Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gateway to Hell

On behalf of the people of Stull, Kansas, I wish to say that none of this story is true, in any way shape or form. Okay, let's begin...

In the small town of Stull, Kansas, there is an old cemetery that contains one of the seven gateways to Hell* known to be on Earth. It is one of two spots - the other being an isolated spot in India, where Satan himself appears at midnight on Halloween to gather those who died violent deaths to have a final cavort across the surface of Earth. Some say that Satan again appears in Stull on the first day of Spring to visit a witch buried in the cemetery.

People have visited the burial ground for decades, waiting to see the Devil appear. Although nobody has reported a visit by the Father of Lies, many people have reported strange happenings, including a malevolent force that manifests as a strong wind that can knock a grown man down and keep him on the ground, as well as unattended vehicles moving from where their drivers parked them. Other reported incidents include mysterious voices, and invisible hands clutching at trespassers.

Rumor holds that Satanists routinely meet in the cemetery, especially near the ruins of an old church - which is said to be the precise location of the gateway to Hell - in order to carry out their rituals. And sometimes demons, even Satan himself, will come to these gatherings of the evil faithful to sanctify (or diabolize) their rites.

Commentary: The town of Stull, Kansas is a small settlement in an unincorporated part of Douglas County. The town was, like so many rural towns throughout the U.S., a pleasant place for the residents, but uninteresting to most people passing through (that is not an insult, merely an observation, and I say this as someone who came from just such a rural, unincorporated town). That changed in 1974, when the student newspaper at the University of Kansas in Lawrence published an article describing weird cult activity at the cemetery. After that, legend trippers began to visit the cemetery, looking for an encounter with the supernatural. These visitors have engaged in a good deal of vandalism, and as a result the local residents and law enforcement are keen to keep visitors away.

The local antipathy towards tourists creates a weird sort of dynamic. People who have visited and been chased away have described that they feel as if the locals have something to hide. The locals, on the other hand, have nothing to hide but simply are tired of outsiders coming in and doing damage. As a result, the story has probably gotten more inadvertent fals confirmation than it should, and the locals have to deal with idiots and vandals.

The question that I would like to have answered is what is the deal with this being one of the seven gateways to Hell? Despite a good deal of searching on the internet and in libraries, I have never been able to figure out where the other six gateways are. Apparently one is in some isolated location in India, never specifically named by anyone who mentions it. But there are no answers as to where the other ones are. I wonder if the "seven gateways" got attached to this story so that it seemed somehow more ominous.

Videos: Sometimes it seems like Hometown Tales has a video for every occasion...

Sources: Wikipedia, Prairie Ghosts, Internet, Hometown Tales (see video embedded above), Internet

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