How Did Dumbledore Even Find Voldemort's Terrifying Horcrux Cave?

How Did Dumbledore Even Find Voldemort's Terrifying Horcrux Cave?
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Have you ever looked at that secluded cave in the middle of nowhere and wondered, “How on Earth did Dumbledore even find this very specific and hidden place?”


  • Lord Voldemort hid his Horcruxes in various locations, but the Infernal cave was the most secret.
  • Albus Dumbledore learned about the cave from Mrs. Cole while researching Voldemort’s past.
  • After several months of active search, the Headmaster located the cave she’d mentioned to him.

Lord Voldemort had way too many Horcruxes for anyone’s comfort and just as many hiding places for them — but the Infernal cave was by far the most secret and random location. Albus Dumbledore obviously found it since he took Harry there with him, but what thought could even point at that exact cave in the middle of nowhere?

Dumbledore Spent Years Researching Voldemort’s Past

As the Headmaster shared with Harry in The Half-Blood Prince, he had already been on Lord Voldemort’s case for years at that point. He spent years researching the Dark Lord’s past passively, and months — more actively, upon realizing that Voldemort had several Horcruxes. He used thorough and slow but sure methods.

How Did Dumbledore Even Find Voldemort's Terrifying Horcrux Cave? - image 1

Dumbledore traveled the Wizarding and Muggle Worlds, carefully discovering the fates of all people Voldemort had ever interacted with in a meaningful way. He found those people and spoke to them; some of them, the Headmaster convinced to share their memories in the most literal sense. That’s how he found the hidden cave.

Who Shared the Cave’s Location with Dumbledore?

How Did Dumbledore Even Find Voldemort's Terrifying Horcrux Cave? - image 2

The short answer would be, “no one.”

But Dumbledore got to learn about the cave’s very existence, and it was already a big breakthrough. Speaking with Mrs. Cole, the boss of Tom Riddle’s former orphanage, the Headmaster asked her about strange occurrences involving the future Dark Lord. In one of the cases, Mrs. Cole mentioned the cave.

“On the summer outing — we take them out, you know, once a year, to the countryside or to the seaside — well, Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop were never quite right afterwards, and all we ever got out of them was that they’d gone into a cave with Tom Riddle. He swore they’d just gone exploring, but something happened in there, I’m sure of it,” Mrs. Cole told Dumbledore.

After their discussion, the mysterious cave was added to the Headmaster’s list of places worth investigating. Most likely, it took him months of active research with maps, in-person exploration, and trips to place the orphanage kids frequented on their summer outing — and in the end, Dumbledore found the exact location.

All that was left to do was to grab Harry (for educational reasons, of course) and travel there together to find one of the Horcruxes. Unfortunately, the Horcrux wasn’t in the cave, and their field trip led to Dumbledore’s death — but that had nothing to do with his research. For that, we can thank Regulus Black and Draco Malfoy.