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13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell 86

While in some belief systems, the afterlife can only be accessed by spiritual means, in others, the underworld could be accessed directly from the Earth. Here are 13 real spots that people have thought (and in a few cases, still do) lead straight to the lands of the dead.

Photo of diorama from Fengdu by Matt Ryall.

Some of these involve the Christian concept of Hell, while others were supposed to lead to other (sometimes not unpleasant) afterlives. And there are plenty of other spots that have hellish names, including Hells Gate in British Columbia, the flaming Door to Hell in Derweze, Turkmenistan, and the southern pit of Erta Ale in Ethiopia, which is called the “gateway to Hell.”

Just a quick note: This piece was inspired by an Atlas Obscura piece about the beautiful Cenote Xkeken. In the course of researching this piece, I realized that Atlas Obscura had recently posted their own piece, “Go to Hell: 11 Ways to Enter the Underworld.” I avoided reading the piece so as to avoid overlap, and while there is some, Atlas Obscura has a few underworld hot spots that aren’t mentioned here—plus, they . I highly recommend checking out their list (with some gorgeous photos) and also following Atlas Obscura in general, because it’s an incredible site.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of burial site in Hierapolis by Esther Lee.

The Ploutonion at Hierapolis: The ancient city of Hierapolis, near modern-day Pamukkale in Turkey was once home to a site considered sacred to Pluto, the god of the dead. Although the site was rediscovered in 1965, it was just this year that archaeologists announced the otherworldly significance of this holy spot. The same gases that heat the famous hot springs of Pamukkale originate from a cave beneath the Ploutonion, and because the vapors are toxic, the people of Hierapolis believed that they had been sent from Pluto himself and the site was treated as a ritual entrance to the underworld. Pilgrims would travel from all over the classical world to make sacrifices to Pluto; animals led into the cave would drop dead from the toxic fumes, while acolytes of Pluto would prove their devotion to the god by entering the cave and emerging alive (perhaps thanks to their knowledge of pockets of breathable air within the cave).

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of Ming Shan by Britrob.

Fengdu, China: The 2,000-year-old City of Ghosts, located in Chongqing municipality, has long been thought to be the place the dead stopped on their way to the afterlife, though it seems to have gotten this reputation in a roundabout way. A legend from the Han Dynasty tells of two imperial officials, Wang Fangping and Yin Changsheng, who forsook the court life to practice Taoism in Fengdu and became immortal. Their names combined sounded like “King of Hell,” and so Ming Shan, the hill that overlooks Fengdu, became known as the abode of Tianzi, the King of Hell. The city is filled with Buddhist and Taoist temples, said to be filled with immortal spirits that judge and torment the dead. 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. Living visitors can reach the city by boat (the lower portion was flooded after the construction of the Three Gorges dam along the Yangtze River) and walk the bridges, face the demons who guard the spirit world, view sometimes gruesome dioramas of the afterlife, and gaze upon the 138-meter-high statue of the Ghost King, the largest sculptured carved onto a rock. While Fengdu is centuries old, some its symbolic structures were created rather recently. For example, the Last Glance at Home Tower, the final sight ghosts will see of the living world, was constructed in 1985.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of Masaya crater by Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner.

Masaya Volcano: The Aboriginal people of Masaya in modern-day Nicaragua did not believe that the mouth of their caldera was a gateway to the afterlife, but there was a local tradition that the volcano was a god and that a sorceress lived inside its fiery pit. But it was the Spanish explorers who arrived in the 16th century—and had little familiarity with volcanos—who associated with volcano with diabolic activity. In 1529, Mercedarian Fray Francisco de Bobadilla hauled a cross up the volcano, hoping to exorcise what he believed was the Mouth of Hell. And he wasn’t alone; Friar Toribio Benavente wrote in 1541 that the volcano’s persistent activity must have a supernatural cause and that it must be, “the place from which the condemned are thrown by the demons.” Various religious figures pointed to the volcano as evidence of the horrors that would await sinners in Hell. Not all Spanish friars felt the same way, however. Friar Blas del Castillo led the first Spanish expedition inside the volcanic crater in 1538 to search for gold and silver. And, while debates as to the nature of the volcano raged through the 16th and 17th centuries, Friar Juan de Torquemada published a theological analysis of Masaya and other volcanos in 1615, asserting that it was ridiculous to view any volcano as an entrance to Hell. Among his arguments was that since souls are incorporeal, Hell has no need of physical mouths.

