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Old Man Of The Cave


On a story of mine, Melda asked if my brothers were also sensitive to the paranormal. I allowed that my older brother, Kevin, had experienced a few events and that I might share them at some point.

Kevin led a nomadic lifestyle. It wasn't that he was lazy, or couldn't hold down a job, the boy had a severe case of wanderlust. There were times when bereft of funds or a place to stay he made do. This was one of those times.

I'm going to try and set this story down exactly as he told it to me, so I'll narrate in the first person.


Back in the early 70's I found myself sleeping on beaches, flop houses, and the like. Stayed in some very weird places, including a cave. Fact is, I lived in that cave for awhile. It was pretty nice as far as caves go. It wasn't huge, but big enough. The main area, what I thought of as my living quarters, was about the size of a studio apartment, at the back it branched off into a couple of tunnels. It didn't smell all funky of bat sh*t or animal either, so I thought it was pretty safe. Gave me a place to sleep or get out of the rain at any rate, until something better came along.

During the day, I'd walk down to the warf and play my flute for the tourists, and make a little coin. I'd usually take it and get some food or other necessity. On the way back to the cave I'd gather firewood. As it got dark, I'd build myself a nice little campfire by the mouth of the cave but back aways. I'd sit by it and have my dinner, maybe read a bit, or watch the flames until I felt tired enough to sleep. Over all not a bad life.

One day, I woke up to a really bad down pour. Couldn't see much past the mouth it was raining so hard. Made me happy to be in this nice dry cave, instead of huddling under a plastic trash bag. I stoked up the fire and was feeling pretty good. I'd made a habit of bringing in a few more sticks of wood then I thought I'd use, so I could keep the fire going for quite awhile. I still had most of a jar of peanut butter, and some crackers, and a paperback I hadn't read yet. Seemed to me I was pretty well set for the day.

I was sitting there, reading when some movement caught the corner of my eye. I turned towards the cave's opening, not knowing what to expect.

Between flickering fire light, and the rain I could barely make out the form of a man standing at the entrance. I stood up calling out, "Hello?" Guy didn't say a word, just reached out his hand palm up. Then raised his other arm as if to show me he was unarmed. Pretty strange, but OK. I tell him to come in before he drowns. His steps are hesitant, almost like he's scared of me and he's stooped over. I smile and invite him to sit by the fire and ask if he's hungry. PB on crackers isn't fancy, but when your hungry enough it's a feast.

He smiled back and shook his head no. Two things struck me at once; he was older than dirt, filthy, and he was bone dry. Bone dry, when he just came out of the pouring rain? That's not right. Rain is water. Water makes things wet, and this guy is DRY.

I start asking questions, like what's he doing out in this weather, if he got lost or something. Again with the head shake no. Then I wondered if maybe he's a mute or something. I didn't ask it out loud, and he says, "No, Sonny. I can talk, just wondering about you. But I guess you mean no harm. You ain't no claim jumper, are you?"

I laughed, "nope, no claim jumper here. Didn't know this was a mine either."

"Is and isn't. Was natural when I found it. You seen the tunnels right? I dug those, mostly by hand." Great, I just invited a lunatic to share my fire was my first thought, followed by 'just an old man having me on', followed by 'how'd he know about those tunnels then? Maybe he's been here before."

"Nope, not crazy and yep was here long before you were. Told ya it's my claim." I stared in disbelief, I had not spoken one word of what I was thinking aloud! Just then there was the loudest clap of thunder and my head turned instinctively towards the mouth as lightening lit up the outside. I must've jumped a foot when that thunder sounded. Laughing at myself I turned back to where the old man sat, but he was gone.

As old as he was, he couldn't have moved fast enough for me not to see him if he'd headed towards the back, and he sure didn't pass me going out.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, valkricry, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

pokemon_trainer (guest)
7 years ago (2017-06-24)
Hello valkricry,

This is an amazing story.

I'm very intrigued by the man's ability to read your brother's mind, I've never come across an account like that and it's quite amazing. I like reading about experiences in which spirits are friendly or harmless, because it makes me feel less afraid of the supernatural/paranormal.

I found this story heart-warming, thank you for posting - the way you told your brother's story was very engaging too!

Best wishes,

valkricry (48 stories) (3256 posts) mod
7 years ago (2017-06-24)
Sorry for the delay, guys. Been dealing with some of the more mundane aspects of life.
BeautInside, thanks so much for reading.

Tweed, ya I have to agree with you there. Sometimes I think our surname should have been Bizarre!😜
If I had to pick one word to describe Kev it would be hippy. Very laid back and mellow guy. He called himself a pagan. Played a bamboo flute and the Pan pipes. Without worldly distractions, I imagine he could have easily slipped into a 'zone', like you suggest.

