Ep 83: Houska Castle – Gateway to Hell (Part 1)

Title image of Houska Castle By Mirek256 - Own work, "Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0" CC BY-SA 3.0

"The gates of hell are open night and day; Smooth the descent and easy is the way.”
– John Dryden’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid , Book  6, Line 126

 
LOCATION: Castle or "Hrad" Houska, in the Czech Republic
 
Map showing location of Hauska Castle relative to other medieval Bohemian castles that were under Nazi control during WWII.  Map created by A.R.C. member Cody Rice.
 

BACKGROUND:

The descriptor "Hell Hole" can currently describe anything from your first apartment to the workplace you dread, but where do we get that term?  Ages ago, could there have been a hole that people believed led straight to the depths of hell itself?  There are several sites in our world that could lay claim to that title, where the "veil" to the underworld seems a little "thin," but a historically solid contender would no doubt be Houska Castle, about 40 miles north of Prague in the Czech Republic.  Tales of demonic beasts issuing forth from the chasm and visiting violence upon villagers and ghastly specters scaring those who roam the castle grounds have been known since the Middle Ages to the present, but what of the edifice itself? No matter what you believe about the folklore, what can't be denied is that the castle was not built for the usual reasons – instead of a fortification to keep people out, it was built to keep things in.

 

Suggested listening:

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The Dark Myths Collective  

http://darkmyths.org/

 

Credits:

Episode 83: Houska Castle – Gateway to Hell (Part 1).  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.