Travel Blog – Marquette, MI

Marquette, MI

Today I’m shaking things up. This weekend my daughters and I went on a mini-vacation to Marquette, MI. We cashed in the Hilton points and found a wonderful hotel right on Lake Superior. Being that it was a holiday weekend the hotel was pretty booked and a lot of festivities were happening around the town.

Hampton Inn, Marquette Lakefront was wonderful. Clean rooms, excluding the fact that housekeeping didn’t come to replenish towels or the mini shampoo. The rooms were quiet even with a fully booked hotel, and the staff was wonderful!

Bri at the front desk went above and beyond for us when we wanted to get a dinner recommendation. She called places to see if they were open, and directed us to an area where we would for sure find good grub.

The lake was gorgeous, cold, but clear and the fact that we were looking for “treasure” was great fun. Our treasure included rocks and other things that the lake wanted to give up. I was on a hunt for hag stones, and sadly I didn’t find any, but I have more great lakes to explore and search for them. I did however, find some sea glass. Pretty awesome.

During our two nights in Michigan, we got to try great food as well. Several locations were not open simply because of the holiday, so if you plan to travel to Marquette, please keep in mind that holidays may affect the restaurants in the area.

We did have lunch at Jean Kay’s Pasty Shop. I tantalized my taste buds and got the pasty without rutabaga. As recommended to me, I got the ketchup on the side, and the vinegar in the ketchup, paired nicely with the pasty. My daughters both tried a sub sandwich from Jean Kay’s and both were delicious.

For dinner, we were lucky to find the restaurant, 906 Sports Bar and Grill. It’s on the third floor of the building, and served some excellent food. My youngest got the kid’s mac and cheese, and this wasn’t any boxed variety. This was a homemade recipe, and it tasted delicious (yes I had a bite). It tasted like the one I make at home from Ina Garten.

My Wolf Burger, was a double patty (I think they all were 2 patties) with fried onions, cheese, and 1000 Island dressing, served on sourdough. The patties weren’t too thick, and I had asked for a medium rare burger but was told that since the patties aren’t super thick they are usually cooked medium. I think the chef cooked them a little longer, but it was still juicy.

Let’s talk cheese curds. Being a Wisconsin girl, I know cheese curds. And 906 served up some good cheese curds. They were battered lightly, and the batter didn’t take away from the cheese curd itself. The cheese was hot and fresh, and just the right amount of saltiness that comes with cheese curds. On a scale of 10, I give them a 9, I didn’t care for the sauce served with them, and of course they weren’t Wisconsin curds, so no top marks.

Last night we were fortunate enough to see the fireworks. As they are shot over the water, we were able to see other fireworks around the lake as well. It was amazing, and I can’t wait to do it all again sometime.

My biggest shout out was to the lady at the gift shop we stopped at on our way to dinner. Not only did she try to help diffuse my youngest during her hangry meltdown, but she also recommended the 906 restaurant after she didn’t get an answer at another restaurant we were headed to. She was amazing and her shop had a variety of gifts, so please shop small and check out the Masonic Square gift shop on E Washington Street.

I highly recommend Marquette for a destination, for yourself, your family, or just as a getaway with your significant other. There are great beaches, food, and trails for hiking. Not to mention the largest of the great lakes which in itself is beautiful to see. Please be careful when swimming, or boating on the lake, as there are some dangerous currents, and if your boat is not properly rated for the lake, DO NOT GO ON IT.

This the the first of travel blogs, and I hope to do more. If you have recommendations, please share them with me.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

Happy Fourth of July

Today the United States celebrates its freedom from the British Empire in 1776. Today our country adopted the Declaration of Independence and started to make a name for themselves. Here are some fun facts about the Fourth of July celebrations now:

  • Americans will enjoy 150 million hot dogs during the 4th of July
  • Fireworks are an American tradition dating back to 1777
    • Americans spend more than $1 Billion worth of fireworks each year. Only 10% are done professionally, please be safe!
  • In 1778 during the American Revolutionary War, George Washington ordered a double ration of Rum for soldiers to celebrate with.
  • July 4th was not deemed a federal holiday until 1870, almost 100 years after America was founded.