The Seven Gates of Hell: A local legend claims that in the woods off Trout Run Road in Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, sit the Seven Gates of Hell. According to popular fiction, the gates appear near the site of a tragic asylum fire, and if you step through all seven gates, you land straight in Hell. (Of course, that same fiction claims that no one has ever made it past the fifth gate, so how would anyone know?) There are a couple of problems with this story, even aside from the whole going-to-Hell thing. One is that, according to the Hellam Township website, there never was such an asylum on that spot. Also, there’s only one gate, a rather ordinary-looking thing a local doctor installed to keep people off his property. (Weird US explains that the other six gates are supposed to be invisible during the day.) That hasn’t kept curious trespassers from sneaking onto the property, however, in search of a direct route to Hell. Hellam Township isn’t the only place in the US rumored to host a gateway to Hell; urban legends claim that the devil can be found in the Gates of Hell, a collection of drains in Clifton, New Jersey, and in the Stull Cemetery in Stull, Kansas. And some voodoo practitioners claim that the Seven Gates of Guinee, which lead to the afterlife of the voodoo traditions, can be found in various parts of New Orleans. (Read about the Gates of Guinee on Atlas Obscura.)

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to HellSExpand

Photo of Lacus Curtius by MM, Wikimedia Commons.

Lacus Curtius: Today, this pit in the Roman Forum doesn’t look like much, but in a legend told by the Roman historian Livy, it was once a wide chasm. Livy tells the story of Marcus Curtius, who may have given the pit its name. According to Livy’s account, the chasm appeared in the middle of Rome, and nothing could fill it. An oracle prophesied that the chasm would not close and the Roman Republic would be destroyed unless the city sacrificed that which had made it strong. Marcus Curtius realized that Rome’s strength lied in the weapons and bravery of its citizens and so, fully armed and armored, he rode his horse into the chasm and straight into the underworld. The chasm closed and the city was saved. It may well be this legend that classed Lacus Curtius as a mundus, a place where one could easily commune with the underworld. It was also a conduit for buying off the gods of death; during the reign of Augustus, Roman citizens would toss coins into the lacus to pray for the Emperor’s safety.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to HellSExpand

Photo of Station Island by Egardiner0, Wikimedia Commons.

St. Patrick’s Purgatory: One legend about the Irish Saint Patrick involves Station Island, a speck in Ireland’s Lough Derg. According to the legend, after Patrick had become frustrated with his doubting followers, the Christ appeared to him and guided him to a cave on Station Island. Inside the cave was a pit, which was the gateway to Purgatory, where the souls of the dead must endure punishments for their sins before entering Heaven. While there, Patrick also received visions of the torments of Hell. From the 12th century on, Station Island has attracted Catholic pilgrims looking to sit close to Purgatory. In 1632, the lords justices of Ireland ordered the cave closed and most of the records of pilgrimages prior to that year were destroyed, but we do know that the pilgrims would fast and pray for days before spending a full day shut inside the cave. Despite the cave being shut, the pilgrimages continued unbroken; modern pilgrims can still visit Station Island for three-day pilgrimages, during which they must keep a 24-hour vigil while fasting on the island.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to HellSExpand

Detail of map of Iceland by Abraham Ortelius, via Wikimedia Commons.

