The Story of Ted the Caver

This apparently has been around for a while, but I’d never seen it before. I don’t like this kind of story in movie form, but as a cheesy personal web page it kind of worked for me. I read the whole thing, at least: Ted’s caving page.

12 Responses to “The Story of Ted the Caver”

  1. Jenny Says:

    I read the whole thing too. What happened to the guy? The last post said he would post later, now it’s 3 years + later. If this is fake, what a let down.


  2. John Callender Says:

    Well, yeah. I mean, I’m reasonably certain it’s fictional. But really well-done, don’t you think?

  3. anthy Says:

    Good story! You’re right John, this definetly works out the best in the written medium. Or, it could be like the first 3 minutes of a nice horror flick leading up to his paraniod nightmares and hallucinations. At some point in the movie, someone definetly would need to inadvertanly fall into the hole of the rounded rock at some point… maybe even get stuck upside down, and get a chance to see It, they face pales, head gets bitten off by unseen subject in shadow of headlight. Oi! I hate unfinished endings. I have to admit though, that not giving a description of the monster is a better way to end a story than show something dumb. M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, cough, cough…

  4. ymatt Says:

    Heh. Neat. Burned some good company time on this.

  5. Tom Buckner Says:

    Floyd Collins died in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky when a rock fell on his legs in a tight crawl. Nobody could get behind him to free him, he died after several really miserable days.
    I read this in a really good book about Mammoth/Flint Ridge cave.
    (this is a description of it, I’m pretty sure:)
    Brucker and Watson
    c.1976, Southern Illinois Univ.
    This is the forerunner or prequel to BEYOND MAMMOTH CAVE (see above). Mammoth Cave in north-central Kentucky is famous as a tourist attraction. But the tour area is only a tiny fragment of the whole cave system. The whole complex is known as the Mammoth Cave/Flint Ridge cave system, because much of it lies beneath neighboring Flint Ridge. The Flint Ridge/Mammoth Cave complex is (or was, in 1976) the largest known cave complex in the world, with more than a hundred and forty miles of mapped passages. This book is the story of the exploration of the Mammoth Cave/Flint Ridge system, including the climactic expedition that finally connected Flint Ridge to Mammoth and proved they were one vast cave system.

    I think the Ted the Caver website is either all true or mostly, and created by a real caver (they do not call themselves spelunkers, only non-cavers do that). Could also be Kentucky. Or not, but that’s my first guess.
    see this link for a data dump:

    Mammoth Cave is in a mountain ridge and Flint Ridge is another very extensive system in a neighboring ridge. The people who found a passage from one to the other came up right in the middle of the part where tourists go, out of a hole that had gone UNNOTICED ever since the cave was discovered. It’s like you grew up in a house, spent your whole life there, thought you knew every inch, then found a trapdoor in the den.
    Caves are weird.
    PS when I was younger I used to hike around this cave in NC, a pretty cool cave in Hickory Nut Gorge. If you want to see where that is, rent Last of the Mohicans with Daniel Day-Lewis. Those scary cliffs with the waterfall, at the end? That’s Hickory Nut Gorge. The cave is about a mile to the right of the waterfall. Dirty Dancing was shot around Lake Lure, a couple miles to the left.

  6. David Says:

    As obvious fiction (and well-written fiction at that) as this is, shit like this I can’t just let go. I had to figure out if it was for real or not. Apparently the root of that server has links to somethingawful, which posts stuff like this fairly often. That’s not to say that it in and of itself makes this untrue, but…
    A poster there says that this story was written in the ’80s by a Mr. Thomas Lera. I haven’t bothered to go into detail investigating his claims because I choose to believe him because it allows me to go to sleep. Albeit with a loaded gun under my bed…

  7. Troy Says:

    I don’t see any obvious reason to believe this is fiction. The pictures certainly seemed to do a bit of justice, and as others have pointed out, the written style was very convincing. I think what we have here is a man in a scary situation, and an active imagination. In his moments of panic, he imagined supernatural explanations (as I’m sure we all have) and at the time an unseen beast could be a real possibility. But what is the real explanation?
    I would guess that there was some kind of burrowing creature with him in the cave – maybe a groundhog or a fox. The wind factor leads me to believe there was probably another opening on the other side of the hole where an animal was able to get in. The only unexplained event was a large rock being moved – which, after banging his head, could be explained by simple mistake.
    I bet they went back and saw a cute little hedgehog, felt
    pretty embarrassed, and let the story stand with one trip

  8. Wess Says:

    I was thinking the entire story was that they found a gateway to hell. Being with the scream and that funky symbol. Of course it has to be fiction, but really well written fiction.

  9. Rhyana Says:

    I’m pretty sure, this story is a piece of fiction (and an excellent one, for my part!). First of all, something like the missing pictures on the camera wouldn’t happen in reality. Either a larger section of the film would be at least damaged or lower quality, or there would be something on the blank sections. Secondly, the whole story is very similiar in theme to two stories by Howard Philips Lovecraft. In the first one (I think it was called something like “The Cave”) someone stumbles upon a “primitive ape-like creature” while exploring a large cavesystem in the US, in the second one (I think it was “The shadow out of time”), someone finds huge ruins in the australian desert, and, in some underground sections of that city, encounters some ancient alien monster that has some control over winds, and was sealed with others of its kind in lower tunnels.
    Sorry if I got something about those two stories wrong, but it has been years since I read both of them, and I don’t have my books here right now.

  10. colleensmommy Says:

    i read this today and have been doing some reserch on it, and one thing i noticed during the story is he said that something “looked great on video” now if he left the video camera in the cave how did he know how it turned out? and the even bigger question, there are like 4 or more sites with forums on this story asking if its real or not, but they all start around august of 05 so if this has been on the web since early ’01 how come no one found it until two months ago?

  11. mrspakle Says:

    hey all, the original story can be found at
    the story is called “the fear of darkness” and it was written in the 80’s by a man named thomas lera.

    still a great read

  12. Ted the Caver « Notes on reading Says:

    […] Page: there is this page on Straight Dope and also this on the Internet Archive and then this and it just keeps on going. And the debate in each case is the same – who made this? Was someone ripped off? Is this a hoax? […]

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