1. St. Patrick’s Purgatory
Site: Station Island in Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland
Story: Christ had appeared to Patrick after he was tired of his followers who kept doubting him. He took him to a cave on Station Island and inside the cave, there was a pit. According to the legend, the souls of the dead must endure punishments for their sins before entering Heaven and hence have to enter the pit and wash their sins away!
2. Mount Osore
Site: Center of Shimokita Peninsula of Aomori Prefecture, Japan
Story: Called the “fear mountain”, it is a region filled with volcanic cauldrons. With the nauseating smell of sulphur, gray and barren landscape, hot bubbling water, one can see why it is considered as one of the gates to Hell! The Sanzu river that passes nearby is said to be a boundary between the realms of the living and the dead. The souls must cross the river to pass into their afterlife!
3. The Seven Gates Of Hell
Site: York County, Pennsylvania
Story: According to the legend, there existed a mental institution that used to be located on either Toad Road or Trout Run Road. And one day, the insane asylum caught fire and the patients burnt to death. Another story says that there lived an eccentric physician who built several gates along a path deep into the forest. Both the stories however point to the existence of seven gates. If a person passes through all the seven, they enter Hell. However, legend says that no one has been able to go beyond the fifth one!
4. Masaya Volcano
Site: 20 km south of Managua, Nicaragua
Story: According to a local tradition, the volcano was believed to be a God and a sorceress lived inside the fiery pit of the caldera. In 1529, Mercedarian Fray Francisco de Bobadilla hauled a cross up the volcano, hoping to exorcise what he believed was the Mouth of Hell. Not only him, another man named Friar Toribio Benavente wrote in 1541 that the continuous activity at the volcanic site must have supernatural causes and he called it “the place from which the condemned are thrown by the demons.”
5. Pluto’s Gate
Site: Denizly Province, Turkey
Story: This ancient Greek site was considered fictional until very recently rediscovered during an archaeological dig. It revealed the remains of a temple situated on a thermal spring, believed to be the gate to Hell. The toxic smoke wafts out of the tunnels beneath; it is believed that these were often inhaled by the priests of Pluto and that it sent them into hallucinogenic trance states. A Greek philosopher claimed that “any animal that passes inside meets instant death.”
6. Lacus Curtius
Site: Rome, Italy
Story: According to the Roman historian Livy, the pit appeared in the middle of Rome and absolutely nothing could fill it. An oracle prophesied that the pit would not close until a sacrifice was made. If not, the chasm would destroy the Roman Republic. Marcus Curtius, on whom the site was named, realized that Rome’s strength lied in the weapons and bravery of its citizens. So, fully armed and armored, he rode his horse into the pit. It is said “he rode straight into the underworld”.
7. The Gates Of Guinee
Site: New Orleans, United States
Story: According to ancient tales, to reclaim the souls of the dead, the Voodoo practitioners open the Gates of Guinee. The followers of Voodoo are believed to be divided into two: some believe the existence of seven gates to hell as spiritual while the others believe the existence as a physical realm. To enter Guinee, it is said that one must open the seven gates in the correct order.
8. Mount Hekla
Site: South of Iceland
Story: It’s an extremely active volcanic site, probably because of which it is considered to be one of the entrances to Hell. An Anglo-Norman poem “Voyage of St. Brendan” mentioned the volcano as the prison of Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. The eruptions continued and the belief strengthened. People have reported seeing birds flying in the fire, thinking of them as swarming souls of people who’ve died. Some folks also believe that it’s a place where witches meet with the devil.
9. Houska Castle
Site: 47 km North of Prague, Czech Republic
Story: The story behind this is very interesting. The castle is believed to be built over a huge, bottomless pit that was a “Gateway to Hell”. Legend has it that when the castle was supposed to be built, King Ottokar II of Bohemia offered a pardon to condemned prisoners who agreed to be lowered into the pit and report what they saw. It’s said that the first prisoner started screaming a few seconds later and when pulled back up, he had aged about 30 years!
Story: Called the city of Ghosts, Fengdu has long been thought to be the place the dead stopped on their way to the afterlife. According to Chinese beliefs, the dead must pass three tests before passing to the next life. A freshly dead soul, it was said, must first cross the Bridges of Helplessness to have their virtue judged, then face the Mirror of Retribution at the Ghost Torturing Pass and either become immediately reincarnated or face a series of torments before reaching the Wheel of Rebirth!
I don’t know about you but it’s absolutely interesting for me to read about tales like these!
Comment below if we miss anything!
Originally Posted on Storypick