Cape Breton Cave of Horrors

by Barry J Gillis

Cape Breton Cave Of Horrors

As I try to recall everything that happened, vivid colors, fantastic images, and spells of darkness attack my mind. My life feels and seems like a wonderful dream turned drastically awry. I can remember various fragments, while I write this transcript of uncanny events. Every few moments I painstakingly pause in order to remember the twisted memories currently flowing through my bewildered mind.

I can picture how the ancient map made of an unknown fabric was found, and then my faculties turn fuzzy. I recollect my wife Julie warning me about this excursion into unknown territory, and taking a risk only identified on a yellowing cloth treasure map. I can even see a vision of the sacred map printed deep within my mind as I write my thoughts down on paper now. However, we both knew that taking risks was the only way we had ever lived, and I convinced her to follow one last dream. My wife had discovered the rather large cloth behind a painting I had purchased at a neighbors yard sale. There were diagrams, and weird writings scrawled on the cloth, as well as old Shakespearian English. As I think about the cloth and look over to my right, I can see it staring at me now. It seems to glisten in its own sickening translucent glow, while draped over a small boulder a few feet away from me.

I had bought a plagiarized version of Dieric Bouts famous FALL OF THE DAMNED oil painting at my neighbors' yard sale, and my wife took it upon herself to put it in a brand new frame. Personally I liked the battered aged frame as I had purchased it, but you know how women can be. While in the progression of switching frames, she came across the sacred cloth treasure map. For thirty-eight years my gorgeous wife Julia and I roamed the world. We profited from our exploits. Our prosperous adventures made us extremely wealthy. All of the rare Spanish coins, prehistoric bones, and a slew of other valuables we uncovered throughout the decades were always converted quickly by us to hard currency. We never saved anything of value. We always sold our hoards for money to museums, art dealers, private collectors, and other interested parties. We amassed a fortune. Our joint bank account had close to two million dollars in it by the time we retired. We were happily retired and lived a fantastic life. Then along came this most unusual cloth map. We knew there was a great probability that it was an extraordinary blueprint to greater wealth and prosperity. We also knew we had to come out of retirement to go on one final journey. The cloth practically fell into our hands, and we both determined that it was not only our destiny to follow up on the contents of the cloth map, but it was something that just seemed like it was meant to be.

Blurry images are becoming brighter, and more in focus as I continue to write. The journey itself as a whole is becoming clearer as I delve into the compartment of my memory that would rather forget about all of the strange occurrences of our final expedition. Soon after we had ventured into the wretched cave, I can distinctly remember my wife mentioning that we should back track, and go home. We could hear strange noises that sounded unlike anything we had ever heard before. I calmed my terrified wife down by reminding her that on other adventures we had heard bats, and other eerie types of animal life, and I told her not to feel emotionally threatened by such unearthly sounds.

As I reflect upon it now, we should have turned back. Yet, my heart was dead set on continuing at the time. In hind site, my wife had a valid point. It was a creepy exploration even before we had entered the wicked cave. There were warning signs in the Cape Breton Highlands, such as the peculiar vegetation and imposing surroundings we encountered. There were thousands of tangled vines actually growing, and roaming recklessly before our startled eyes. The geographic area itself was similar to the topographical maps we ordered from the Nova Scotia government. All the Lakes, rivers, elevations, and everything else we discovered were all correct, but something seemed amiss about the situation we were in. There were bizarre diagrams carved in enormous trees, with trunks that were the size of the Empire State Building, and the trees seemed to tower thousands of feet into blood red skies. They stretched further than the eyes could follow, and we felt like tiny red ants in comparison to our surroundings.

It was like one minute we were traveling down a beautiful natural path deep within a gorgeous sunlit valley by a beautiful river and then a fraction of a second later, we were in some kind of land that time had forgotten. The weather changed so drastically and fast that it just boggled our minds. How we ever made it to the cave through the muddy massive swamps, and sudden blizzard conditions, I'll never know...

