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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Skull Cave (Mackinac Island)" by Notorious4life

The Story of Skull Cave

Skull Cave is a small and shallow cave on the central heights of Mackinac Island in Michigan, USA. The cave was carved during the Algonquin post-glacial period by the waters of Lake Algonquin, a swollen meltwater ancestor of today's Lake Huron.

Skull Cave is primarily of interest for its historical associations. It is believed to have been used as an inhumation site (burial site) by Native Americans of the Straits of Mackinac area in the 18th century.

On June 2, 1763, Ojibwa warriors captured Fort Michilimackinac in a bloody surprise attack. The fort, located in what is now Mackinaw City, was just one of many British posts attacked as part of a larger campaign known as Pontiac's Uprising. One of the few British survivors at Michilimackinac, merchant Alexander Henry found himself captured in the aftermath of the attack. Fortunately, a local Ojibwa chief, Wawatam, intervened and took Henry into his home. To better protect him, Wawatam hid Henry on Mackinac Island while tension eased between the British and the local tribes. Taking shelter in a small cave, Henry slept soundly. When he awoke the next morning, he found the cave floor covered with human skulls and other bones. The local tribes used the cave to bury their dead.

Henry recalled his ordeal as follows:
"On going into the cave, of which the entrance was nearly ten feet wide, I found the further end to be rounded in its shape, like that of an oven, but with a further aperture, too small, however, to be explored. After thus looking around me, I broke small branches from the trees and spread them for a bed, then wrapped myself in my blanket and slept till day-break. On awaking, I felt myself incommoded by some object upon which I lay, and, removing it, found it to be a bone. This I supposed to be that of a deer, or some other animal, and what might very naturally be looked for in the place in which I was; but when daylight visited my chamber I discovered, with some feelings of horror, that I was lying on nothing less than a heap of human bones and skulls, which covered the floor!"

Skull Cave is contained within Mackinac Island State Park. It is located 0.4 miles (0.6 km) north of Fort Mackinac in the island's interior. It was designated as a Michigan Historic Site on January 12, 1959, and granted state historical marker #L0004.


This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years of experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and a poet.

(Sources for this post: wikipedia, Mackinac Island Visitor's Guide)

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