulfed with death and when I hear ghost hunting groups tell me that they have all this ghost hunting equipment and no where to go, I stand there flabbergasted, because California is filled with history and is inundated with ghostly hauntings.




Canceled: 6/4/2016 7pm – Christina Vonacek – 222A55 Fa2r Fa3ra Way, Colfax, CA 95713 – On this night, Deanna Jaxine Stinson does a Pagan ritual – blessing of Christina’s home. This event was canceled, because Christina was swimming in Reno, Nevada.

Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
aka The Demon Warrior

Halo Paranormal Investigations (HPI International)
Pinterest Account:
Email: jazmaonline@gmail.com
Paranormal Cellular Hotline: For Investigation or Advice: 916 203 7503

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This post was written by Paul Roberts