Approximately twenty-five minutes after we had been crawling on our hands and knees through the entrance of the cave meandering our way within the tunnel of very slim dimensions, we came upon an area where we could finally stand up. Just like the treasure map had outlined. It was a labyrinth of monolithic proportions. With our gas lanterns in tow, we could see caves within caves, tunnels veering off in all directions and at disunited angles. There were slag filled ponds of water as well. With only our cloth map chart and flickering gas flamed lanterns to guide us, we had a huge decision to make. Which way should we take to lead us to the riches?

We ended up basing our decision as best we could upon a landmark that stood out on the provocative cloth map. The marker we used was a massive white glowing boulder, shaped like the head of a cow. Only it was twenty times the size of any cows head I had ever butchered. It certainly was closer to the size of one of the heads residing on Mount Rushmore. It did not appear to be carved out by any human hands using chipping devices. It was noticeably unadulterated and if you saw it yourself, you would know that it was naturally created.

As we passed the monstrous rock, leaving a maze of other lost worlds behind, we saw a slimy substance on the walls of the cave. My wife and I had researched, and practically lived in caves all over the planet, yet neither of us had ever come across a mucous like membrane substance such as this anywhere. Nothing of this unearthly sort was ever mentioned or discussed in the scientific community, journals, or books. It was frightening.

My wife once again nagged me to turn back immediately. However, we both continued on, as I had strongly demanded and insisted. A certain amount of time had passed when my wife who was a few steps ahead of me suddenly halted and shrieked. I caught up to her and noticed why she had so suddenly froze. We were both shocked to see an egg of drastic proportions at the entranceway of yet another tunnel. Since this was the way we had to go as prescribed on the map, I had no choice but to pull out the chipping hammer from my backpack. Then I began shattering the egg, which was just an obstacle in our way. If I had to guess the size of the egg, I'd have to say that it would have been about four feet high, and two feet wide. Again, this is another instance where we could have easily left well enough alone, and tried to make our way back home.

The first time I swung the hammer it cracked the firm outer purplish colored shell. An oily neon sludge like blue frothing liquid oozed out. With the second blow I used the claw of my custom made hammer to split the brown inner shell. I'd have to say that the inner shell was close to three inches thick, where as the outer shell of the egg was close to an inch in thickness. My wife was suddenly feeling nauseous, and she really wanted to leave more than ever at this point. She actually barfed, and parts of her stomach contents ended up on me. I told her that she was more than welcome to try and make it back home on her own if she wanted to. I was so pissed off with her. I went on to tell her that she could also file for divorce when, and if she ever made it back to Edmonton. I was more enraged with her then at any time in our long lives together. I had never seen her in such a nervous or insane frame of mind.

Of course the pours of my skin were crawling too. I was probably more worried and afraid than her. However, I knew with or without her that this was at the very least my personal destiny. I gave her a choice. Stay by my side, or go back home to Edmonton, Alberta. As far as I was concerned, we had come too far to back out now. We had taken a train from Alberta to Nova Scotia. And the days and days of hiking and traveling in endless circles in the Cape Breton Highlands had taken there toll on both of us. I could see our marriage disintegrating before my astonished eyes, as she said her last goodbyes. Without even a kiss on the cheek, she abandoned me, and the mission at hand. I was in a furious state. I could feel my heart pumping quicker then ever before. My adrenalin was kicking in at such high speeds that I battered, and crushed the soft inner, and hard outer shell of the egg into smithereens within the span of what seemed like a minute. I still cannot readily define the smell emanating from the embryo, but it was not of this planet. It was a horrid scent.

Whatever species laid the egg is still beyond my comprehension. I was covered in the murky awful senseless filth. I wiped as much of it off as I possibly could, and pried the corrupt sewage out of my gray hair, beard, and entire face. I was swimming in the gory ooze. I had to gouge the spew from beneath my eyelids as well. Whatever type of enzyme it was, it seemed stickier than glue. While fighting my way through the sludge and debris of the destroyed egg, I remember crushing whatever life form was in there to death. Whatever baby life form was inside of that egg. I know I killed it. I could hear it dying. The echoes of its ungodly screeching and crying still reverberate in my head, as I remember stomping on it until I could hear its cries no more.

