Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Terror of Blue John Gap

Go To

The Terror of Blue John Gap is a 1910 short story by The Lost World and Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It tells the story of how Dr James Hardcastle, who is staying at Derbyshire farm while recovering from tuberculosis, begins investigating the mysterious underground tunnels connected to a nearby Roman mine after hearing rumors of a giant-monster that is killing local livestock.

You can read the short story here.

This work provides examples of:

  • Creepy Cave: The titular “Blue John Gap” applies.
  • Hollow World: Hardcastle theorises that there is a subterranean sea which has allowed both plant and animal life to develop underground.
  • Prehistoric Monster: The monster is a gigantic, blind cave bear-like beast that is described as being larger than the largest recorded elephant.
  • The Midlands: The story takes place in Derbyshire.
  • Monster Delay: The monster itself is not actually seen until the climax, Hardcastle’s first encounter with the creature is in total darkness where he can only hear the sound of its breathing and footsteps.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: When he first goes into the caves, Hardcastle ends up slipping in a stream and his torch goes and out and spare matches become damp, leaving him helpless and lost in the darkness and he is forced to wait until the matches dry. Sometime later he is awoken when he hears the breathing and footsteps of a giant creature approaching that he can’t see, all he can do is cower behind a rock and hope it doesn’t spot him.