Since we enjoy watching and lighting fireworks, please be considerate of not only your neighbors and friends, but of animals who may fear the noise and those who may have been in a combat situation and suffer from PTSD, to them I say Thank You, and may they too enjoy the day.

Happy Holidays!

Patton State Hospital

We have heard of asylums where prisoners, the mentally ill, and even those who simply need some help go to, typically these locations were available in a different time and place. Usually they are hospitals that have reputations for being strict, violent, or even reputed to be haunted. But what about now? Where do the criminally insane, the mentally ill violent people go when they are sentenced to hospitalization?

I’m sure that there are many locations around the United States, but one that I have found is still in operation in southern California; Patton State Hospital. This is a forensic psychiatric hospital with a licensed bed capacity of 1287 for people who have been committed by the judicial system for treatment.

Originally built in 1890 and open for patients in 1893, the name of the hospital was originally the Southern California State Asylum for the insane and inebriates. It was renamed to Patton State Hospital in 1927.

From it’s opening until 1934, some 2,024 patients died and were buried on the hospital grounds.

Some notable patients:

  • Edward Allaway: California State University Fullerton massacre. Edward was a custodian who had a history of violence and mental illness. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he was found insane by a judge and imprisoned at Patton State until being moved to Napa State Hospital in 2016.
  • David Attias: Isla Vista Killings. A 2001 vehicular homicide where five people died. David was ruled legally insane and sentenced to 60 years in a mental institution. In 2012, he was released to walk free after serving only 10 years. (Seems suspicious.)
  • Joan Barry: Her reason for being in the hospital is really unknown, but she was found walking the streets barefoot, carrying a pair of baby sandals and a child’s ring, while murmuring. She is most well known for winning a paternity suit against Charlie Chaplin for her daughter Carol Ann.
  • Bettie Page: Yes, that Bettie Page. The Pin Up Girl of the 1950’s. Bettie’s life wasn’t ideal, and her career was littered with violence and mental illness. In 1978 she had a nervous breakdown and an altercation with her landlady. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and spent 20 months in Patton State Hospital. After her release she had other run in’s and was arrested for assault, which put her back in the hospital for eight years, she was released in 1992.

I wonder how many horror stories could be learned from this location? Unfortunately I was unable to find any paranormal happenings at the hospital, but I would be very eager to find out more. If you have been near the hospital, or have visited the museum, please share your information.

You are your own best investment

Bell Farm

Legends abound around a 19th century family and their farm in northwest Robertson County, Tennessee. Now located near the town of Adams. According to the legend the Bell family who resided on the property, and the town itself were victimized by an unseen entity from 1817 to 1821. Here’s the tale of the Bell Witch.

The haunting began in 1817. John Bell witnessed an apparition of a strange creature that resembled a dog. He fired at the animal but it disappeared. John’s son Drew, approached an unknown bird perched on a fence that flew off and was of extraordinary size. John’s daughter, Betsy, observed a girl in a green dress swinging from the limbs of an oak tree. Others have reported that large dogs followed them while on the property.

Activity inside the home progressed from knocking heard on the door and walls, the sound of gnawing on the beds, invisible dogs fighting, chains being pulled along the floor. John also began to experience paralysis of the mouth. Soon the activity grew to physical interactions such as, slapping, pinching, and being stuck with pins.

The family didn’t know what to do. They reached out to a family friend, James Johnston, for assistance. He stayed at the home, and the first night, was awoken by the same phenomena that was being reported.

The apparition began to speak when asked “Who are you and what do you want?” it feebly replied, “I am a spirit; I was once very happy but have been disturbed.” Then the spirit offered diverse explanations of why it appeared. It’s origin was tied to the disturbance of a Native American burial mound located on the property.

With the emergence of full conversations the spirit enjoyed religious arguments, and sharing gossip about other households and would leave briefly to visit other homes after an inquiry. The Bell family all had interactions with the entity, but the spirit seemed to like Lucy Bell, the matriarch, the most. John Bell Sr, was not liked by the spirit and ultimately was poisoned by the entity.