Mount Hekla: Iceland’s particularly active volcano developed a reputation as a gateway to Hell in the 12th century, after its 1104 eruption. Benedeit’s 1120 Anglo-Norman poem Voyage of St. Brendan mentions the volcano as the prison of Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. That reputation continued with further eruptions; after the 1341 eruption, there was a report that people saw birds flying amidst the fire—birds, some thought, that must really be swarming souls. Even in more recent times, Hekla has maintained its diabolic status, as some superstitious folk have claimed that it’s a spot where witches meet with the devil.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of the Acheron by ale3andro.

Acheron: The Acheron is a real river that flows through northwest Greece, but it also figures prominently in classical mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey, Circe directs Odysseus to the underworld, telling him that he must find the point where the Acheron meets the Pyriphlegethon and of a branch of Styx. The poet Vergil mentions also Acheron in the Aeneid, identifying it as the river from which the Styx and Cocytus rivers flow. The ferryman Charon was supposed to transport newly dead souls across the river into the afterlife, something he even does in the pages of Dante’s Inferno. In Dante’s poem, the souls of the Uncommitted, who chose neither good nor evil, find their eternal home on the banks of the Acheron, not condemned in Hell, but still forever punished for their indecision.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Entrance to the cave of the Sibyl at Cumae by Carole Raddato.

Lake Avernus: While the Acheron is in Greece, in the Aeneid Aeneas enters the underworld through the Avernus crater near Cumae in Italy. The crater lake was sacred to the Cumaean Sibyl, and according to myth, she could lead a living traveler into the underworld. It name offers some hints as to why it might have been deemed such a deadly portal. Avernus comes from the Greek word αϝορνος, meaning “birdless,” which links to the belief that birds flying over the lake would die due to the toxic fumes the lake emitted. It’s unclear how much truth there is to this belief; in modern times, birds are quite happy to fly about the lake.

Cape Matapan: If you don’t want to deal with Charon the ferryman, you could enter the classical underworld of Tartarus through the back door. In Book Ten of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Orpheus enters the underworld not via Acheron, but reached the Styx through the gate of Taenarus, located in Cape Tainaron (also known as Cape Tenaro or Cape Matapan) on the   southernmost tip of Greece on the Peloponnese.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of Cenote Xkeken, Yucatán, by Razi Marysol Machay.

The Mayan Cenotes: The Maya certainly had some of the most picturesque entrances to the underworld. These natural underground waterways, located in Mexico and Central America, were thought to be the home of the rain god Chaak and portals to Xibalba, the afterlife. Caves were often seen as gateways to the afterlife in the Mayan worldview, literal passageways between the living world above and the realm below. Archaeologists have found Mayan temples and human remains in the cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula, a possible legendary site of Xibalba, while other traditions put entrances in Cobán, Guatemala, or Actun Tunichil Muknal in Belize. These days, the cenotes are seen more as tourist destinations than the entrances to the mythical “place of fear.”

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of Osore-zan, Honshu, by shirokazan.

Mount Osore: The Europeans were hardly the only folks to believe that volcanos marked the entrance to the underworld. Mount Osore, region filled with volcanic cauldrons located on the remote Shimokita Peninsula of Japan’s Honshu island, is literally named “Fear Mountain.” And with its barren, gray landscape, bubbling waters, and persistent smell of sulfur, it’s easy to see how it got its macabre reputation. Like Acheron and the River Styx, the Sanzu River, which runs through the region is said to be a spot souls must cross to pass into the afterlife.

13 Places on Earth People Believed Were Entrances to Hell

Photo of Hrad Houska by Janos Korom Dr.

