Moaning Caverns

  1. “So back home there’s this place called moaning caverns where a lot of tourists can go and see a real cave with rock formations and stuff. But while you’re there, the tour guides tell you a legend of why it got its name Moaning Caverns. So back in the day there was a native American woman whose kid fell into the cave through the hole where the gift shop is built over now. So that kid fell in, and he fell on top of a specific formation which the guide will shine a flashlight at and apparently he broke his back and died there. So his mom, coming down into the cave to the recover the body was stricken with grief and never left. The moaning part of the name of the cave is said to be the sound of her wailing and moaning echoing through the caves. Also, apparently there are cave trolls who go through and kidnap tourists who get lost, but at one point they befriended adventurers in the past and guided them through the caves” (find online text to support)
  • She likes this piece because it adds another sense of adventure to what might at first glance just seem like another touristy site.
  • She learned it from the tour guides who always start their introduction of the site with this story
  • Context of performance: She and I were just discussing cool stories from back home, as this place, Moaning Caverns, is right near where we live.
  • I have heard this from the tour guides as well. And to be completely honest, it completely freaked me out because in that gift shop there is a photo of some adventurers with the supposed cave trolls. I find it completely possible that a young Native American mother might have lost a child who died by falling in and that those Native Americans might believe that her moans are still echoing through the crevasses, however I also believe it’s more than incredibly likely that the cave trolls were a created story made by the shop owners in order to make the tour more captivating for the consumers. I find it completely normal that the Native Americans would create such a story in order to explain a phenomenon that they couldn’t understand, in this case that phenomenon would be the strange and likely scary sound coming from these caves. Furthermore, it could have been a scary story told to keep children away from the area in order keep them out of harms way.

For more information on Moaning Caverns and it story, see The Tombstone News article “Moaning Cave- Ageless Death Trap” by Ben T. Traywick.