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Insanity

Houska Castle

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Learned of this place elsewhere and there seemed to be nothing here about it, thought I'd at least mention it. I know no more about it than the wikipedia article, but seemed to be an interesting spot.

Houska Castle, and most specifically the chapel, has been constructed over a large hole in the ground that is supposedly 'The Gateway to Hell', which was said to be so deep no one could see the bottom of it. Half-animal-half-man creatures were reported to have crawled out of it, and dark winged creatures flew in its vicinity. Legend has it that when construction began in the castle, all the inmates that were sentenced to death were offered a pardon if they consented to be lowered by rope into the hole, and report back on what they saw.

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the folklore section quoted is completely at odds with the history section in the same article. hard to find any articles about it that aren't from ghost hunter websites, or "top ten horrifying castles" lists, though. a lot of fun stories, not much in the way of facts. i'll readily admit to not being a believer in ghosts or demons, though.

my first thought is, if it was built over a pit, wouldn't it be fairly easy with modern technology to find said pit and measure it? an old friend of mine is a mining engineer, and her job often involves finding and measuring the length and depth of abandoned mine shafts (for road construction and maintenance) could something similar be done here?

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Wasn't this the historical basis for the film(s), set in WWII Europe--"The Gate" or "The Keep?" This might have been late 80's or in the '90's.

I wonder what's happening there these days? The most recent owner, according to the link, was Josef Skoda, of Skoda arms and munitions (and later autos, too). That would fit--an arms magnate owning the Gateway to Hell. . .

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I wonder if the prisoners survived being lowered down, and what they might have seen.

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My burning question is, if you find a hole in the ground, how is your first thought, "Hey let's build a building over this here hole!" ??

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Posted (edited)

Cool find,

"If a gateway to Hell did exist where would it be. Many people including ghost hunters and paranormal investigators say that Houska Castle is the place where the gateway to Hell exists. It is surrounded by sandstone mountains and their is no source of water except a bottomless well that is also supposed to be a gateway to the bottomless pits of hell.

It was turned from a Gothic castle into a Renaissance Chateau in the 16th century.

The Nazis used the castle as their headquarters during the second world war and up until the end of the second world war.

The chapel in the castle was built over a bottomless well or so the locals claim and it is here that the gateway to hell is said to be located. Investigators who have tried to find a bottom have not been able to find one in the well. The walls of the chapel are covered with dragons being slain and it is believed by the locals that non human remains are buried under the chapel.

Demons are said to be seen in the chapel and the walls of the chapel are always wet. Strange moaning, screams and voices in many languages are said to be heard coming from under the chapel where locals claim the gateway to hell exists."

Edited by Talion
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Posted (edited)

Houska Castle Ghost Stories

"People over the years have claimed to see something in the area of the chapel that looks like a cross between a human, a giant frog and a bulldog. They say you can see thru it and it can be heard growling. Its said when you hear it growl that you are filled with a sense of great fear.

Just outside the front gates people claim to see a giant headless black horse running around dropping great drops of blood from its neck. It is said to run towards the front of the castle and jump into the air and vanish.

People have also claimed to see a line of people chained together walking towards the castle gates and each person chained to the chain has a horrific injury. Some people are said to be carrying their heads or other body parts. A giant black dog is said to be attacking and biting the people on the chain. Then their will be a flash of lighting and a ghoulish laugh and the chain of people and the black dog will vanish.

A beautiful young woman in a beautiful white dress is seen often walking in windows looking outside. No one knows who she is but she appears to be the most normal of all the ghosts in and around the castle.

The mad monk is said to haunt the Chapel. He is wearing simple brown robes and he attacks you with a ghostly axe that goes thru you but doesn't injure you. Though it has really scared many people over the years. Some have ran out of the castle swearing to never return to the castle for any reason."

Edited by Talion

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Man, to be a place that's so hard to get out of, Hell sure has a lot of gateways.

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Man, to be a place that's so hard to get out of, Hell sure has a lot of gateways.

I know, right?

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Sounds like just the kind of place the local clergy could use to get more money out of the poor peasants to scare them!

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Sounds like just the kind of place the local clergy could use to get more money out of the poor peasants to scare them!

Wo, "No religious agenda here, just keep giving us our tithe and we will keep the demons locked up."

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Looks like a place exactly to my taste. Agreeing to be lowered down? Well, why the hell not? Could have been an interesting experience if nothing else. :yes::D

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I wonder if the prisoners survived being lowered down, and what they might have seen.

I wonder if the story contains any semblance of truth. All I can find on Google is legends and rumours being repeated on various ghost and paranormal websites with no factual references. Wikipedia itself has no reference for this story.
Houska castle was built with no fortifications, no water, no kitchen, near no trade routes, and with no occupants at its time of completion. The castle was not built as a residence or as a protective sanctuary, but was instead built because the hole was thought to be a gateway to hell. Thus, by constructing the Gothic building, they were able to keep the demons trapped in the lower level thickest walls closest to the hole of the castle
Is it just me or does that make no sense? Not only does it contradict the earlier claim that it was built by order of Ottokar II of Bohemia to serve as an administrative centre, why would you waste so much money and effort building a castle on a hole you wanted to cover up when you could just cover up the hole? Sounds like the castle has become a target for baseless ghost stories.
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I kind of remember the episode.I think GHI lowered Brian down into the well, which supposedly was very deep and supposed to supply the castle with water.They used prisioners to dig the hole,and then instead of giving them their freedom,killed them. At least that is what I had heard I thought when their host talked about the place.Alsothink there was some mention of the Teutonic Knights being there.I'll have to check out their website.

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A super deep hole for gaining access to water that might be very far down makes sense.

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I wonder if the story contains any semblance of truth. All I can find on Google is legends and rumours being repeated on various ghost and paranormal websites with no factual references. Wikipedia itself has no reference for this story.

Is it just me or does that make no sense? Not only does it contradict the earlier claim that it was built by order of Ottokar II of Bohemia to serve as an administrative centre, why would you waste so much money and effort building a castle on a hole you wanted to cover up when you could just cover up the hole? Sounds like the castle has become a target for baseless ghost stories.

exactly what i was thinking. the wikipedia article mentions that it was abandoned for some time in the 1800's, i wonder if the stories stem from that period.

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