Houska Castle: According to folklore, Houska Castle, located in Blatce, north of Prague in the Czech Republic, is built over a “bottomless” hole that leads to Hell. One legend claims that in the 13th century, King Ottokar II of Bohemia (or else a nobleman of the Dubá clan) offered a pardon to any condemned prisoner who consented to be lowered into the pit and report what he saw. The first prisoner lasted only a few seconds before he began screaming. When he was pulled back up, the story goes, his hair had turned white and it seemed he’d aged 30 years—and he babbled incoherently about half-human creatures who flapped through the darkness of grotesque wings. The castle was built, likely on Ottokar II’s orders, over this supposed hell-hole, without proper fortifications, a water source, or kitchens. The myth asserts that this was because the castle was meant not for human habitation, but to capture demons. (The chapel was supposed to be actual portion of the fortress erected directly over the Gate of Hell.) The fortress was, however, used as an administrative building, has been used as an aristocratic residence at various points in its history, and was renovated and expanded during the Renaissance. The castle’s current owners trade on the building’s hellish reputation, setting it up as a spooky tourist attraction.

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Psychics from Poland and UK scare with catastrophic predictions for 2021

Psychics from Poland and UK scare with catastrophic predictions for 2021 99

Throughout September, October and November, a large part of Poland is in some panic, frustrated by the predictions of its famous psychic Krzysztof Jakowski. And now, to this mass of excited Poles, the British were added, who listened to what their favorite renowned parapsychologist was saying.

Krzysztof Jakowski for 2021

Early in the morning of November 20, 2020, an interview with the famous Polish clairvoyant Krzysztof Jakowski was posted on YouTube with his predictions for 2021. The video was made in collaboration with a famous Polish youtuber, who asks Krzysztof various questions about what will and what won’t. In particular, there will not be European Union that falls apart. But let us quote the Poles in order.

According to Mr. Jakovski, 2021 will not be an easy year. Although many people would like to rest after the difficulties and challenges that 2020 has put before us, the situation in Poland and in the world will only get worse. The clairvoyant reiterated that a serious armed conflict was inevitable, which would affect many European states. It will start before Catholic Christmas 2020 and everyone will experience “great fear.”

There will be some kind of impact on property around the world – everyone who has something will be in a panic, as states will sharply raise taxes on the rich and begin to take property. The world will see an attempt to restore the building of communism.

This will especially affect Poland, where the local ruling party Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, PiS) will completely lose fear and begin to tighten the screws. As a result, even the socialism of the times of the Warsaw Pact will seem to the Poles as a children’s matinee and they will rears. By the end of the year, the PiS party will be gone and its former members will be driven through the gateways, as Poles once ran with sticks after the famous commies. 

Naturally, communism and revolutions will also affect the rest of Europe, which will systematically plunge into devastation and chaos. Ultimately, the European Union, or rather, what will remain of it will be dismantled, which will begin by the end of next year.

However, the most unpleasant thing that awaits the world in 2021 is some kind of armed conflict that will not affect Poland in any way, but will terribly scare everyone and, ultimately, destroy the EU economy. Mr. Jakowski finds it difficult to name the exact date of this conflict, since it will not immediately become global and will develop gradually, but historically its beginning will be recorded at the end of 2020. 

In addition, the famous Polish parapsychologist literally says the following:

Bad times are coming. My visions show that this will continue until 2021 and beyond.  There will be many cataclysms in the world. Every year. But in some country where we do not quite expect this, which should be strong and safe, entire cities will burn down. It will be some kind of big country.

Nicholas Aujula for 2021

The psychic’s name is Nicholas Aujula, who as he himself reports, in a past life he lived in Ancient Egypt and was a local princess: In the current call, at the age of 17, the guy experienced a cool out-of-body experience, from which he returned a little out of his mind and now works as a hypnotherapist, specializing in hypnotic regression and people who also returned from the other world and now get along badly with the world around them, not understanding how they got here again.

Psychics from Poland and UK scare with catastrophic predictions for 2021 100

Nicholas Aujula

Well, among other things, as Nicholas claims, he has various visionary incidents. Sometimes these are even just words, which, if the medium tries to interpret reality, then do not correspond in any way. But, if Nicholas later sees in his diary, then he writes, then everything comes true.

