Houska Castle: Gate to Hell

Located just north of the glamorous Prague, Houska Castle is located in Blatce, Czech Republic. For an ancient residence that translates as Bread Roll Castle, what could possibly be so intriguing about it?

Maybe because it surrounds the ‘Gate to Hell.’

Built in the 13th century by Otakar II, one of the most successful Czech kings, the castle has garnered much fame for a hole, known as the ‘Gate of Hell,’ that the ancient structure is built around. To this day, it is not known how deep the hole actually gets. Because of the castle’s strange location, local folklore has it that the castle was built around the ‘Gate of Hell’ to protect people from what could possibly come out!

Strange you may think? Yes, but then why was a castle built where there was no nearby water source, or trade route?

Prior to the castle being built, legend has it that locals would see very strange creatures coming out of the hole. Some were half human half beast, others dark-winged creatures that would fly out. Before long, the hole had garnered a reputation, and many believed it to be a bottomless pit that led straight to Hell.

After the castle was built, the King once offered a prisoner the chance for freedom if he would just go down into the hole to report what he saw. Once he was lowered, he began to scream violently. They tried as quickly as possible to pull him out, but once he came out, his hair was white, and he had aged rapidly.

But this is just folklore, it doesn’t mean that it’s true! True. But, in more recent history, the castle was used by Nazis during WWII for mysterious experiments. The castle is located in the sudetenlands, so it makes sense that the Germans would take it over and do with it as they pleased. It also is curious that many Nazi leaders, like Hitler and Himmler, were known to have dabbled in the occult. However, years later during renovations, three bodies of Nazi soldiers were found having been shot execution style.

A chapel was built on top of the hole, perhaps to combat the 'evil' forces. Yet, to this day, several ‘ghosts’ have been spotted in Houska Castle. Those that have been sighted include:

  • Hundreds of people in chains, with black dogs nipping at their legs

  • A giant bulldog/frog/human

  • Black winged demons

  • A blonde woman, who walks the dark corridors of the castle

  • A headless black horse

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