It's that time of year already. People are buying up costumes and candy like their the key to surviving the apocalypse. Everywhere you go there are ghost stories, horror movies, and all manner of entertainment aimed at giving you spooky thrills in time for Halloween. It also means that people are asking about the 7 Gates of Hell in Amarillo, Texas again.

Let's revisit the gates, and see if we can't get to the bottom of one of the panhandle's most nefarious legends.

I've done a lot of digging into this local bit of lore. Since my first Halloween in Amarillo, Texas, I've been searching for answers. Few, if any, have ever surfaced. There are several reasons for this.

First, you have to keep in mind that the most famous version of the 7 Gates myth isn't from the Texas panhandle. That belongs to Hellam Township, Pennsylvania, which ironically rhymes with Transylvania, another home to spooky legends.

Supposedly, if you happen to meander through all 7 Gates, you'll get first hand knowledge of just how hot the hinges on the gates of Hell are. There must be quite a drop-off after that last gate.

Photo by Cassiano K. Wehr on Unsplash
Photo by Cassiano K. Wehr on Unsplash

That last step's a doozy, as the old saying goes.

Second, no one can agree on just where in the hell the gates are. Some suggest it's a series of drainage tunnels. Other's say it's just a simple intersection in town. Another version points to a stretch of railroad tracks north of town.

The first one sounds like a deathtrap. The second one sounds like someone had a bad day on hallucinogenics, went on a walk, and had a bad time at one specific intersection in town. The third is one I actually tried to go investigate, only to find it is on some well guarded private land.

The third, and most popular version of the story in Amarillo states that the gates are found near (or on) some train tracks. You have to go really late at night, and supposedly these tracks will take you right down to the Devil's doorstep. It's next to impossible to find, and pretty much impossible to get to.

Charlie Hardin
Charlie Hardin

Playing on train tracks is a bad idea any time of day or night. It's an easy way to find yourself in the hereafter. Don't do it. Especially these tracks. They're on private property, and I imagine whoever owns that property wouldn't be fond of some gullible individual jumping fences trying to meet the Devil.

Just stick to the horror movies and campfire ghost stories.

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