Sara, thanks for reading. Caves are totally cool. Of course caves like this one shouldn't be confused with caverns. Some of those can be truly spectacular. I've been to some famous ones like the Mammoth Caves, Mark Twain Caves (use to be called McDowell's Cave) and the Ohio Caverns. Came out blinking in the sunlight and in awe!
MaybeADreamer (4 stories) (58 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-24)
Hey Val cool story.

I would love to hang in a cave for a bit, natural beauty is the best. Sounds like Kevin was a chilled kind of guy.

I reckon the ghost may have been watching but got so curious he just had to check him out. Glad the experience has been shared. Fabulous. Thank you

Sara. X
Tweed (33 stories) (2475 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-21)
Far out Val, you and your fam have the most bizarre encounters! This one is tops! I wonder if Kevin was in some kind of zone without realising. I imagine hanging out in a cave for a long time would do things to your senses, like how meditation gets us into certain zones. Sounds like Kevin hit all the right buttons for encountering this ghost in that way. 😊
BeautInside (3 stories) (326 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-21)
Hi Valkricry,

Waw, this is really something! 😁

This one could definetly turn a skeptic into a believer, awesome experience! Thanks for sharing it!

valkricry (48 stories) (3256 posts) mod
7 years ago (2017-06-21)
So glad you enjoyed it, Biblio. You're impression could possibly be spot on, who can tell for sure? However it does make sense.
valkricry (48 stories) (3256 posts) mod
7 years ago (2017-06-20)
Spiritwaiting and elt, thanks for reading and commenting.
I guess if you have a wandering foot, you best have a sense of adventure too.
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-20)
Greetings, Val:

This one gave me chills.

I'm glad that he liked your brother. How can any adult think someone sitting in a cave offering his peanut butter and crackers to a hungry-looking stranger is anything but a gentle soul?

"Nope, not crazy and yep was here long before you were. Told ya it's my claim." While the claimholder was probably a '49er, there were far fewer costal mines than in-land mining claims. If he'd made the solitary claim, then dug out the tunnels by hand, he probably thought that starting in a cave would make for faster work locating veins of gold (or valuable minerals). Not crazy, nor was he stupid; it's a lot harder to claim-jump an older guy if his claim doesn't have an immediately-obvious campsite. I suspect that's why he showed his hands first; he didn't want a repeat of the last time he'd come back to the cave to find it occupied 😒.*

Makes a guy armed with peanut butter seem much nicer than other folks, really.


*I don't think he was deliberately claim-jumped; I have the sense of returning to camp with supplies and surprising a drifter dozing there in the dark.
spiritwaiting (42 stories) (843 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-20)

I really liked this one.
To stay in a cave away from all the chaos in the world even for a bit, must have been nice. 😊

I wish I had the guts to do so, as your brother sounds like quite the adventerous type.

And to have met the spirit of the man who pretty much built that cave is amazing! I love it, going into my favs.

Thank you for sharing this!

elt (1 stories) (21 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-17)
this is cool. I like the way the
Old man read his thoughts. 😊 lol
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-17)
Val - What your brother experienced has really got my imagination going.

It's also possible that he didn't want Kev meddling with his claim, since he did so much manual work establishing it. That could be why he asked him whether he was a claim jumper πŸ˜†

Once he was satisfied that his claim was safe, he went on his way 😊

Regards, Melda
valkricry (48 stories) (3256 posts) mod
7 years ago (2017-06-17)
BGP - girl, you have me laughing here because that's EXACTLY how I felt when he told this to me. πŸ˜†

Just my personal opinion, but I think we tend to attract what we put out into the world (cosmos). I'm not saying that all bad encounters are 'asked' for by negativity on our part, just it seems to increase the chances.

Argette, how sweet! Thank you!
valkricry (48 stories) (3256 posts) mod
7 years ago (2017-06-17)
From how I understood it, it sure sounds that way. I always wondered if maybe that old man had been watching Kev since day one there. Sizing him up maybe. I think you would have liked Kev, most did. He was a cross between Burl Ives and Tommy Chong. One of the kindest, sweetest souls to walk this earth, and I think the Old Man sensed that, but tested it out.
Argette (guest)
7 years ago (2017-06-16)
Whoa, this is fascinating! I must admit, I admire your brother's lifestyle.

A visitor from the past, just checking up on a current tenant.

Going into the favorites! Thanks, Val.
AzraelX (8 stories) (115 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-16)
I like events in which the entity is not malevolent, but harmless.
I wish I had that kind of experiences.
babygoatpuller (4 stories) (432 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-16)

This was creepy, exciting and weird all at the same time. πŸ˜†

Sounds like the old man was just checking up on his claim and gave your bother the nod of approval.

I'm not a big fan of caves but I'd check this one out. 😊

As always Val, a great read!
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
7 years ago (2017-06-16)
Val - I am so pleased I asked you that question, otherwise you might never have come out with this gem 😊

So the original occupant of the cave came to meet the new resident? What a wonderful encounter your brother had. I wonder how often the old guy pops in to visit his claim πŸ˜†

This was a great read - I love it ❀

Regards, Melda

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