The Gates

Ep 84: Houska Castle – Gateway to Hell (Part 2)

Image of Houska Castle's chapel, over which the fissure or "Gate to Hell" was built.  Photo Credit by Scary Side of Earth on flickr, used with CC by 2.0 attribution.

"How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell.  There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man."
– Johnny Cash
 
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:

There are two connected, yet distinct traditions of weirdness concerning Houska Castle: its mysterious, violent and spotty history of purpose and ownership, and the reported sightings of horrific creatures and terrifying specters since its founding.  Regarding the castle's originally intended design; whether it was really built to keep something from escaping rather than defense from outside forces, the lack of any definitive or comprehensive historical records will only lead to debate and speculation.  However, those that have been inside the walls of this fortress and others in the region will tell you that Houska's architecture clearly doesn't seem to fit with the standard intentions.  Regarding the encounters with frightening phantoms, if you believe places can be haunted, Houska Castle seems to be just that. 

 

 

 

 

Reference Links:

 

Related Books:

77 Prague legends
By Alena Jezkova
 

Suggested listening:

Mission to Zyxx is an Improv Comedy Sci-Fi podcast about a crew of interstellar ambassadors traveling to the far reaches of space, created by veteran comedians from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, with special guests from Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Chris Gethard Show, Search Party and other great comedy shows you know and love.  Find, Subscribe and Listen NOW to the first season of Mission to Zyxx, available on Apple Podcasts, audioBoom, or wherever you find really, really funny podcasts.

 

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  • Blue Apron – It's the #1 recipe and fresh ingredient delivery service in the country.  And Blue Apron knows you’re busy so now they’re offering "30-Minute Meals!"  Check out this week’s menu and get your first THREE meals FREE, with FREE SHIPPING, by going to blueapron.com/astonishing.  And now Blue Apron will be delivering recipes inspired by the winning dishes on MasterChef! Tune-in to MasterChef on FOX every Wednesday at 8/7 Central and visit Blue Apron every Thursday Starting August 24th to see and select the winning recipes to cook in your own home!
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The Dark Myths Collective  

http://darkmyths.org/

 

Credits:

Episode 84: Houska Castle – Gateway to Hell (Part 2).  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.

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:

Mission to Zyxx is an Improv Comedy Sci-Fi podcast about a crew of interstellar ambassadors traveling to the far reaches of space, created by veteran comedians from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, with special guests from Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Chris Gethard Show, Search Party and other great comedy shows you know and love.  Find, Subscribe and Listen NOW to the first season of Mission to Zyxx, available on Apple Podcasts, audioBoom, or wherever you find really, really funny podcasts.

 
 

Related Books:

 

Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

  • The Great Courses Plus – Learn about anything with over 8000 lectures on almost any subject you can think of – from history and science to forensic crime and genealogy!  Now you can get unlimited access to all of their lectures for free for a whole month by going to: TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/LEGENDS
  • PolicyGenius – Life insurance is something every family needs and PolicyGenius.com is the quick and easy way to learn about it, and you can save up to 40% just by comparing policies. The quotes are free, there's no sales pressure and zero hassle.  You can also get Health Insurance, Pet Insurance and secure your income for you and your loved ones
  • Blue Apron – It's the #1 recipe and fresh ingredient delivery service in the country.  And Blue Apron knows you’re busy so now they’re offering "30-Minute Meals!"  Check out this week’s menu and get your first THREE meals FREE, with FREE SHIPPING, by going to blueapron.com/astonishing
     
 

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.

Ep 82: The Hatem Files – Case #1

 
 
Richard Hatem   Debonair screenwriter, Bon Vivant, celebrated wit, casual philosopher, "Man of Letters" and The Most Interesting Man in the Astonishing Legends Studio   

Richard Hatem

Debonair screenwriter, Bon Vivant, celebrated wit, casual philosopher, "Man of Letters" and The Most Interesting Man in the Astonishing Legends Studio

 

 

"Could you make my Martini 'dirtier?'  Thanks!"
– Richard Hatem, Screenwriter

 
Approximate location of the Astonishing Legend Studio, a.k.a., "Blanket Forteana."
 
Interactive Google Map of reported "Chicago Mothman, Chicago Phantom, Owl Man, etc. etc. sightings.
 