Just as it died, I heard my wife screaming. I turned around, and what I witnessed is something that I hope nobody has to ever be privy to viewing. I only caught a glimpse of the proceedings, but the images will forever be forged within my mind. It is as vivid now as it was then. I SAW MY WIFE BEING EATEN ALIVE. I stood there in a motionless state. It was such a helpless way to be. Parts of my mind were edging me on to be some kind of a hero or martyr, and to try at the very least to save my wife's body for future burial. I could have at least died trying to do something... anything.

Then there was the depraved cavity in my mind that knew she had betrayed me, and not just by leaving me in the cave to explore unknown territory. She had countless affairs before we were married, and also during our marriage. So another part of me secretly cheered on the proceedings. I even thought about cashing in her life insurance policy when I made it back home to Edmonton... I continued to watch her dying...

I knew that there was something more important than trying to save my wife's doomed existence, and that was saving my own life. I had to make it to the secret treasure at any cost. There was a fair amount of darkness separating me from my wife. Yet... the lantern she had been using lit up the grand spectacle.

It was a gargantuan creature, whatever it was. I'm not sure if it was something from the prehistoric age, some kind of an alien beast from another planet... or what it was.... but whatever kind of creature it was.... it seemed very upset. I couldn't count all of its tentacles, as each was moving in a compass full of directions. The tentacles were slithering like an ocean eel slithers through plankton. There had to be fifty or sixty tentacle appendages protruding at uneven lengths from the monsters main body. Everything was happening at lightening speeds, yet I still noticed that it had three heads. Each head had rows and rows of thorns, and two fairly large eyeballs, which stuck out of its hammerhead shark like skull. The skin was like that of a reptile. I'm just guessing, but the dark green revolting prodigy, had to be at least three times the size of the egg I had just heartlessly demolished. The few brief moments of flickering mind frames have burned an everlasting impression in my brain forever. I'm not sure how many rows and levels of teeth there were, however there is one thing I am certain of... its chompers were razor sharp. It had three sets of jaws that tore apart my wife like she was a twig. It did not leave any trace of her, aside from the blood that spurted and squirted adnauseam, and hit the caves walls. Who knows, maybe it slurped all of the blood up off of the cave walls, and floor as well. I'll never know, and I wasn't planning on staying around very long to find out.

I do recall running on a downward slope for what seemed like eternity. As I continued spiraling downwards, I maneuvered around and over hundreds of sinking holes. Some were bubbling with a lava type substance, and the heat being generated made it seem like I was in the world's hottest sauna. I know if I fell in one of the holes it would have been the death of me. As the sinkholes bubbled I could hear slurping noises. It was like I was in a marathon race. As thirsty as I was, I had to ditch my water, and food filled backpack, which was slowing me down... and causing me strain. I could not only detect the creature following me... I listened to it breathing, seething, and even burping.

I had to continue moving forward while it stalked me. My lantern was becoming low on fuel. I was out of breath. I knew that in order to survive... I was going to have to kill the hideous being... somehow, someway. All I had was my bare hands, as I had abandoned my hammer at the scene of my wife's demise and the meager lantern wasn't going to help me kill the beast. I knew it was a powerhouse, and that I did not stand a chance against it. I figured if the depraved brute stumbled into a huge lake of boiling lava that it might die. Yet, all I could see were insignificant puddles, and trivial sinking fissures. The monstrosity would probably chortle at the landscape. My turmoil filled imagination wasn't suggesting any real viable solutions to engage in any kind of battle with the iceberg sized being. Then I recall coming to a fork in the enormous cave. I knew this was where the merging had been well defined on the cloth map. If I went left... I'd be only mere yards away from the treasure.

However, if I went right I'd be moving further away from my dream of vast wealth. I would have to find my way back to the turnpike in the cave later, if I went right...

The sacrilegious roar of the creature was cruelly pounding my eardrums. I knew I had to make a hasty decision because the evil creation was gaining on me fast. My life hung in the balance like a chicken to the slaughter.

I veered to the right...

