Stull, Kansas: Gates of HellAn otherwise innocuous cemetery that, according to urban legend, is the site of one of seven U.S. portals to the netherworld.
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Locals finally tired of broken bottles and midnight hooligans, so they tore down the remaining stone walls of the old church in the Stull cemetery. This officially closes the designated Kansas Gate to Hell, although some claim that living in Topeka will qualify.[Carl, 12/14/2003]
This was one of my favorite places to visit when I lived in Lawrence, KS. A few miles west of town you can find Stull. I feel I have to burst some bubbles about the Gates of Hell...
The Stull Cemetery is a rather small and ordinary rural graveyard, the likes of which can be found in just about any county in any state in the "lower" 48. There is a building that sits just outside the cemetery that was once the church. As the story goes, the church burned, trapping parishoners inside. People attempting rescue saw the Devil in the flames. To this day the building is a hotbed of paranormal splendor, most amazing of which is the glass-cushioning stone walls.
Well the truth is this... There is not an official list of gates of hell maintained by the Roman Catholics or anyone else outside of the purveyors of myth and legend. The Church that was housed in the building moved to a more modern structure across the highway several years before the famed fire. At the time of the fire (caused by something no more diabolical than a lightning strike) the building was used by a local farmer to hold hay. As far as bouncing glass bottles off the walls of the building... well that is pretty much discounted by the dozens and dozens of shattered bottles that surround the building.
I did a lot of research on this place while I lived nearby. Is it an attraction? I have to say that it most definitely is. It is a monument to how an urban legend can transform a non-descript rural cemetery into a center for satanic spawn of various kinds.[T.J. Turner, 05/07/2003]
Apparently there are seven "Gates to Hell" that are located around America. Stull, KS is a very small town located between Lawrence, KS (home of the KU Jayhawks) and Clinton Dam. The town itself is quiet and keeps to itself and, as can be expected, not much happens in Stull; that is, not much happens until Halloween.
One of these seven gates is claimed to be located in the Stull Cemetery and "opens up" only on Halloween at midnight. It is fabled that you can see blood on gravestones, hear and see strange sights and even throw a glass bottle at a wall surrounding the cemetery as hard as you want and it won't break!
As you might imagine, the locals don't much like visitors "trespassing" into their cemetery, littering the grounds with glass bottles and disturbing the peace of their ancestors so they have been posting police cars at the entrance for a few years. When I went about five years ago there were no cops and someone told me that they have toned-down security in the last few years.
I can say that if you go, please be respectful of the dead and of the town of Stull. If you throw that bottle against the wall please pick it up and take it with you, unbroken or not. And most of all, go with more than one person, since it is hard to back up your story of a winged-devil with hideously sharp teeth and a firey mane picking you up and dragging you 20 or so feet before dropping you on a headstone without a trusty friend/observer to vouch for your story.[Rich Greenwood, 02/27/2000]
Gates of Hell
- Stull Rd, Stull, KS
- I-70 exit 197. South on Hwy 10 for 1.5 miles, then west onto US Hwy 40 for two miles, then left (actually straight) on N. 1600 Rd for 4.5 miles. The Cemetery is on the north side of N. 1600 Rd, just east of E. 250 Rd, across from the United Methodist Church.