BACKGROUND:

Tonight's show is... well... we don't know what it is, frankly.  What we can tell you is that friend and screenwriter Richard Hatem stopped by the Astonishing Legends studio, we ordered pizzas, made more than a few "Dirty Martinis" (at Rich's resolute insistence, which he then sent back several times to the bar until they met with his exacting and cruel satisfaction) and talked with great ardor and exuberance about everything paranormal and supernatural from the sublime to the silly, and apparently, this is the result.  Oh, and we eventually talk about the recent spate of Moth-Owl-Bat-Man sightings in the Chicago, IL metropolitan area, which was the primary reason for inviting him over in the first place.  For those of you who can embrace a rollicking discourse as a fresh change of pace, please enjoy.  For those of you expecting more conventional and disciplined fare, please accept our apologies.  ; )

 

Suggested listening:

Mission to Zyxx is an Improv Comedy Sci-Fi podcast about a crew of interstellar ambassadors traveling to the far reaches of space, created by veteran comedians from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, with special guests from Saturday Night Live, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Chris Gethard Show, Search Party and other great comedy shows you know and love.  Find, Subscribe and Listen NOW to the first season of Mission to Zyxx, available on Apple Podcasts, audioBoom, or wherever you find really, really funny podcasts.

 
 

Related Books:

The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained
By Whitley Strieber, Jeffrey J. Kripal
The Amityville Horror Conspiracy
By Stephen Kaplan, Roxanne Salch Kaplan
 

Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

  • The Great Courses Plus – Learn about anything with over 8000 lectures on almost any subject you can think of – from history and science, to forensic crime and genealogy!  Now you can get unlimited access to all of their lectures for free for a whole month by going to: TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/LEGENDS
  • Beachbody® On Demand is the complete solution for getting in shape that goes wherever you do!  With popular workout programs already in their collection like PiYo, P90X, Insanity, and the 3 Week Yoga Retreat, Beachbody® On Demand has something to offer everyone's interests and fitness levels.  Text the word "LEGENDS" to the number 303030 to get FULL ACCESS to their entire platform with your FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP!
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The Dark Myths Collective  

http://darkmyths.org/

 

Credits:

Episode 82: The Hatem Files – Case #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.

Ep 72: Richard Hatem, Screenwriter of The Mothman Prophecies

 
 
 

"What do you look like?"

"It depends on who's looking."

Richard Gere's character, John Klein questioning the interdimensional being, Indrid Cold, from the 2002 motion picture, The Mothman Prophecies

 

Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where locals reported seeing an otherworldly creature, who would later become dubbed as the "Mothman." John Keel's investigation into the incidents would later become a book as well as a motion picture.

 

Background:

Tonight we have a conversation with screenwriter and producer Richard Hatem, known for such Motion Picture and Television projects as The Mothman Prophecies, Under Siege 2: Dark TerritoryGrimm, Damien, Supernatural, Witches of East End, The Gates and many, many others.  We discuss with Rich his approach to adapting John Keel's book, The Mothman Prophecies for the Big Screen, the larger concepts surrounding the events, his life-long interest in the paranormal and supernatural, as well as a lot of other cool stuff.  

 
 

Related Books:

The Mothman Prophecies
Starring Richard Gere, Debra Messing, Shane Callahan, David Eigenberg, Ron Emanuel
JADOO
By John A. Keel
Our Haunted Planet
By John A. Keel
Disneyland of the Gods
By John Keel
 

Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

  • The Great Courses Plus - The fun and convenient way to improve yourself! Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/legends and get one month of FREE, UNLIMITED access to over 8000 courses on everything from history and science to photography and cooking.

  • Bespoke Post - Themed boxes of cool gear for guys, delivered monthly - free to join, no commitments! Just go to trythepost.com/legends or use Promo Code "LEGENDS" at checkout to get 20% OFF your first box.

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  • Blue Apron - Home cooking never tasted so good or was so much fun to make! Go to BlueApron.com/astonishing to get your first THREE MEALS FREE with FREE SHIPPING!

 

The Dark Myths Collective

http://darkmyths.org/

 

Credits:

Episode 72: Richard Hatem, Screenwriter of The Mothman Prophecies.  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.