Every ancient culture has a few important caves. We did used to live in them, after all. Hellenic culture has a very close association with caves, especially putting virginal ‘oracles’ in them to get hopped up on goofball gasses to tell the future. This cave in Penteli, north Athens evokes such weirdness and has the history to justify it.

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Location trivia: Davelis Cave, Greece, a scary place

The cave was once a centre for the worship of the god Pan and the nymphs, a place for revelry where the lines between the temporal world and the world beyond are blurred. Later, Orthodox Christians used the cave as a hermitage, founding small church dedicated to both Saint Spyridon and Saint Nicholas (the latter famously being the basis for our modern depiction of Father Christmas—and having dealt with the devil). In the 1800s, the cave was a base for ‘Davelis’, a bandit who lent his sobriquet to the cave’s name and apparently hid some treasure there. The place was also used by the military during the cold war, lending a certain Area 51 weirdness to the place to go along with the occultish feeling. Many legends, both older and urban, are associated with the cave—paranormal activity is often reported in this dank, dark portal to the underworld… obviously.

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