Hell Fire Caves Ghost HuntChurch Lane, West Wycombe, High Wycombe, Bucks
Wow ! Words can hardly describe the incredible atmospheric surroundings of the amazing Hell-Fire Caves in West Wycombe. Having been on a paranormal investigation night here , we now truly understand why they are so renowned for visitors interested in both the present and the past. Sharing the caves with the large number of bats who, like the ghosts, come back to life after dark was an fantastic experience.
The caves originated as a chalk mine centuries ago and visible pick axe marks bear witness to the mining of chalk and flint commissioned by Sir Francis Dashwood in the 1740s which resulted in the wonderful hand-dug caves we see today.
The caves extend over a half a mile and to a depth of 300ft and are formed from a number of named chambers connected by long tunnels. To reach the ultimate cave entitled the Inner Temple, it is necessary to pass through the Steward's Cave, Banqueting Hall and Miners' Hall amongst others before crossing a subterranean river, named after the River Styx, which in Greek mythology, separated the mortal world from the immortal, across which the souls of the dead were ferried. The location of the Inner Temple lies directly beneath St Lawrence's Church and is said to represent the line between Heaven and Hell.
These chambers are named after the activities which took place at meetings of the infamous Hell-Fire Club founded by Dashwood held during the 1750s and 60s. Members of the exclusive and secret Club, known originally as The Brotherhood of Knights or Friars of St Francis of Wycombe came from political and high social circles and reportedly took part in pagan rituals and black magic, not to mention orgies within the caves.
Dashwood was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1762, but had to resign the next year after near-riots occurred in response to his increasing the tax on cider. Over the next few years, due to members' circumstances changing, Hell-Fire Club could no longer continue and was dissolved in 1766.
Our paranormal investigations certainly seemed
to encourage the ghosts of those who worked or played in these
caves to reveal their amazing experiences.
Reported Paranormal Activity
Visions of Sukie, the White Lady or Ghost Bride have also been reported in the caves. Sukie, a young maid from a local Inn became enamoured with a local aristocrat. Having responded to a message supposedly from her lover to meet him for a wedding ceremony in the caves, she found this was a prank and threw stones at the three local boys responsible. She was knocked unconscious in the caves by a rock thrown back at her and died that night having been carried back to the Inn. Is it Sukie in her wedding dress who can still be seen walking along the corridors of her attack site ? Or was it Sukie or her attackers who was responsible for throwing stones at us while we were there ? Was the spirit of Paul who came through perhaps the ghost of Paul Whitehead, former steward of the Club, who, upon his death, bequeathed to founder Dashwood his heart, which was kept in an urn until it was stolen in 1829. It is said that his spirit has been seen on many occasions, searching for his heart.