In particular, in 2020, the coronavirus came true, which Nicholas called “the flu that will stop the world” and the riots in the United States came true, the essence of which Nicholas did not see, but said that there would be dark-skinned people to fight against fascism. At the end of 2020, according to him, the Third World War will have to begin (the prophecies were made in 2018!), But now, Nicholas has again been hit with a new vision and talking about 2021.

According to Nicholas, the world governments will be able to cope with the coronavirus by next spring and the topic will gradually begin to fade, but at that moment a new virus will appear, which will be much worse than the previous one and the panic will be terrible.

Something like the “great migration of peoples” will begin – Nicholas saw how airports and train stations storm the crowds with suitcases. Some huge hospital will catch fire, but here Nicholas specifies – this may be a symbolic indication of the collapse of world health due to a new virus. But where it will burn for sure – this is in New York, in the visions of Nicholas the whole city was on fire. There will be some kind of world summit, torn apart by some kind of sex scandal, after which ultra-right politicians will begin to come to power all over the world – especially in southern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

There will be an eruption of some huge volcano, leading to unimaginable climatic changes and which, obviously, will just cause riots that will last another three years and migration. Some kind of death of the world’s political, football and other stars will begin.

Someone will have a “broken heart”, someone will devour pills just to speed up – and so on. But most of all the people will remember Meghan Markle, who will appear on TV and begin to read all the terrible secrets of the royal family.

There will also be an attempt on the life of some famous world leader. Nicholas did not name the politician, specifying only that this leader is a man and that an attempt to kill him would literally blow up the whole world.

We do not know how right this Nicholas is in his predictions, but we noticed that the British press calls him “outrageous”.

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The main predictions of Nostradamus for 2021, Deciphered

The main predictions of Nostradamus for 2021, Deciphered 101
Servants of the false prophet and antichrist, illustration to Dante's poem

Leap year 2020 brought with it a lot of troubles and problems. People around the world are waiting for the next year, 2021, to come, on which there are already high hopes. Humanity hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will pass, that there will be no more squabbles between countries, that it will be possible to travel without restrictions, that people will stop killing and maiming each other due to differences in political views.

What awaits people in 2021? The answer to this question can be found in the forecasts of Nostradamus, who did not predict anything good. Nostradamus is perhaps the most famous clairvoyant in human history. His predictions are written in the form of quatrain verses (quatrains), and many of them have already come true. 

There have been many predictions about the future this year that are believed to belong to the great Nostradamus. All the trials for humanity are only ahead, and it is worth enjoying the minor troubles of the current leap year.

Zombie apocalypse

A Russian scientist will create a biological weapon-virus that can turn people into zombies. The end of humanity may be closer than we think.

If there is no worldwide uprising of the dead, then especially for skeptics there is a prediction about global hunger, earthquakes, diseases and epidemics. The Prophet reported that a catastrophe of this magnitude would throw the human race into the past, and most of them would not be able to survive this “curse.” In principle, a similar situation could be seen in 2020, so this prediction so far sounds like a logical continuation of events.

Biblical famine

Nostradamus predicts that the first signs of the end of the world will be hunger, earthquakes, various diseases and epidemics. They will happen more often.

The 2020 coronavirus pandemic marks the beginning of a series of adverse events that will affect populations around the world. A catastrophe of enormous proportions will return us to the past, and most of the world’s population will not be able to overcome this curse.

Muslims will take over Europe

Further, Nostradamus decided to go over sensitive political issues. Despite the fact that the soothsayer lived in the 16th century, his predictions contain references to the terrorist problem in Europe. The bright mind of that time wrote about a camel that drinks water from the Rhine.

He will get drunk on the Danube from the Rhine, the great Camel (and) will not repent of this. Rhone and the stronger from the Loire will shudder, and the Rooster will destroy him near the Alps, – wrote Nostradamus at the moment of the revelation that came from above.

