Ntavelis’s Cave, is about nine miles from the center of Athens, in Mount Penteli, is a huge cave connecting a series of subterranean tunnels. It is a site that exudes a powerful aura and that has been the focus of intrigue and paranormal phenomena since earliest recorded history. Not surprisingly, it has also been the site of many places of worship through the centuries. Follow one particular tunnel and you are led into a colossal underground chamber, with a small pool and an ancient temple to the primitive New Stone Age Greek God, Pan, the half-man and half-goat protector of shepherds.
In the nineteenth century, the infamous highwayman thief, Ntavelis (also spelled Davelis), used the caves as a hideout for his band of seventy men. Together, they committed many atrocities against local villagers, commonly dipping their victim’s feet in boiling oil until given the information they sought. In one much told story, Ntavelis kidnapped a child, a young girl, and left her tied on Mount Penteli, displayed for her family to see she was still alive, while they frantically tried to raise the ransom. Indeed kidnapping, particularly of children, provided Ntavelis’s staple income. Ntavelis was ultimately killed by a group of vigilantes from a village near Delphi. Subsequently, his name was forever linked to the caves.
Today the rituals of both New Age and Satanist covens are evident in the cave. Strange symbols adorn the walls, and periodically victims of animal sacrifice are found at the entrance to the cave or surrounding tunnels. It seems the aura of the cave has changed and now attracts an altogether more sinister presence.
Throughout its history, locals told of strange orbs of light, ghostly apparitions, hazy green mists, and strange sheep like creatures with piercing luminous eyes. In the 1960s and 1970s, paranormal investigators at the cave began to report a variety of new phenomena. A lot of what they experienced here involved strange electrical faults-lights surging, even without battery power, cameras refusing to work in certain areas of the cave, and photographs where faces were covered by a green haze, or, more bizarrely, where the camera and hands appeared in the photo, almost as if the eyes of the photographer had taken the picture. Tourists reported photographs where they saw themselves twice, their actual bodies and a representation of themselves apparently “carved” into the rock formations behind them.
At this point the caves were sealed off to the public, as they became the focus of a frantic top-secret NATO project, involving the blasting of new tunnels through the rock. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, all military operations at the site were abandoned. Machinery remained uncollected. New tunnels led merely to dead ends, old tunnels filled in, apparently pointlessly.
NATO’s purpose at the site has never been established. (What is known that many of the workers at the site have since died of cancer, and that, coincidentally, many boxes of abandoned anti-cancer drugs were found in the cave after the troops moved out. But the paranormal phenomena continued, and the investigators moved back in.
New mysteries began to be uncovered. A child’s footprint were found, imprinted into a concrete floor-while it was still wet-that had been laid by military personal in one of the new tunnels. The footprints showed that a barefoot child walked up to a dead end where the rock had not been blasted, but did not walk back again. As if the child had either vanished into thin air or walked through the wall.
A strange doll was seen hanging against the mountainside, at such an inaccessible spot that a member of the army’s special forces was the only person able to reach it, though not without considerable effort. Overnight, a replica doll was seen in the exact same place. Who, or what, had gone to such extremes lengths to place the unearthly doll in such a spot was never established. Rumors of dark, shadowy forms also began filtering through.
The road that accesses the area of the cave has also been the subject of many strange occurrences. At one point the road clearly appears to be an incline, and yet there are many reports of cars stalling and rolling uphill. The strangest of these reports is of an abandoned vehicle that (judging by track marks in the snow) appeared to have traveled across a steep, near vertical incline of rough, rocky terrain without any apparent damage to the undercarriage. Scientific investigations at the site and inside the cave indicate highly irregular electromagnetic readings and a degree of anti-gravitational energy.
Even more disturbing were accounts of the bizarre an inexplicable behavior of some of the investigators themselves. Many of them wandered out of the cave dazed and confused, claiming to have experienced “lost time” and panic attacks, and have been rumors that some investigators failed to return at all. Inexplicable phenomena continued to be reported at Ntavelis’s Cave. What unearthly entities are at force remain a mystery.