When A Strange Hole Opened Up In This Guy’s Lawn, He Uncovered A Mysterious Underground Chamber

Rhys Carter had no reason to think that the day would be stranger than any other. The sky was still blue, the birds were still singing and his house was still standing. But all of a sudden, things took a turn for the weird. Carter noticed that an inexplicable chasm had opened up in his yard – and he had no idea where it led to.

Even standing directly over this hole was no help, as it was impossible to see through the eerie darkness. No light could penetrate this odd void, meaning that it was going to take more than a passive glance to figure it out. Carter was going to have to get his hands dirty and do some investigating.

Plenty of movies and other works of fiction have revolved around strange holes in the ground. And some of them, frankly, are quite terrifying. Real life tends to be more mundane than fiction, of course, but an awareness of some of these works may well have given Carter some pause for thought.

But it seems that Carter could keep his imagination under control. He approached the hole, getting up close so he could get a better view. From here, he noticed something odd: there appeared to be a set of blocks inside. The man started to dig, determined to get to the bottom of this puzzle.

As he cut his way through the earth, it became clear to Carter that he’d uncovered some sort of manmade chamber. But what exactly was the purpose of this thing – and what was inside it? More to the point, how had he never realized that such a place existed underneath his very own home?

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A lot of questions had suddenly been thrust into Carter’s mind. So, he decided to seek some answers from the best possible resource available: total and utter strangers on the internet. And as you might expect, the online world had plenty of wild theories for the man to mull over.

All of this happened a few years ago now, back in the summer of 2018. It was on July 18 of that year that Carter turned to the online community of Imgur for help. He uploaded a series of photos of the chasm, including a little bit of text to help contextualize them.

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Carter posted, “A hole opened up in my garden and on closer inspection it is a brick chamber. It is around six feet deep currently and about four feet wide. The house was built in 1888 and is located in a small town in rural Suffolk, England. What is, or was, it for?”

Situated in the east of England, Carter’s home county of Suffolk has a number of claims to fame. First off, the area is known for its affinity with classical music and cuisine. But nowadays it’s probably most notable for being the place where pop star Ed Sheeran spent his childhood.

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There’s also a huge link between Suffolk and the Harry Potter franchise. A small community in a community called Lavenham was supposedly the place that inspired Godric’s Hollow, where the boy wizard himself was born. And in real life, Ralph Fiennes – the man who portrayed Voldemort in the movies – is from Suffolk.

Suffolk is also home to the River Orwell, which was once the favorite spot of a young writer named Eric Blair. As a boy, Blair would often come to Suffolk with his parents, where he developed an affinity for the river. So when his first book Down and Out in Paris and London went to print in 1933, its author was listed not as Eric Blair but as George Orwell.

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In addition to its rivers, Suffolk has quite a varied topography. At its edge, you can find beautiful sandy shores and rugged cliff faces. In the middle of the region, the landscape is defined by hills, with other areas home to extensive fields and woodlands. But perhaps it’s under the surface where things get interesting.

Suffolk is allegedly home to a subterranean network of tunnels – and they have some pretty spooky tales attached to them. One story takes us back a couple of centuries, when a man was exploring one of the supposedly haunted underground passageways. To keep his companions on the surface aware of his progress, he took a violin and played it as he moved. The story goes that his music became less and less audible until it had disappeared entirely. He never reemerged from the depths.

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Elsewhere, there’s another supposed tunnel hidden under Suffolk with an interesting story – although there aren’t any ghosts involved in this one. Basically, the passageway is said to have been built for the 17th-century British monarch Charles II. This channel, apparently, made it easier for the king to meet with his mistress Nell Gwyn.

Other rumored tunnels in Suffolk were apparently constructed for far less grandiose reasons. Word has it that there were some passageways that linked the county’s coastline with bars situated further inland. Such tunnels would have allowed smugglers coming in from the sea to transport their alcohol illegally to local establishments without detection.

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There are other tunnels rumored to be in Suffolk that would’ve hidden people in need. Catholic individuals in centuries gone past may have frequented underground passages for the sake of hiding from English authorities. And during World War II, tunnels may have come in handy for people sheltering from air attacks.

Many of the supposed underground structures in Suffolk are subject to rumor, but some are definitely real. In 2016, for instance, media reports started to emerge about a bunker in the county that had been constructed in the midst of the Cold War. This thing was about 14 feet underneath the surface, built to endure a nuclear blast.

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The underground shelter was created in the late ’50s, with the aim of protecting volunteers in the wake of an attack. In such a scenario, these volunteers would’ve been tasked with monitoring the situation on the surface. The facility was in use until 1991, but it was deserted when the Berlin Wall was torn down.

In 2016 U.K. newspaper the Daily Mail published the remarks of an individual who actually visited this shelter. “Accessing the bunker takes a bit of bravery, as you’re not quite sure what to expect when you go down there,” this person stated. “It was really cramped going down the ladder to get in – I can only imagine how hard it would have been for volunteers with their kit.”

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In addition to all the tunnels and bunkers, the area in and around Suffolk is also known to contain flint. About five miles from the town of Brandon, for example, is a place called Grime’s Graves. This is a site where Neolithic people used to mine for the rock, which they’d then forge into useful items.