The spirit was deemed a witch at some point after it claimed it was ‘Old Kate Batt’s witch.”

Was there really a haunting, or was it simply the mischief of a child that caused the events? Some suspect that the events were elaborated on by Betsy as an example of “the poltergeist faking syndrome”.

Today you can visit the Bell Witch Cave in Adams, Tennessee. This is located near where the original Bell Farm stood. Tours are offered during summer months and in October. The cave is privately owned, so be respectful of the property and hours available.

If you have visited the Bell Witch Cave and surrounding areas, did you encounter anything exciting? Please share!

You are your own best investment!

On The Dinner Table: Oven Fried Chicken

It seems like everyone loves fried chicken. And everyone has their own way of making it. Some have 32 herbs and spices, some have a unique way of coating; but we can all agree that fried chicken should be juicy, crispy, and flavorful. This recipe takes a little time to marinate, but it’s an extremely important step. You can easily adjust the seasonings to your taste. Now all you have to decide is how often you will be making it.

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 chickens, 3 pounds each, cut into 8 serving pieces.
    • 1 quart of buttermilk
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon of salt
    • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
    • Vegetable oil or shortening for frying
  • Directions:
    • Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
    • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1-inch and heat to 360 degrees F on a thermometer.
    • Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees F before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

This recipe makes a lot, so if you aren’t cooking for a crowd then you can cut the recipe in half. Serve this with your favorite side dishes, creamy potato salad, fruit, or corn on the cob.

Happy Eating!

The Kunz Family

This is a Wisconsin story. Some of my favorite stories are found within my home state. This case is unusual. A bit of mystery, a dash of murder, and a whole helping of family love. Here is the case of the Kunz family. Shoutout to Rosann J. for this lead.

The family included: Irene Kunz – 81, Clarence Kunz – 76, Marie Kunz – 72, Helen Kunz – 70, Randy Kunz, 30. Randy is the son of Helen. She has another son, Kenneth who lived outside the house. Kenneth was 55 at the time of the murders.

July 4, 1987, fireworks had ended over the town of Athens, WI. Families and residents were at home, sleeping. But all was not calm at a derelict farmhouse outside of town. Someone was creeping and murdered the residents who resided inside the house.

The Kunz family’s farmhouse was not fit to live in. There was no running water, the only heat was from a single wood-burning stove that was also used for cooking. The home was unkempt as all the members who resided inside were hoarders and trash was littered everywhere. Despite the lack of organization and the disregard for the home in general, the family did have a television and VCR. After the murders, the home was searched and an enormous library of adult videotapes and magazines were found in the home. The family watched these videos together.

This fact added to the belief that the family practiced romantic as well as familial love with each other. Prior to their deaths, Helen slept in the same bed as her son, Randy. Clarence, Marie, and Irene all slept in the living room. Helen’s oldest son, Kenny, lived in a trailer on the property, by himself.

  • In 1933, fifteen year old Helen became pregnant. The neighbor boy, Frank Gumz was convicted of raping her, however rumors circulated that Clarence was the real father. Kenny believed this himself, that Uncle Daddy Clarence was his sire.

After the bodies were discovered by Kenny on July 5, police were unable to find Helen or her body. They didn’t want to believe that Helen, a 70 year old woman, had murdered her entire family. Helen’s body was found nine months later, near a creek in Medford WI, approximately 15 miles away.

The family was reclusive, only interacting with each other, and the police were unable to find any relatives, friends, or even acquaintances. The decrepit state of their home wasn’t totally unexplainable, as no one in the family had a job. Yet, stashed throughout the home was over $20,000, some of which was in plain sight.

Helen had purchases some ammunition before the murders, stating it was for her son who was going to kill some blackbirds on the property. The ammunition matched the caliber of bullet used to murder the family. This fact left the possibility that Helen killed her family and then took her own life.

