Paranormal Travels, Rocky Ridge County Park, Hellam & York, Pennsylvania

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 29th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Paranormal>Ghosts & Spirits

Mentally deranged souls were quite often nothing more then the wives and daughters of men who felt that these women were disobedient and needed punishment. Becoming institutionalized was easy during the late 1700's and on up until the early 1900's. All it took was for someone to classify you as distraught, angry or emotionally unstable or a danger to society.

A Glimpse into the Mentally Insane's Torture: Satan's Playground, The Seven Gates of Hell

Hell as we know it is nothing less than sinister, dark and the worst possible scenario for any human to face, yet the mentally insane experienced it daily when institutionalized against their will just a few hundred years ago. In fact becoming a prisoner to an insane asylum was easier then anyone could ever imagine during the late 1700's and on up until the early 1900's with adverse effects that would leave a human without a shred of humanity simply because they may have been classified as distraught, angry, or emotionally unstable citizens who were categorized into a state of lunacy and a danger to society.

These mentally deranged souls were quite often nothing more then the wives and daughters of men who felt that these women were disobedient and needed punishment. Anyone that was considered not normal by the standards of the times could be tossed into solitary confinement on a whim or a notion. Alcoholics, the depressed or homeless, women going through menopause, and anyone else that went against what was considered normal was open to the possibility of their freedom and dignity being snatched from them by entering a hell in the form of an insane asylum.

The Seven Gates of Hell is only one of the many stories involving the terrors that surround asylums and the very nature of their being. These buildings were usually made from large rocks or bricks, and ornamental in appearance with Gothic style themes, complete with medieval spired balconies as to leave the feeling of tranquility, peacefulness, and an overwhelming feeling of well being. Unfortunately this was not the case once a patient was thrust into the interior of these cold castles where hell awaited their arrival.

From Pittsburgh to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had its share of insane asylums, and legend has it that one of the worst asylums in existence was located in the bordering towns of York and Hellam, Pennsylvania. The town's people feared the criminals housed within the asylum located deep within the Pennsylvania woods down a long dusty country lane that kept the civilized far away from the mentally deranged.

The local residents considered it a blessing that the asylum was well hidden from prying eyes, allowing most to forget its very existence, that was until the night that hell erupted, and the mentally insane were free to roam the woods due to a massive fire that all but gutted the house of the punished souls that were once confined within its block walls.

The fire and the sheriffs department were unable to get to the asylum in a timely fashion in order to gain control of a situation gone bad. Panic enthralled the town's people, and chaos replaced the peaceful calm that once enveloped this sleepy community. Men were beaten to death once they were located running from the inferno within the thick trees out of a desire to survive the blazing fire that now engulfed the woods. They had the choice of being burned to a crisp or being beaten to death by civilized people that feared the mentally deranged criminal minds.

Today the only evidence proving that the asylum existed is the elderly residents who remember the horrific stories surrounding the asylum and the night of its demise, local legend, and geographical markers that lead to the Seven Gates of Hell. The asylum was located on Toad Road within the cities limits, but you will not find any records that this road ever existed as it has been officially changed to Trout Run Road in an effort to keep ghost hunters, curiosity seekers, and vandals out of the original location of the asylum.

The horrific events that occurred in the early 1900's at the asylum have forever cursed Toad Road. It is not uncommon to feel the lurking evil in the area or to spot apparitions walking along the path that leads to the Seven Gates of Hell. Curiosity seekers and ghost hunters have reported to have only made it to the fifth gate as an overwhelming sensation forces you to turn back.

Strange voices calling out in pain, screams in the night and other ghostly occurrences are commonplace for the area, and according to Marcus Malvern Jr. the legend claims that if one did manage to get past all seven gates, they would be standing upon the burned remains of the mental hospital, a bona fide passageway to hell itself.

The Legend

The first gate is the only one visible during the day, but hard to find as it is buried within the deep woods. The other six gates are only visible during the night, and the legend says that if you pass through all of them, you will land in hell.

Location of the Seven Gates of Hell

Trout Run Road & Druck Valley Road, deep within the woods surrounding the Rocky Ridge County Park, between Hellam & York, Pennsylvania.


Asylum, Burned Remains, Criminals, Devil, Ghost Hunters, Ghosts, Gothic, Haunted, Hell, Horrific, Lucifer, Medieval, Menopause, Mentally Ill, Paranormal, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Playground, Punishment, Satan, Spirits

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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