Monday, January 26, 2009

The Seven Gates Of Hell, York PA.

For those of you that don't know the wide spread tale of the seven gates of hell, I will treat you to the delight myself.

The story goes that a long time ago, a mental hospital stood in the area of the "Seven Gates Of Hell".
Seven gates seperated the mental hospital from the road, keeping mental patients securely away from the public.
A fire broke out in the asylum, and depending on which rendition you read, the surviving patients escaped into the surrounding woods only to be later violently shot down and murdered, as they were considered better off dead than to pose a possible threat to society, -
OR were all burned to death when they were trapped behind the seventh gate, thus being unable to flee the engulfing flames.

Apparently these gates lay upon a road called Trout Run, but formally and probably better known as Toad Road. The road is a dirt and gravel track that goes for miles, surrounded by woods and the odd tresspass warning sign. The first gate (to hell) is apparently somewhat visable from the road.
The seven gates are said to be miles apart from each other, and each gate brings on another level of fear. So much fear, that they say no one has made it past the fifth gate.
Youre supposed to hear noises, screaming, seeing figures in the woods, feel ill, electronics start going crazy... just generally feel creeped out.

The remains of the mental hospital is either just beyond or before the seventh gate, and is said to lay in a state of ruin.

Ok well thats how the story goes. Good ghost story to tell round the campfire eh?

I think it's quite obvious to tell that this ghost story is one thats been fabricated by teenagers and people looking for kicks in the middle of the night, by either scaring other people, or scaring themselves. Of course this builds hype and curiosity and causes more rumors and tales to come out of peoples experiences from The Seven Gates Of Hell.

So why am I being so skeptical?
Old mental hospitals are often used in faux ghost stories as they were almost always a place of torture, suffering and violent deaths, and of course the scary thought of crossing paths with the ghost of a possibly violent mental patient would scare the pants off of anyone.

The lack of dates, records or names... or in fact any even half solid evidence pointing to a fire or even the existance of an asylum is indeed very lacking.

The constantly repeated "no one's ever made it past the 5th gate" screams of fiction. How would anyone really know how far everyone's gotten? More else do they know what lies beyond it?
Even if you do omit this part of the tale, the entire story seems rather dismissable.

So heres some other points to look at:
Recent reports say that the majority of the gates no longer remain along the path, and that the remains of the "asylum" have been torn down (I guess someone did make it past the 5th gate after all). In fact its been stated that there never even was an asylum, and the so called mental hospital was really just a derelict farm house. This would make sense as the gate seen in the picture looks more for the keeping of livestock rather than "dangerous" humans.

However I can't say this story is completely debunked, as theres seems to be a few somewhat credible paranormal encounters experienced along the Trout Run/Toad Road trail, but I think these are completely unrelated to the existance of a mental asylum and the violent deaths of hundreds of mental patients.

Please be aware that if you are thinking of investigating this area yourself, you will be tresspassing upon private property, and if caught can face heavy charges.
Due to the hype of this ghost story, the area has attracted a lot of unwanted attention and visitations. Frequent patrols of Trout Run are made (especailly at night), and neighbouring residents will not hesitate to report you.

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