Pluto’s Gate

(c) 2014, Robyn LaRue

(c) 2014, Robyn LaRue


Apologies for the delay.  I just noticed that this Bucket List item did not automatically post this morning.   I pray that I do not catch anyone’s wrath…


The location in today’s post is not especially horrific, but I find it incredibly fascinating.

In 2013, archaeologist uncovered a cave to what they believe is a gateway to hell in Turkey.  Known as Pluto’s Gate (or The Plutonion of Hierapolis), the site is located in the ancient city of Hierapolis, which is now know as Pamukkale.

The site, while in its infancy of research, could potentially hold a history bathed in torture and sacrificial rites.  The peculiarity of Pluto’s Gate is that the opening of the site is filled with mephitic vapors that are extremely lethal.

Strabo, a Greek geographer (64 BC – 24 AD) explained, “ This space is full of vapor so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground.  Any animal that passes inside meets instant death.  I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last breath and fell.”

The archaeologists uncovered the ruin while reconstructing a route to a thermal spring.  They believe that the Pamukkale’s springs originated from this cave.  Around the cave ruins are steps where specters would have sat an watch sacrificial rites, but keeping distance to the opening for the fumes would kill any who breathed in the carbon dioxide gasses.  However, pilgrims who were devoted to the lord of the underworld were given the gifts of small birds to take into the cave.  Current research of antiquity has not yet uncovered if those pilgrims ever returned.

Strabo claimed that the eunuchs of Cybele (an ancient fertility goddess) were able to enter the cave, through the fumes, unaffected.  He added that they held their breath as long as possible and potentially gained immunity from their “menomation [sic]”, “divine providence”, or “certain physical powers that are antidotes against the vapor”.

An interesting place to visit.  However, I do not think I will make my way into the cave should I ever happen upon the The Plutonion of Hierapolis.


"Plutonium-2" by Ömerulusoy - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

“Plutonium-2” by Ömerulusoy – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

before i die


Lake Shawnee Amusement Park – West Virginia, USA

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park in West Virginia is a place that evokes nightmares through the death of children.  Truly, a ghastly place to visit and one of the top destinations on my personal bucket list.

It is said that numerous children lost their lives on the park’s rides, in the community pool, and even in the nearby lake.  One of the most noted deaths was the tragedy of a young girl while riding on the circling swing set.  She was killed when a box truck backed up into the oncoming path of her swing.

It is said that the departed children’s haunting laughs echo through the park’s acreage.

Were these mishaps just bad luck or a coincidence for the park?  In all likelihood, no.  It is possible that these deaths can be attributed to something more sinister.  The site of the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park was built on top of a Native American settlement.  During an archeological dig of the area, archaeologists uncovered an estimated 13 bodies, most of which were the bodies of children.

The land is cursed in the most dismal of ways.  There is documented history, even spanning back before the park’s establishment, which details several tragedies in the area.

So, are you ready to explore the cursed ruins of the Lake Shawnee Amusement Park?  Well, you are in luck!  Every weekend in October you can experience what it is like to walk through an abandoned amusement park.

For more information, visit the Lake Shawnee Facebook page or the West Virginia travel website.

The ghostly skeletons are all that remain... (c) Jamie Pettry

Ghostly skeletons are all that remain… and maybe a lost soul or two. (c) Jamie Pettry