Approximately 47km from Prague, sits a large and menacing structure called the Houska Castle. It is believed that this was ordered to be built by Otto Karll of Bohemia, who reigned as ruler from 1253-1278. Sometime later this building began passing from one aristocratic member to another, until it stopped being used as a noble residence in the 18th Century and began to fall into a state of disrepair. It was renovated in 1823 and in 1897 was purchased by Princess Hohenloke and then again in 1924, by Skoda President, Josef Simonek during the first Republic.
Houska Castle was built over a hole so deep in the ground that no one has ever reported seeing the bottom of it. This is called “The Gateway to Hell”. There are many legends surrounding this hole, including that there were creatures that were half human and half animal that would crawl out of it. There were also stories of creatures with dark wings that would fly above this area. One of the many legends is that a man who had been condemned to die was told that if he would descend down into the hole by rope and tell them what he saw there, that he would be set free. The man agreed and shortly after he was lowered, there were sounds of gut wrenching screams being heard. When he was pulled back to the top, it appeared as if he had aged 30 years in a mere few minutes. His hair was gray, his face was wrinkled and shortly after that he went stark raving mad. He died not long after this happened.
There is no water and no kitchen. It is not located near any trade routes and there were no occupants to live there when it was first built. It was not built as a sanctuary or residence Oronto, who was a Swedish rogue commander as his headquarters. He was reported to be an Alchemist and Black Magician that performed dark experiments in the castle. His life ended when he was shot through a window by some local villagers while he was supposedly working to discover the elixir of eternal life.
From 1939-1945 the German SS took over the castle, though no one was ever sure why and they made sure to destroy all of their records before leaving the
castle when they learned that the Russian and American armies were advancing. It is thought that they may have been using it for various types of paranormal research. Another thought is that it was used by the SS as one of their secret breeding grounds, due to them trying to breed a superior race of people.
Today, the castle serves as a meeting place for experts on the occult, UFOs and all paranormal phenomena. There are also conferences that are held here.
No one will ever know the true purpose of Houska Castle. We can only choose to believe what we want to believe – so do you think this is truly the home to the Gateway to Hell?
Because this is located in the Czech Republic, the only official website is written completely in the Czech language. However, if you will Google it, you will find it listed on haunted tour sites for that area.