There is a cave that is rumored to run from near Blackstock stadium beneath the DePauw campus to Boone Hutcheson Cemetery. Known by two names Sellers and University Cave, it was explored as early as 1830 by DePauw students and Greencastle residents.
In 1884, a DePauw student named John Reasoner was asked to check out the cave system by the U.S. Geologic Survey. He recruited another sophomore and one of his Professors to accompany him into the cave.
Reasoner and his colleagues ventured in but the Professor refused to go more than about ten feet fear of getting lost.
The DePauw student ventured further into the cave by himself but discovered no lost artifacts or civilizations. He did find the names and dates of former DePauw students written on the walls dated 1830.
In his report to the state geologist Reasoner concluded that there were many interesting things in the cave but nothing of significance.
Today the cave is recognized in spelunking circles as being the only known cave in Mississppian Age limestone north of the Wisconsin glacial boundary.
According to Sean Lewis, president of the Indiana University Caving Club it is very unlikely that the cave goes very far in any direction.
Lewis told the BannerGraphic, "One thing that I can tell you is that almost all caves up that far north (Greencastle area) are very small. The limestone is only a few feet thick there and is only exposed to the surface in areas that have been heavily eroded by rivers and such as a result of glacial till. This rumor that it goes 5 miles underground is unlikely in the extreme. The cave probably only goes a few dozen feet."
Rumors since as early as the 1830's have described the cave as running underneath most of the DePauw campus. There is a story that a home owned by the university has a sealed off entrance to one of the cave tunnels.
The underground tunnels that span the campus of DePauw University are believed to have been used to transport slaves in the Underground Railroad. It's highly likely that this lore confuses the cave with a tunnel system which was used to steam heat some of the older buildings on campus.
In 1853 a story circulated about a goose that was dropped into the entrance of the cave. The critter supposedly reappeared days later near the Boone Hutcheson cave entrance. Or, depending on who is telling the story, near the spring that is a few hundred feet away from the entrance of the cave.
In 1929, The Greencastle Banner report of a fire suggests that one of the building's lost in the blaze sat on top of Sellers Cave. The article also pointed out that generations of Greencastle kids had explored the cave. In fact the BannerGraphic has talked to local residents who have been inside the cave. Most concur with that same Banner story which talks about what a disappointment the cave was with nothing inside but rocks and mud.
The Putnam County Museum has information that relates another cave adventurer named Wilbur Kurts who entered the cave in 1958 confessed to being impressed and intrigued with what he saw. However, he didn't expand on just what it was he observed.
Local lore has continued to grow around the cave. It is rumored to have been used by John Dillenger as an escape route during his infamous robbery in Greencastle.
Although records show that Dillenger left the county in an automobile following the robbery.
If one of the entrances to the underground caves is in the Boone Hutcheson Cemetery it has an other world attachment in the guise of a strange figure seen standing in the cave entrance in the cemetery.
Some reports even include reports of bodies falling out of caskets into the cave.
There are other spirited reports about a ghostly police officer from the 1950's who sits inside the graveyard with a blue light near the cave. One other occurrence involves sinister looking dogs with red glowing eyes that emerge from the cave to chase people to their cars, then disappear.
These manifestations are probably as believable as John Dillenger using the cave as an escape route.
In 1962 a cave explorer by the name of Tom Rea explored Sellers cave, charted a map and gave the following description:
Lewis whose organization at IU keeps extensive records on caves in Indiana, also provided information on the cave site being checked out in the fall of 2000.
This report reads: "The situation has much changed. The karst is more extensive. A sink has developed around the pits. The property is posted strongly. The area is now completely developed with homes."