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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore

Seven Gates of Hell Urban Legend

You’ve heard of the Nine Circles of Hell and Johnny Depp was in a movie about Nine Gates of Hell in The Ninth Gate. But it turns out the number seven also has its place in supernatural significance. The Seven Gates of Hell is an urban legend with two different versions, but both are located in York County, Pennsylvania and both versions lead you straight to hell.

Regardless of which version of the lore you have heard they both end the same way. There are Seven Gates, only one of which is visible during the day. At night the other six gates appear. If you pass through all seven gates you will be taken directly to hell.

It is rumored that no one has ever made it passed the fifth gate and returned to tell about it.

York County PA

York County, Pennsylvania has some serious historic moments. It was there in 1777 that Americans adopted the Articles of Confederation, officially forming the United States of America. This town is now both a historic location visited by history buffs worldwide and also by paranormal investigators looking for one of America’s other firsts…a portal to hell. Notably, this urban legend has also attracted some cults due to its connection to the underworld. It is in this historic and quaint town, somewhere deep in the woods, that seven gates might appear and lead you straight down…down…down…

V1 of the Seven Gates of Hell Legend – The Insane Asylum

possibly the 1st gate of the 7 gates of hell

In this version there was a mental institution for the criminally insane that was located on Toad Road, or Trout Run Road, in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania. Trout Run Road appears to be the only mapped road to date. We can’t rule out local’s names for roads as this dates back to the 1900’s. So maybe there was a Toad Road.

The Asylum, as they were back in those days, was erected in a remote location so that the townsfolk would not be exposed to the insanity within. As it is with many horror stories, a fire broke out. This remote location proved difficult for help to arrive in a timely fashion, so multiple inmates and staff died in the flames.

In the Asylum version of the Seven Gates of Hell, the gates were built by the local search parties to trap the remaining patients. The search party was reported to have beaten to death escaped inmates they found and the gates were simply another way to trap and kill the unwanted.

It remains unclear why the search party created gates to hell to capture the inmates but assuming they did that is as good a way as any to rid your town of the criminally insane.

V2 of The Seven Gates of Hell Legend – The Physician

Some tourists have labeled this under-passing as one of the 7 gates to hell

In the Physician version of the story, the gates were built by a physician in the early 1900’s. This physician was known to be eccentric, although there are versions where he is labeled as psychotic as well, and it was he who owned the property and the one gate known to exist. In the Physician version the gates lead ever deeper into the woods as they progress. His motivations are unknown but the mystery has become local lore for over 100 years now.

The Seven Gates of Hell in York County, Pennsylvania has shown up in several books as well as a horror film from 2013 titled Toad Road.

Toad Road horror movie poster

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Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Shaman’s Portal of Beaver Dunes Park

Oklahoma has been a human settling spot for millenia, since sometime in the interglacial Holocene epoch over 11,000 years ago. Before becoming a part of the United States in 1803 (due to the Louisiana purchase) it was explored by the Spanish and claimed by the French. Eventually it became Native American territory until 1888, wherein it was opened up to legal settlement by other American citizens. The word “Oklahoma” comes from a blend of Choctaw language meaning “red people,” which was a blanket term used to describe Native American tribes. 

Oklahoma is no stranger to myths and urban legends, from The Friendly Ghost of the Stone Lion Inn, to the Tulsa Hex House and The Haunted Chalkboard of Bird Creek School, though none are as infamous and deterring from its more rural spots than the mysterious Shaman’s Portal of Beaver Dunes Park. 

Beaver Dunes Park

Oklahoma greeting card

Located in Oklahoma’s panhandle region on US Hwy 270 in Beaver, Oklahoma, Beaver Dunes Park sits on what is lovingly referred to as “No-Man’s Land” or “The Neutral Strip,” which encompasses over 300 miles of Oklahoma’s extreme northwestern region. Drenched in the paranormal, the dunes have been home to enough human disappearances, secret military excavations, and “Men in Black” sightings to earn it the title “Oklahoma’s Bermuda Triangle”. 

Shaman’s Portal

Coronado with native americans

It all began in the 1500s with the Spanish explorer Coronado. When Coronado’s men vanished mysteriously from the dunes in a blast of strange, green light, he described the phenomenon in his diary as “the work of the devil”. That’s not to say he wasn’t forewarned, however. Native American guides who had aided him so far in his journey warned Coronado and his men not to wander into the Dunes. They said it was an evil place, though Cornoado’s lust for New World gold spurred him on. It appears the guides were not far wrong. 

“The Shaman’s Portal” title was coined by these very natives, and the place has been suspected of a string of disappearances from that fateful expedition to this very day. As time went on, less and less of these disappearances have been verified, and none in fact proven to have any connection to the alleged portal, though the combination of history and superstition here is enough to deter many from straying too far in. Some locals report that they have encountered military excavation sites under the cover of darkness. Dr. Mark Thatcher, an Oklahoma State University archaeologist, spent three years in the nineties studying the area before suited individuals with military credentials shut his operation down.

So is the area a portal to another dimension, as the natives believe, or could there be some credibility to the electromagnetic disturbances recorded in the dunes? Some say that an ancient alien spacecraft is buried deep below, while others surmise that the explorers were merely incinerated by green lightning or fell victim to some heinous native magic meant to protect the gold the greedy Europeans sought after. Coronado didn’t heed the warnings and whatever happened to his men, they were gone for good. Between sudden disappearances, hardened government suits, and scientifically unexplainable phenomena in the air and soil, this may be one to miss on your next outing.

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