The “camel” from the prophecies of Nostradamus is a symbol of the Arab population that floods all of Europe. It is unclear whether 2021 will see a new wave of emigration, or demographic projections of low fertility in Europe and large numbers of refugees will catalyze this change.

predictions of Nostradamus: what awaits humanity in 2021
Photo source:  nasa.gov  – NASA / GSFC / SDO

Solar storms

In 2021, there will be powerful solar storms that can cause great damage to the planet. It is believed that Nostradamus warned:

“We will see how the water rises, and the earth hides under it.”

The harmful effects of climate change will lead to a multitude of wars and conflicts as the world competes for resources and massive migration ensues.

An asteroid will collide with the Earth or come close to it

“In the sky, a person will see fire and a long trail of sparks.”

It is impossible to start a single year without the threat of an asteroid falling to Earth. This can be interpreted as impending natural disasters, but according to other interpretations of this quatrain, we are talking about a large asteroid that will collide with Earth.

Once in the Earth’s atmosphere, the asteroid will heat up and will seem like a fire in the sky. Indeed, NASA has announced that there is a very real danger that asteroid 2009 KF1 will collide with Earth on May 6, 2021.

A terrible earthquake will destroy California

States should be especially careful in 2021. According to the interpretation of the quatrain written by Nostradamus, an extremely powerful earthquake will destroy California in 2021.

Nostradamus predicts that a massive earthquake will hit the New World (“western lands”), and California is the most obvious place where it could happen. Astrologers expressed solidarity with the forecasts of the forecaster, setting the disaster for November.

According to astrologers, the verse “Mercury in Sagittarius, Saturn is extinguished” indicates the next date when the planets Mars and Saturn will be in this position in the sky – November 25, 2021.

Microchips will be implanted into the heads of American soldiers

American soldiers will become the first human robots to save humanity. The chip implanted in his brain should give us the digital intelligence we need to go beyond biology.

Pope Francis will bring people closer to the church

No matter how many years Pope Francis remains the leader of the Catholic Church, he will leave a wonderful and impressive legacy in his wake. The church will become a lifeboat for more and more people.

Apparently, part of humanity will completely lose hope, so they will have no choice but to pray fervently for mercy?

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The Indian astrologer boy predicts a Covid comeback in the coming year

The Indian astrologer boy predicts a Covid comeback in the coming year 102

Abhigya Anand, now 14 years old, is an astrologer. He has repeatedly published his views on the future on YouTube. Among them, in a short film published in August 2019, he predicted that there will be a large-scale epidemic in the world from November 2019 to April 2020. Although he did not directly mention the virus, he made it clear that China “will be severely affected.”

In the latest short film released in early November 2020, Anand proposed predictions and solutions for the coming year.

He said that in the months since June 30, the epidemic and the economy of the whole world have improved. But Jupiter enters Capricorn in November, and the disaster will begin again. From November to April next year is the next dangerous period.

He mentioned that Jupiter and Saturn will meet around December 21 and this conjunction will affect the Earth. From wars, epidemics, the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic to economic collapse, it can happen, and the vaccine that is being developed may also have problems.

He said that before February 2021, disasters caused by the meeting of multiple planets will appear. Until November 2021, when Jupiter enters Aquarius, most of the catastrophes caused by these celestial changes will gradually disappear.

In this short film, he proposed 7 ways to seek good and avoid evil. The first and most important one is faith in God. He urged people to love nature and help lives, including human and animal lives, so that they can gain the pity of heaven.

Anand was interviewed by a YouTuber in September to explain the current world and government. He said that according to the Vedas of India, the current world regards what was originally correct as wrong, while what was originally wrong is regarded as correct. People need to fight for the truth and need to expose the truth.

He pointed out that the so-called political elites may secretly plan some evil things. If they do, they will soon be retributed, because this is the law of nature. People should do their best to do good things and do things that are beneficial to all lives created by God, otherwise they will be punished by God.

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