Sadly violence and mental illness was common in the Kunz family. The parents of Helen, Irene, Clarence and Marie; Anna and Ignatz Kunz, had experienced violence in 1905. They were living with Ignatz’s mother, Mary, in Manitowoc, WI, and one night Mary’s son, Wenzel, had bludgeoned Mary to death. Mary’s other son, had already spent a good portion of his life in the mental institution, Wenzel joined him after the murder of his mother.

So who murdered the family? A small time criminal named Chris Jacobs III, was initially suspected as he had previous contact with the family when purchasing a vehicle. He was pretty much the only person outside the family that interacted with them, so he was a prime suspect. His trial for the murders was brief, and ultimately he was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

In 1993, an ex-girlfriend, Stacy Weis, came forward and claimed to have heard Chris confess to the crime. Because of the “Double Jeopardy” provision, Chris could not be tried again for the murders of the Kunz family. However they could charge Chris with the abduction and imprisonment of Helen. This time around Chris received a 31 year sentence.

Kenny Kunz, the only family member who didn’t die, and the person who discovered the bodies the day after, was never considered a suspect. Why? Was he innocent? Or was it because he had a low IQ and nobody suspected that simply Kenny, who had a job, could ever kill his entire family? Maybe the fact that Uncle Daddy Clarence and Helen were siblings was too much for Kenny and he decided to end their lives and those of his aunts and brother as well.

What do you think? Was Chris Jacobs the murderer? Was he even guilty of the abduction of Helen? Could Kenny have committed these acts on his family? Or was it Helen? Let me know what you think.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

The Collector

**Warning – The post you are about to read contains graphic details of murder, torture, and other violent acts. Reader discretion is suggested.**

We have given names to serial killers that allow them to become infamous; Son of Sam, The Night Stalker, and The Collector. The Collector is one I hadn’t been fully familiar with and so I learned about him and his modus operandi. Here is the tale of Robert Berdella, The Kansas City Butcher and The Collector.

Robert Berdella Jr, was born in Ohio in 1949, he had a younger brother who was favored by their father as he was interested in sports and physical education. As Robert was largely unathletic, intelligent, but had a speech impediment and wore thick glasses. He also had high blood pressure for which he was prescribed several medications. Robert learned when reaching puberty that he was homosexual, he kept this as a closely guarded secret. Therefore in his early teens he had a girlfriend.

In his mid teens, Robert began to display more self confidence and it would be displayed in a condescending attitude towards women. In 1965, Robert watched the film adaptation of the John Fowles book, The Collector. The plot of the movie revolves around a man who stalks and abducts a woman and holds her captive, viewing her as an attractive specimen. After several weeks she dies, depsite her captor’s efforts to keep her alive. Robert stated that this movie formed a lasting impression on him.

Robert’s father passed away and shortly after his mother remarried, which Robert didn’t appreciate. He immersed himself in his own hobbies; painting, collecting coins and stamps, and writing to foreign pen pals. His pen pals sent him stamps for his collections and photographs of historical icons, cultures, and architecture. This would lead to him collecting these artifacts, this eventually lead to him opening his own business in 1982.

After graduating from high school, Robert enrolled in the Kansas City Art Institute, with aspirations of becoming a college professor. He was a talented student, and became involved in drug sales and distribution. He obtained a reputation as a minor drug dealer. At 19 years old, he was arrested for attempting to sell methamphetamines to an undercover officer. He was given a five year suspended sentence.

Robert eventually purchased a home at 4315 Charlotte Street. He spent a lot of his free time with male prostitutes, drug addicts, petty criminals and runaways. He befriended them and eventually provided help to free them from their drug use or criminal lifestyles. However not everyone was accepting of his assistance and this caused him frustration. Robert was attracted to many of these youths and engaged in sexual relations with them as well.

In July of 1984, 19 year old Jerry Howell, who was acquainted with Robert through the flea market booth. After plying the teenager with alcohol and other drugs, Robert bound Jerry to the bed. Jerry was tied to the bed for 28 hours, and during this time, he was repeatedly drugged, tortured, raped, and violated with foreign objects. Jerry died from either asphyxiation, or a combination of the drugs. Dismembering his body and places the parts in trash cans, Robert disposed of Jerry through the garbage and his body eventually ended up in the landfill. His remains have never been recovered. As will all his victims, Robert kept detailed logs of all his victims and the torture inflicted upon them.

