Hellam Township, a quaint little town in York County in Pennsylvania, was founded in 1739. It was the first township to be established in the area and at first included the surrounding areas as well. The town has been blessed with natural beauty from forests and wildlife to lakes and waterfall. It has been provided with Fire Department services too.
However, not everything in the town is not as good as it sounds. The alleged seven gates of hell present in Hellam Township are somewhat less thrilling and a little more concerning, especially to the residents and tourists.
These beliefs have made life for the citizens of this town hard and complicated. The town has been mostly closed to tourists because of these beliefs and its citizens’ safety. Even though the citizens do not believe in any of the spread rumors-as they call them- people from around the world have taken interest in this town and its ability to provide passage to Hell.
How the rumors started?
Over the years, there have been many claims of people disappearing out of thin air near the Trout Run Road in Hellam Township. People have also claimed seeing ghosts or hearing screams in the forest near Trout Run Road. This is where the alleged gates of hell are present. It is believed that if you cross all seven gates, then you will enter the underworld.
This is believed to be impossible since only one gate is visible during the day, while the other six can only be seen during the night. No one can confirm for sure whether this is true or not. Since the people who disappeared have not been seen since their disappearances.
The believers of this theory say that till today, only five Gates have been crossed by humans and once all seven Gates of Hell are passed, the person would go straight to Hell.
Theories behind the Gates of Hell
As the news of Gates of Hell existing in Hellam township spread around the world, and more people got interested in it, the theories trying to explain the phenomenon and proving it right kept on increasing. The Seven Gates of Hell have become some kind of urban folklore. Let’s talk about the two most popular theories regarding it.
In the first version, an asylum far away from civilization, for the citizens’ safety from dangerous inmates, on Toad Road caught on fire in the nineteenth century. Due to the location being so far away from civilization, the firefighters were unable to arrive on time. This gave the dangerous inmates a chance to run away while the other inmates and the staff burned with the asylum. Some of the escaped inmates were recaptured, beaten, or killed while the others ran into the forest and died of hunger..
The tormented and tortured souls were too powerful and their sorrow opened up a portal straight into hell through the gates. Their spirits haunt the seven gates of the asylum, and the entrance to hell, to this day. They are often seen roaming around the property.
The Eccentric Physician
There is no asylum on Toad Road in this version of the story, but an eccentric physician put up several gates that led deeper and deeper into the forest to the area where people seemed to simply disappear. According to the legend, the gates were put up in such a way that they opened a portal straight into hell.
Both these theories disagree on some points while meet at others. They agree that only one gate is visible during the day while the other six can only be seen during the night. They also agree on the Gates of Hell going deeper and deeper into the forest.
Inaccuracies in the theories of Gates of Hell
The township of Hellam does not have a road named Toad Road or any asylum. There are however some facts about the township that can be seen as twisted to make it work for these theories. The Trout Run Road can be considered to be the “Toad Road”. There is no record of an eccentric physician but a physician did put up one gate, since it was his own property. It is still private property that people can get into trouble for trespassing, even if they claim it to have the Gates of Hell.
Another myth about the town is that the name ‘Hellam’ comes from the idea that Hell is present there. However, this is also not true. Hellam got its name from the corruption of “Hallamshire,” an area of South Yorkshire in England.
This myth has caused frustration among the residents who have claimed this is just folklore, not real. The official site of Hellam Township has denounced any claims that the town is haunted as well.
These theories are now being taken as folklore, and if nothing else, they provide for a good story. A 2012 film by Jason Baker “Toad Road” takes its story from the infamous Hellam Township wihth a young girl looking for a road which leads to Hell.
After all this Hellam still gets its fair share of Hell seekers and satanic cults. They gather near the property from time to time, find the gates to raise Satan and demons, or enter hell. Often the residents have filed complaints of random people trying to get inside their private property.