I veered to the left...

Right... left... right, left.

I wasn't quite sure what to do.

Which way should I go I wondered?

The cave appeared to close in like a funnel when I swung my head to the right. Maybe just maybe, the enormous three-headed fiend wouldn't be able to get at me if I took a right instead of a left.

I thought that I might be able to make my way to safety if I took a right where it forked. Then again I knew from studying the map so often that the treasure was only steps away if I went left.

What should I do?

Should I go right or should I go left?

I decided to take my chances. I followed my hopes, dreams, and aspirations.

I took a left towards the direction of where the treasure was supposed to be lurking. About twenty yards later, and to my glorious delight, I viewed piles upon piles of gold bullion bars. Then I noticed a wooden chest. I rolled the dice, and made a choice. Though I knew I did not have much time, I opened the wooden chest and was shocked to see that it was filled to the brim with diamonds. There were hundreds if not thousands of diamonds sparkling before me.

Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds.

So many of them, and of all shapes and sizes...

I must admit that my greed was getting the better of me. Even though my life was on the line, there I was all alone amongst the biggest hoard of valuables I had ever witnessed and enjoying every damn second of it. In all my years of exploration, I had never hit such a jackpot. I reached into the wooden chest and proceeded to line my two front jean pockets full of a bountiful of diamonds. I knew if I made it out alive, I could come back at a later date. I'd pay an army of heavily armed mercenaries a king's ransom from my windfall and together we would murder this beast, as well as any other monster, animal, or anything that stood in our way.

I started back towards the fork in the cave. I was moving as swiftly as I could. Then my lantern ran out of fuel, and the flame along with the light it generated was gone forever. So I dropped the lantern to the ground. The creature sounded louder and angrier then ever, and I knew it was approaching quickly. I could not see for the life of me after my lantern died out. (Your eyes just do not adjust to this type of darkness) The monstrosity was only mere yardsticks away from the forked turnpike. I just knew it, and could sense it was really nearby. I had to get back to where the cave narrowed and went off to the right. Maybe I should have just gone that way in the first place. My hands were becoming caked with mud and slime from the caves wall. I used my sense of touch to fish my way back to the fork in the cave. My eyes could not see anything at all. Finally I made it to the turnpike. Now I was in the bottlenecked tunnel that veered to the right. Hopefully if the walls continued to close themselves in enough, the titanic creature would not be able to follow me too far. I could then make my way into safe territory.


I thought for sure that I was going to die. I could detect that the creature was only split seconds away from me. My desire to live superseded any will I ever had to die. I picked myself up off of the caves mucky floor, and continued moving as fast as I could.


My left foot got itself stuck in one of the smaller dry sandy sinkholes. I was down for the count. I am pretty certain that I broke my left leg, or at least dislocated it. I struggled to get my foot out of the sinkhole. Thank God there was no boiling liquid in this particular sinkhole. It would have crispy fried my foot to the bone.

The creature was about ten yards away...

Nine yards...

Eight yards...

Seven yards...

Six... Five...

Whatever amount of yards it happened to be, it did not matter. I was at deaths brutal door...

I felt one of the creature's grotesque dogmatic tentacles slap me across the forehead. It was littered with tiny suction cups. They were vacuuming my skin. Then another tentacle. and another one.

Tentacles were grabbing me from unheard of angles. I was being spit on, sucked on, and slapped by an ever-increasing amount of flesh seeking tentacles.

It may have been a festive occasion for mister cave dwelling monster, but it was a deplorable event for me. Fluid dripped from each of its tiny suction cups. Globs of heavy jelly snot like substance engulfed my tired body. As weak as I was, I gathered every salty speck of energy left in me, and somehow pulled my leg out of the sinking hole, which at one point had me enveloped up to the knee. My leg was now free. But my upper body was still full of the beasts' many ugly tentacles. I squeezed the one tentacle that was forced upon my forehead, and dug into it with my fingernails. I dug in as deep as I possibly could. The creature then let me go momentarily. I was screaming for my life. The very moment the creature let me go I thrusted myself away from all of its terrifying tentacles, and started crawling away. All of a sudden one slithering rebounding tentacle curled around the ankle of my suspect broken left leg, and that one tentacle swiftly dragged me closer to the creature's three jaws of death. I swung myself towards my ankle, and bent my lower back as far as it could go. Pain shot up my bending spine. I grabbed its slobbery tentacle with both my hands, as other glob dripping tentacles slithered around both of my legs. I was being dragged closer, and closer, and as I was being dragged I could feel the heat emanating off of the creatures body. The closer the creature pulled me towards itself, the more heat I could feel...

