When people think of Clayton County, a few things come to mind right away: scenic byway routes, towering river bluffs, a boat ride on the Mississippi River, or a canoe float down the Turkey River. Among the tall bluffs lies a limestone cave with a natural stream that makes for a great guided riverboat tour. Spook Cave is well known for its unique history, fun boat tour, and impressive stalactites in a setting that stays a cool 47 degrees, no matter how warm it gets outside.
At the base of the 90-foot tall bluff, miners used dynamite to get access into the bluffs and utilize it for access to materials, mainly limestone. After years of use as a mine, the mine was shut down, though the natural beauty of the cave was preserved and today is used for riverboat shows. As the boat floats deeper into the cave, the stalactites can be seen, reaching down from the ceiling like icicles. Deeper into the cave, guests must crouch down into the boat to avoid the low areas of the ceiling; those certain moments of low-hanging ceiling are to preserve the beauty of the cave.
Along the way, the tour guide will tell the story and history of the mine. Who discovered it, when it was in use, and what exactly was being mined out of the cave. The name, “Spook Cave,” comes from the attributes of the cave itself; when it was discovered, those who found it took note of its’ unique whistle or moan, which comes from the water and wind flowing through the cave, bouncing off the walls and finding its’ way out the base of the bluff. It sounds like the moan of a ghost, and the name has stuck for decades. Along the way, guests will also be treated to a story about one miner in particular who has become an icon for the show tours.
Spook Cave is a unique experience for families and visitors of all ages. It’s enriched with history, natural preservation, and entertainment for kids. While driving along the highway, follow the signs to Spook Cave and experience a tour that can only be found in Clayton County.
Written by Jayna Felder | Photo Credit to Spook Cave