The New England Grimpendium: Dungeon Rock

For the next month, I’ll be posting photo essays on locations, attractions, and artifacts elaborated on in my new book, The New England Grimpendium to celebrate its debut...and to convince you that it’s worth buying, I guess. That was directed at you, Mom.

August 26, 2010 — On a hill near the shore of Breed's Pond in the Lynn Woods Reservation (home of Skull Cliff) is a large cleft boulder. Upon entering that cleft, you’ll find an iron door set into the rock. If that door is unlocked and you brought your flashlight, you can explore the 135-foot-long cave. And you’re going to want to when you hear its history, which involves a father and son in the 1800s who made it their lives' work to excavate the tunnel at the urging of psychic mediums channeling a dead pirate who was supposed to have died all treasured up in a cave-in there in the 1600s. There are actually more facts in this story than lore, believe it or not.

Here be the story of Dungeon Rock.

Beside Dungeon Rock, the burial location of one of the two men who excavated the cave.

June 21, 2016 UPDATE: And, six years after I published the above, I finally found my way to Hiram Marble's grave in Bay Path Cemetery in 88 Main Street, Charlton, MA, about 70 miles from Dungeon Rock. He's buried with his wife and his epitaph is quite [super]naturally, "Hiram Marble Passed to Spirit Life Nov. 19, 1868."

Read all about my visit to Dungeon Rock in The New England Grimpendium.


  1. "all treasured up" is an outstanding phrase. Keep up the great work!


    The Skull Cliff is in Lynnfield, not Lynn.

  3. He never said skull cliff was in Lynn... just Lynn Woods. Lynn Woods goes into Lynnfield as well...

  4. Actully, Lynn Woods is in Lynn. The area in Lynnfield -where you find Skull Cliff - is known as Bow Ridge Conservation Area.

  5. this is pretty cool. i always wanted to explore some caves. that stair case going down is spooky.

  6. Although, not a sinister event, at the entry of Dungeon Rock a younster severed their jugular vien, ran all the way down the steps, and bled out before help arrived.

    I have never been able to bring anything up on the web, I know it happen, I was there as he bled out.

  7. If Lynn is in the woods than who's on first base ?