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This New Jersey Cave Has Been Sealed With a Gravestone, But Why?

We shan’t be visiting any time soon.

There are some odd gravestones out there. Some have inscriptions that defy understanding. Others serve as warnings to the living. Some are even emblematic of what the person did in life.

But this gravestone, set into the mouth of a cave in Sussex County, New Jersey, does more than merely memorialize the deaths of the people listed on its granite face. It’s also a safety feature. 


The town of Newton, New Jersey is riddled with cave systems beneath its soil. The entire area is a caver’s paradise, with spelunkers regularly strapping on headlamps, protective gear, and ropes to go exploring beneath the town in its warren of endless cave. But one cave is inaccessible, ever since the disappearance of three siblings over a hundred years ago.

James W, Margaret, and J. Howard Lewis were the children in question. According to local lore, they were playing in the graveyard when Margaret decided to go inside the entrance of this cave. She quickly got lost, and started shouting for her brothers to help her. They entered behind her, and vanished as well. Despite searching for the children inside this cave, they were never found and eventually, it was decided to seal the entrance and make it their grave. Their tombstone was set in the mouth of the cave, over the sealed entrance, as both a memorial to the lives lost and a way to keep their cruel fate from befalling anyone else in the town.

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Some say the area around this mysterious cave grave is haunted, and they can still hear the cries of children and the sound of knocking coming from deep within the Earth. 

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