Just off the top of my head, I can think of the Devil's Chair, the Devil's Hopyard, Purgatory Chasm, the Devil's Beanpot and the Devil's Oven. Lots of towns also have at least one of the Devil's footprints imprinted on a boulder.
Clearly our Puritan ancestors were obsessed with the Evil One and held him accountable for almost every unusual rock, cave, or crevice. In some cases these natural features were also associated historically with the local Algonquians, whom the Puritans erroneously felt were Satan's minions.
That's the situation with the Devil's Den in Ashland, Massachusetts, a small cave where archeologists have found some evidence of early Indian activity. Tony and I decided to pay a visit while we were in Ashland looking for the witch caves. Why not see two interesting sites on one tank of gas?
We parked our car in Wildwood Cemetery and followed a trail that a local guidebook said would lead to the Devil's Den, but unfortunately we couldn't get there. This giant construction site blocked our access, and the trail had been removed. We actually could see the cave far on the other side of the construction site but had no way to get to it.
It turns out that Ashland is creating new athletic fields behind their high school and the Devil's Den has been at the center of some controversy. Some people in the town claim it has to be destroyed for the new soccer fields but the local historical society has been petitioning to save the cave.
|The Devil's Den after being damaged. Photo taken from this site.|
It seems the historical society has prevailed and the Devil's Den has been spared, although it has been damaged. I suppose the important thing is that the cave has been preserved, but if the Ashland soccer team has a bad losing streak we'll know who to blame. Satan!