By now I figured that the creature with no soul had not devoured me whole, because it was too big to make it down the narrowing tunnel. It was dragging me closer in pure darkness. I did not stand a chance in hell. I knew I was going to be its next meal. I did not have another second to spare. I twisted my neck and lunged at the tentacle, which was wrapped around my left thigh, and as the beast pulled me closer and closer I dug my teeth as far into the ruthless tentacle as I could. I had as much of this one tentacle in my mouth as I could possibly clamp down on. Jellified liquid poured down my throat. I spit out as much of the ooze as I could. I also spit out a sizeable portion of its tentacle onto the caves floor. I busted my lip, and two of my front teeth were uprooted, and removed completely from out of mouth. I think they must have gotten lodged in its tentacle. The creature let out the loudest roar that I have ever heard, and then it let me go. I continued straining myself to crawl away. As exhausted as I was, I just kept moving away from the monster, as I made my way further down the tunnel.

Finally I was out of its grasp.

Soon after crawling for a while, I saw a thin ray of light shining down ahead of me. I knew that there was some hope for me now. I could easily follow the laser like beam of light coming from above me back into the real world. However, I was so tired that I decided to fall asleep and investigate my way out of this terminal hell when I awoke later on.

Many days have passed now.

So many days... that I have lost count.

I am thirstier, and hungrier then ever. My stomach pangs are notorious. My lips are dry, and parched.

And where I am situated now is a dead end. The tunnel leads to nowhere, other than here.

I know the beast is waiting. I can hear it making weird noises, and breathing very heavily.

I have slept and awakened more times then I can remember.

The only hope I have is to climb up to where the ray of light seems to be coming from.

But there is no way up for me.

It seems like it must be two hundred feet skyward in order to get back to real land from what I can ascertain in this position. From what I can see from this vantage point anyway.

I can see a huge neck of land that appears to be eighty feet up, but even to get to that next level is impossible for me to climb. The slime filled muddy walls of this dead end tunnel cave are keeping me down here.

Whatever is squeezed between the under core of my fingernails is painful beyond reason, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to write.

My pen is running very low on ink, just as I am running low on life. I know my leg is broken for sure, because it just dangles every time I attempt to move or climb.

I am in excruciating pain....

I am slowly starving to death...

Maybe someone will someday find their way into this cavern from where the ray of light originates, and they will find these pages I have transcribed exactly where I'll leave them.

(Under the back of my ribcage)

I'll put them under my backside... as I lay down here to slowly die.

After my flesh rots to the skull and bones, my skeleton should keep these pages safe underneath me. I'm sure they'll be covered and caked in dried bodily fluids, and dried blood by then, but possibly new scientific methods will be invented to reveal what I have written here by the ray of light.

For some unknown reason the words of Percy Blyshe Shelley continue ringing in my head. It's just like Chinese water torture. The lines just continue and continue. relentlessly pounding themselves into my fatigued brain. Over and over. The phrase is just a never-ending echoing sphere of contagion.

It feels, and seems like I've heard and went over the phrase a billion times already.

The phrase just continues to pound and pound in my head.

"Death is here and death is there,

Death is busy everywhere,

All around, within, beneath,

Above is death, and we are death"

I don't know what day it is, but I do know that my wife and I entered this "other world" on May 25th, 1951.

Maybe someday my writings will be discovered, and published.

If so,

The entire world will know about this Cape Breton Island cave of horrors.

William Charles Lyons

Someday in April, 1951

Copyright 2004 Barry J. Gillis

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