Tinfoil Alley: The Seven Gates of Hell of Collinsville, Illinois
In America, there is real evil in the most ordinary places and quietest of towns. This is a true story of one of those places. In the back roads of Collinsville, Ill., are seven gates which are a series of railroad trestles that run along Lebanon Road. The gates were said to be constructed in the late 1800s to help trains navigate through the former mining town. Since then, the gates have been the discussion of hangings, KKK meeting grounds, satanic rituals and paranormal activity. The gates themselves are extremely deteriorated and covered in graffiti, they are also surrounded by heavily wooded areas. The woods around the gates definitely add to the creep factor and is the perfect place for an urban legend to surface.
The original urban legend dating back 40 years or so states if you drive through each gate in order and then go through the final gate at exactly midnight, a portal from Hell will open. Once the portal is opened Hell Hounds will come out to drag you to Hell. Another form of the legend states if you go through the gates in reverse starting with seven and ending at one, a tear in reality will appear allowing you to look into the depths of Hell.
Gate 1 seems to be the less creepy of all the gates because of its closeness to town and is more out in the open than some of the other gates. There are also no stories surrounding this gate.
This is the first gate with reported stories of the paranormal and KKK activity. There’s a story that a young African-American boy was chased by KKK members through the wooded area by gate two. It’s said that the KKK members caught the boy here and hung him from the gate. Another story states another young man was hung by his friend because of a girl. Then in a moment of regret also hung himself from the gate. It’s said if you drive through the gate around midnight, you can see the body of a boy swinging from the gate.
Gates 3 and 4:
Gates 3 and 4 are known as the “Twin Gates” because of their close proximity to each other. The stories surrounding these gates involve satanic rituals and animal sacrifices. This area even during the day is extremely creepy. The area between the two gates is completely surrounded by woods and eerily quiet. It’s a pretty secluded area and recently it has been blocked off by two large piles of rock in front of each entrance. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow people to drive through the gates anymore, but it does allow people to gather between the two gates to do whatever animal sacrifice they like. The last time I was in this area I found some different animal remains, satanic images painted on the gate walls and even a makeshift ouija board used to contact the dead. There’s also multiple reports that if you stop between the gates that you can hear a car approach fast, but no car would ever appear.
Gate 5 is some distance away from gates 3 and 4, and it seems to be the narrowest of the seven gates. There isn’t any reports surrounding this gate, but it is pretty scary gate considering how narrow it is. If you’re not paying attention while going through it you could hit somebody head on or hit the side of the gate itself.
Gate 6 is often confused for another gate in the area called “Acid Bridge.” There’s a story that some kids back in the 1970s decided to drop some acid and try to drive through all the gates. There’s two different endings to the story. One says that the kids approached gate 6 and wrecked into the front of the gate and their car exploded in a fiery crash. The other one says the kids got lost and ended up driving off the top of Acid Bridge to die in a explosive crash. However, both stories say sometimes you can see a ghostly reenactment of the crash at either gate 6 or on Acid Bridge. There’s a story that some people were driving near Acid Bridge and they stopped before they got there. While stopped, they saw a pair of headlights in the distance approaching them from behind. They decided to wait for the car to pass and when it did, they watched the car go over Acid Bridge to just vanish into thin air.
This is the gate that if you drive through at midnight a portal will open and Hellhounds will come take you to Hell. However, there are no reports from this actually happening and there isn’t any other paranormal reports from this gate. By the time you go through gate 7, you’re about in the city of Troy, Ill. Maybe the people of Collinsville created the story of the seven gates to say that Troy is in fact Hell.
Now the story of the seven gates is nothing, but a local urban legend. The area surrounding the gates, especially 3 and 4, is more creepy than the story itself. I don’t believe in the story of the seven gates, but I do somewhat believe some of the stories surrounding the gates. It’s a dangerous road, so I do believe people probably have lost their lives in the area and because of its seclusion it could be a meeting place for satanic rituals or the paranormal.
Written by Alex St. Peters