Dungeon Rock – Lynn, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Dungeon Rock

A cave dug by a man directed by ghosts to find pirate treasure. 


In the 2,200-acre Lynn Woods Reservation in Lynn, MA, is a rock formation called Dungeon Rock. It features a cave dug by a man directed by ghosts to search for a pirate treasure. The story starts in the mid-1600s, when a pirate named Thomas Veale supposedly hid in a cave with his loot. He lived there for a while until an earthquake destroyed him and the cave. The formation became known as Pirate’s Dungeon, which over the years became Dungeon Rock.

In 1852, a man named Hiram Marble bought it, erected a house and outbuildings, moved his wife and son to the spot, and then excavated a new cave to find the treasure. Marble was a spiritualist and believed he was receiving directions to the treasure from the ghost of Thomas Veale himself. He held séances to receive digging directions, which he and his son Edwin undertook with dynamite and tools. They dug until their deaths but never found the treasure.

Today, the cave they dug still exists and features an iron door open for a few hours each day during the warmer seasons or upon request from the local park rangers. To get to it, just follow the signs in the park. It’s set on a hill, and is accessible by a path. The rock itself is either two giant rocks abutting each other or a single rock with a giant crevice splitting it in two. The door is set inside that crevice. The cave is dark, wet, cold and a flashlight is needed to explore it. Thin wooden steps lead to the cavern floor, which then wends an erratic 135 feet into the rock before becoming too small to stand up in and ending in a small pool of stagnant water.

Some remnants of Marble’s buildings still exist around the rock, including a couple of cellar holes and a fragment of wall. Near that fragment of wall is a large pink rock that marks the grave of Edwin Marble. Hiram is buried at Bay Path Cemetery in Charlton, MA.

Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

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May 23, 2012

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