‘7 Gates of Hell’ said to connect to underworld


Strange things are happening in Collinsville.

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — It’s time to check out our next Spooky Spot. Our Today in St. Louis team is going to different haunted places around St. Louis throughout the month of October. 

This time, we’re taking you to Collinsville, where a local legend has spread like “hellfire.”

Just outside the city, there are seven gates that, according to legend, form a bridge between this world and the underworld. 

Sydney Stallworth walks us through the strange happenings near the “Seven Gates of Hell.”

She found a trusted guide to explain the legend. Mark Farley is the founder of the St. Louis Paranormal Research Society. “I mean, not everything I’ve seen in the paranormal, I can explain,” Farley said.

Farley has seen quite a few things that defy expectation at the “Seven Gates” in Collinsville. 

“There were like three or four shadow figures that were standing on top there. It was a full moon that night. You could see them. We were shining a flashlight and we could see them. Then we just left…time to go,” Farley said.

The “Seven Gates” are a system of railroad trestles outside Collinsville, Illinois. “According to the urban legend, if you drive through all seven gates and approach the 7th gate at midnight, you’re supposed to be transported into hell… or some demonic creature will come to greet you. I’ve heard that version of the story,” Farley explained.

Our 5 On Your Side Team had to drive through gates one and two to meet Dr. Farley between gates three and four, a place he says is a hotbed for paranormal activity. 

“This is where I saw the ball of light that kind of moved and followed down into the creek bed, came back up and went out of sight,” Farley said. “Another thing that was weird here, years ago we would always find animal carcasses– dogs, deer strewn through here. You would be here at night and you’d hear dogs barking. It would always seem like the dogs were getting closer, like they were right on top of you– and they’d never come. That’s the story. People talk about hellhounds.” 

People in Collinsville have definitely been talking. Many come out at night, especially around this time of year to get a glimpse at something ghostly.

Our reporter, Sydney Stallworth, points out that people have been out here numbering the gates with spray paint. Farley said, “Yeah, I mean for years people have been spray painting these gates.” 

“Some of them come down for thrill seeking others come down for more nefarious means or cult reasons because this place has a lot of energy… some people have a lot of energy attached to it,” he said.

Whether you believe the rumors or not, the gates are dangerous for another very real reason.

“A lot of kids, teenagers will be down here in the middle of the night  and people will fly down here at night and kids will be hit,” Farley said.

Farley sent 5 On Your Side a photo he claims captures the image of a spirit, at the site of a deadly car crash years ago. He added, “…I have a picture of an apparition, you can see her in a hoodie standing right there.”

Turns out, Collinsville has a couple of celestial corners on the outskirts of the city. About 10 minutes down the road, and past gates five and six, we come to Acid Bridge. 

At the bridge, Dr. Farley told our reporter, “You just got that feeling here that you’re never alone… Acid Bridge and the 7 gates… any time you read about them, any time you hear about them, Two things always come up: One, the cult activity. Two, everybody seems to have their own experience with these two areas.”

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