Along the isolated, deserted Empire Mine Road in Antioch, there is a haunted place known as the Gates of Hell.
Yes, that’s right.
There is a literal gate on the side of the road, and the locals call it the Gates of Hell.
These are modern times, and it’s not quite the gargoyle encrusted stone edifice that the name might call to mind.
Updated 9/19/2019 – There aren’t any demons scampering around, at least not in plain sight.
The Antioch Gates of Hell is more of a swinging metal barricade, of the sort that gets placed at hiking trailheads to stop cars from going in.
It’s actually pretty innocuous if you just drive right on by.
But be careful if you hang out there too long, and whatever you do, don’t step through.
Cross the gates, and you might be in for a world of hurt.
For whatever reason, the Gates of Hell are rife with ghostly phenomena, many of them potentially posing a physical threat.
There are not one but two dark legends associated with the place, each involving death and blood.
Ghosts and spirits certainly remain in the immediate vicinity, re-enacting or seeking revenge for their grisly ends.
A slew of miscellaneous effects also plagues the area, including cold spots, orbs of light, and even a gravity hill.
What causes this intense locus of paranormal activity?
Read on, and make your own decision.
Do you dare visit the Gates of Hell?
More to the point, will your curiosity about the paranormal allow you not to?
You are a staunch Backpackerverse reader, after all!
Table of Contents
First Tale of the Antioch Gates of Hell
Among other things, the grounds beyond the Gates once held an insane asylum.
An honest to God insane asylum, with strait jackets and shock treatments and lobotomies.
Today, these brutal practices are no longer performed.
Unfortunately, the spirits of the deceased patients (or should we say victims) may not have gotten the message.
It is said that a veritable army of ghosts stalk the landscape.
Some still suffer from the same illnesses as in life, others are simply filled with incoherent rage at the pain they were made to endure.
Mental hospitals and other such facilities are almost always hotbeds for ghosts and spirits, especially after they are closed down and abandoned.
Like most of the hauntings at Antioch, the specters inhabiting the area around the insane asylum are notably stronger and angrier than others of their type.
It seems that the gates are what’s keeping them at bay.
Stand in the road, and you’ll be fine.
Cross through, and you might be immediately attacked in any number of ways.
Is it possible that a good-minded paranormal expert, ghost hunter, or even a practitioner of the dark arts has empowered the gates in some way?
Regardless of the exact nature of the Gates’ protection, it seems to hold fast for the moment.
That doesn’t stop the ghosts from lashing out, though.
One group of explorers recounts climbing over the gates and wandering a short distance beyond.
They quickly felt the hateful stare of many eyes, and fled when they began to experience the sensation of rocks or other small objects whizzing close by.
Piling into the car, they were shocked when a creature of some sort leapt onto the hood.
Thinking it was a mountain lion, the people screamed and started the car.
The beast was thrown clear and quickly ran out of sight.
Only after they were on the road again did they realize that the supposed big cat had retreated on two legs, not four.
Was it a cryptid?
Or something even more sinister?
Second Tale of the Antioch Gates of Hell
At another point in the region’s history, a slaughterhouse sat beyond the Gates of Hell.
Many paranormal investigators believe that animals have their own souls and spirits.
Pain and violent death of an animal, they contend, can release energies that contribute to the overall psychic volatility of an area.
This particular slaughterhouse was closed in 1995 after a particularly gruesome murder.
A man, dripping blood and screaming for help, came stumbling down the road and through the Gates.
He had been brutally stabbed by his girlfriend, for reasons that are lost to time.
The man had already lost a great deal of blood when he was spotted.
Paramedics were called, but they were too late.
The poor man was pronounced dead on the scene.
The full story may not be known, but it looks as though there really are two sides to every story.
To this day, there is an occasional eyewitness account of a mysterious woman holding a bloody knife.
She screams in rage and stalks around, and some have said that she hovers a few feet above the ground.
A hovering woman would point to a ghost, rather than an escaped murderer.
How did the woman die?
What has caused her to remain on this mortal plane?
Did the man kill her before succumbing to his own wounds?
Was she merely defending herself, or was her rage and psychic fury so strong that she has stayed on this world to make sure the job is done?
After all, she never did see the body.
Maybe at some point, she’ll lose patience and any corpse will do.
Maybe she’s been talking to the ghosts of the mental patients.
Other Paranormal Phenomena at the Antioch Gates of Hell
Like most ghost infested regions, the Gates of Hell are also home to a slew of minor effects.
Floating orbs of light are frequently spotted roving around the grounds.
They are often only seen out of the corner of one’s eye, but can be captured on a thermal camera if cleverly placed.
Cold spots are dotted throughout the countryside.
Walking through the fields, even in broad daylight, one will often feel a sudden chill and sense of dread.
Both of these phenomena usually represent the influence of lesser ghosts and spirits.
At Antioch, they are notable for their frequency and number.
When psychic sensitives visit the area they are often overwhelmed by the dark energies.
In many haunted locations, finding just one glowing orb or cold spot is cause for celebration by any ghost hunter.
Near the Gates of Hell, they are so commonplace as to be ignored by some.
Strange sounds, especially scrapes and moans as if someone is dragging themselves along the ground, can sometimes be heard.
And finally, though infrequent, other visible apparitions are sometimes reported.
A White Lady has been known to visit the Gates of Hell, as well as strangely dressed and unnaturally tall men.
Their garb does not suit the modern day at all, looking like something out of the 19th century or perhaps even before.
As with most such specters, they ignore all attempts to speak with them, and disappear without a trace if approached.
For any serious paranormal investigator or ghost hunter, the Antioch Gates of Hell are a must visit.
They’re almost a sort of rite of passage, like the Winchester Mystery House.
If one can venture beyond the gates and come back alive and sane, it’s a badge of honor.
If one can do all that and also bring back a new tale of the horrors that lurk in the hills, so much the better.
Be careful, though, and bring your full survival kit.
Fear and stress can easily cloud the mind of even the most seasoned ghost hunter, and the sheer volume of spirits that haunt this region make it a very stressful place, indeed.
And please, if you do choose to go to Antioch, and no matter what your thoughts on the reality of all this, have a little common sense.
It never hurts to account for all possibilities, especially when it comes to ghosts.
A simple and heartfelt plea from those who do believe:
Don’t leave the Gates of Hell open.
Directions to the Antioch Gates of Hell
Ready to experience the thrill and fear of exploring the Gates of Hell in Antioch?
And be careful.
You never know what you might fight…or what might find you.
And don’t say we didn’t warn you!
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