There are also chalk mines in Suffolk, located just outside a town called Bury St. Edmunds. Horringer Court Caves, as this mine is known, is probably most of interest nowadays because of the creatures that live there. Behind the grills that keep people from entering the mines are several species of bat. Some of these, in fact, are extremely rare.

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But flint, chalk and bats aren’t the only treasures that have been found in Suffolk. Over in a village called West Row, fine utensils made of silver were discovered in the ground. These items, it turned out, dated back to Roman times. They’ve been held at the British Museum for several decades now.

Basically then, Suffolk is home to a whole host of interesting stuff hidden away below the surface. So, bearing that in mind, there were plenty of reasons to believe that Rhys Carter had stumbled upon something exciting when that hole opened up in his yard. But was it connected to any of these interesting subterranean features of Suffolk?

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It isn’t clear how aware Carter was of his home county’s rich subterranean history when he first spotted the hole. But he nonetheless must have been struck by a wave of excitement when he made a discovery inside. After a little digging, he came across a sort of large plug made of stone.

The purpose of this object wasn’t exactly clear, but it was certainly a find worthy of note. And it wasn’t long before Carter’s garden had become something of an amateur archaeological dig. Equipped with whatever tools they could get their hands on, Carter and his companions investigated the hole further.

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And sure enough, with a little effort came another discovery in the ground. This time it was a button made from some sort of metal. This wasn’t exactly an earth-shattering find, of course, but it did seem to indicate progress in the investigation. Who knew what else was down there?

Next up came a discovery that wasn’t quite as easy to figure out. An oddly shaped artifact was found in the strange hole, which appeared to stump Carter. So he turned to the Imgur online community. Suspecting that the object was a bone fragment, he asked his fellow internet users for help.

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One person came back with what seemed like a reasonably thoughtful response. They wrote, “Judging by the bone structure, it’s probably a pig bone, most likely a tailbone.” Of course, we have no idea what this person’s credentials are, so it’s probably best to take their theory with a pinch of salt.

Another person, meanwhile, offered their own thoughts. They wrote, “My guess would be [an] old cow femur. Or some other large mammal. Definitely not a fossil since it’s hollow.” Again, this person could be making it up as they went along, or they might genuinely have expertise in this area. The joy of the internet, of course, is that we’re likely never to find out.

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Getting back to the hole itself, many people had a theory about its origins. One Imgur user implied that perhaps it was an “oubliette.” This term is used to denote a small subterranean dungeon that would generally have been found inside a medieval castle. This theory doesn’t exactly hold up, especially when you consider that the person who came up with it openly admitted to simply wanting to use the word “oubliette.”

So if not an oubliette, then what else could the hole represent? One person didn’t put forth a theory, but they did reasonably advise Carter to contact his local historical society for help. A fine suggestion, but the commenter also encouraged Carter to seek the help of an exorcist too. Just in case.

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Not everyone thought that the hole was necessarily haunted, but they did make some creepy comparisons. A number of commenters noted that the pit seemed to resemble the one that appears in Silence of the Lambs. And anybody who’s seen that film will understand how unsettling a notion that really is.

Some more realistic theories, however, were also put forward by the Imgur community. Taking note of a photo showing a pipe that led into the pit, some people thought that the mystery was actually quite simple. Simple, but disgusting. The chamber beneath Carter’s yard, these people believed, was a cesspool.

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To put it simply, a cesspool is a container specifically used for collecting sewage. Sometimes, they might contain bricks along their edges, and they’re often covered up by a stopper of some sort. Basically, then, it seemed to add up that Carter had been investigating a disgusting old cesspool.

But there was one more theory for Carter to consider. And although it wasn’t as exciting as a haunted pit, it was definitely less horrible than the possibility of the chamber being a cesspit. Some Imgur users suggested that it was actually a soakaway, which is a rubble-filled pit used for absorbing water after intense rains.

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Soakaways are useful for easing the possibility of a surface becoming waterlogged. This, in turn, helps to protect any properties within the pit’s vicinity from being flooded. The water that then fills the soakaway will slowly disperse through the soil, meaning it can be useful for the garden’s overall health too.

Given the scary or disgusting alternatives, it was probably quite desirable for Carter to think that the hole he’d been investigating was a soakaway. And it seems that that’s the very conclusion he came to. Below his own post, he commented, “After further excavation and assessment on day two of the dig, we are concluding that it is, in fact, a soakaway, not a cesspit.”

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And in another comment, Carter explained that his little archaeological dig had come up with another discovery. He wrote, “Also, we found a pipe head that has been verified by an expert as 18th century, making it almost 200 years older than the house.” So now he had a sense of the pit’s age.

In spite of all the wild theories and intrigue, it seems that Carter hadn’t really unlocked a portal into the land of the undead. The chasm in his garden wasn’t a rabbit hole that led to Wonderland, nor was it a terrifying Silence of the Lambs-type pit. It was just a soakaway.

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If nothing else, this story illustrates how wild our imaginations can be. A black pit had opened up in a man’s backyard, and its origins weren’t immediately obvious. And so people let their minds run wild in trying to figure out what had happened. In the end, though, it seems that the real story behind the hole was really quite ordinary.

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