When I wrote Ravens Cove, An Alaska Iconoclast Mystery, in 2009, I had never heard of Houska Castle in the Czech Republic or Bobby Mackey’s Music World in Kentucky. Both of these locations purport to be doorways for dark entities to enter our world. I had heard of vortexes but not doorways. Even without this knowledge, I created Raven’s Ravine, one such ‘doorway’ to our earth for the demon Iconoclast and his legion. Imagine my surprise when I found out there are locations such as Houska Castle. I find the idea of these locations interesting – and the story behind Houska Castle fascinating. So much so, I wanted to share it with you. The following article is credited to Donna Anderson of Coast to Coast Radio Examiner. All credits are listing under the header.
by Donna Anderson, Coast to Coast Radio Examiner
Find this article at: http://www.examiner.com/article/is-houska-castle-guarding-the-gateway-to-hell
Legends about getways to Hell have been handed down from generation to generation since the beginning of time. While folklore about these supposed gateways would have us believe there's a portal to Hell just around the next corner, we all know folklore is just that – tales passed down from one generation to the next, usually for the purpose of scaring some poor kid into cleaning his plate or going to bed on time.
But the legends surrounding Houska Castle in Prague seem to have a little more substantiating evidence to back them up than a grandma who's gone missing and half-eaten bowl of porridge.
Dr. Bob Curran is a frequent guest on Coast to Coast AM where he often talks about the stuff that legends are made of. In his book, "The World's Creepiest Places”, he talks about the folklore surrounding Houska Castle, legendary gateway to Hell.
Legend has it that Houska Castle is built over a gateway to Hell, and once you hear about the construction of this mysterious manor you may want to rethink your position on the existence of Bigfoot and Mothman. Because some folklore has more truth behind it than you think.
Houska Castle was built during the first half of the 13th century by Bohemian ruler Ottokar II. It was originally intended to be used as an administration center for Ottokar's vast land holdings. At least, that's what they told the public.
Looking at the exterior of the castle, there's no way anyone would choose to build a huge estate on this site. In fact, even a poor peasant wouldn't want to build his hovel in this location.
When Houska Castle was built it was surrounded by nothing. There was no water in the area, no land, no mountains or other natural barriers for protection, no roads for trade or travel, and it wasn't even located near any borders. In other words, from the outside looking in, Houska Castle was in the worst possible position to defend itself from marauders, or even to provide food and water for the inhabitants.
From the outside you see dozens of windows but most are fake. There's nothing behind the panes but the walls of the castle.
But let's take a look at the inside. While the castle appears to be four or five stories tall, there were no stairs built to connect the first floor to any of the upper floors. Instead, they had to use ropes which were removed immediately after each use.
The castle walls are covered with depictions of dragons being slain and one picture shows a left-handed archer, supposedly the only left-handed archer ever known.
In the center of the castle is a chapel, built over a huge, bottomless well and it's believed that this well is the gateway to Hell.
According to folklore, during the original construction of the castle, workers were brought in from local prisons and offered a pardon for their crimes if they'd agree to be lowered by rope into the depths of the well. Seconds after the first man was lowered they heard horrific screaming and pulled him back out. The man, whose hair was now snow white, had aged 30 years in just those few minutes.
Due to the isolated and indefensible location, researchers believe that Houska Castle was never meant to be used as a fortress to keep intruders out. Rather, it was built to keep the forces of Hell from getting out into the world.
Over the centuries, people have reported seeing a huge, evil creature which looks like a cross between a human being, a giant frog and a bulldog. This monster is semi-transparent and its growl is said to fill you with dread.
Legend has it there's a mad monk who haunts the chapel. He wears the simple brown robe of the day and carries a ghostly axe which he uses to attack visitors.
Over the years the castle has changed hands. At one time it was used as a Nazi headquarters. Researchers have studied the well but never been able to find the bottom and attempts at filling it with stone have been unsuccessful.
Perhaps most disturbing of all are the reports that people have seen a long line of poor souls, all chained together, walking through the gates of the castle. Each person has suffered some gruesome injury and some are reported to be carrying their own heads in their hands. There's a giant black dog who runs up and down the line of people, nipping and tormenting them as they make their arduous trek toward the gateway to Hell.
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