In April of 1985, 23 year old Robert Sheldon, arrived at Robert Berdella’s home asking to stay for a short period of time. Robert Berdella was not fully attracted to him, however he felt he could use him to release some anger and frustration. Five days after his arrival, Robert Sheldon was suffocated and dissected in the bathroom.

In June, 1985, Robert met Mark Wallace. Not only 24 hours later, Mark Wallace was dead. He had suffered with torture including electrical shocks, and hypodermic needles inserted into his back. He died from a combination of drugs, gag, and lack of oxygen.

From then on, Robert Berdella became more brutal in his treatment of his captives. In September, 1985, James Ferris was held captive for 27 hours and his treatment included administering 7700 volt electrical shocks to his shoulders and testicles, hypodermic needles to the neck and genitals. He was also physically and sexually assaulted as well.

June, 1986, 23 year old Todd Stoops was held captive for two weeks before he died. Robert gradually increased the terror to make him cooperative and incapacitated. Robert refused the most basic needs for Todd, such as food and beverages. Two weeks after arriving, Robert ruptured Todd’s anal wall, which causes septic shock and proved fatal.

Spring of 1987, Robert met 20 year old Larry Wayne Pearson. Robert claimed that Larry was the most cooperative of his victims. Similar torture was performed on Larry, he also had several bones in his hands broken to render his submissive. Larry was kept captive for six weeks. Deeply biting into Robert’s penis and screaming for release. Robert, bludgeoned and suffocated Larry before dismembering him and being placed in the freezer. He was eventually buried in the back yard.

March, 1988, Robert abducted male prostitute Christopher Bryson. Upon arriving at Robert’s home, Christopher was knocked unconscious and bound to the bed. He suffered similar torture and abuse as the previous victims. By the third day, Christopher had earned enough trust to persuade Robert to tie his hands in front of him.

Christopher Bryson was able to burn through the restraints from a book of matches, that were inadvertently left in the room. Christopher managed to escape from the house, jumping from the second floor wearing only a dog collar. Breaking his foot in the fall, Christopher ran across the street and demanded help. Police were immediately called.

The investigation lasted until the fall, Robert Berdella plead not guilty and a plea agreement was made for him to confess to all his victims and they would take the death penalty off the table. Robert served his time in the Missouri State Penitentiary, and died in 1992 due to heart complications. His art collections were sold, and his property was later demolished.

What are your thoughts on Robert Berdella? Should he have been able to plea bargain for his acts, to get a reduction in his own judgement?

Be ever alert, make good choices, be safe

Mystery – Children of the Snow

When crimes happen to children, regardless of what it is, the crime seems much worse that is really was, simply because the victim was more innocent than anyone else. This mystery case was recommended by Cas R. and it’s intrigued me, I hope it does for you as well.

Sketches of the assailant

**Warning – The content you are about to read may be too graphic some readers. It may contain descriptions of crimes against children, graphic language, and crime scenes. Reader discretion is suggested.**

In 1976 and 1977 at least four children in Oakland County, Michigan, were murdered. The children were held captive before being killed. The children were either strangled or shot. Each child was taken from outside their home, on their way to or from another location, and discovered in a public area within 19 days of disappearance. The children were all between 10 and 12 years old, and were 2 boys, 2 girls.

Let’s talk about the children first; below are the four confirmed victims:

Mark Stebbins, 12, did not return home from an American Legion Hall. His body was found 4 days later wearing the same clothes he disappeared in. He was lying in the snowbank in a parking lot of an office building. He was strangled, and sexually abused, there were lacerations on his head and rope marks on his wrists and ankles, indicating he was bound.

Jill Robinson, 12, left her home after an argument with her mother. Her bicycle was found behind a hobby store, and her body was found 4 days later alongside I75 in Troy; in view of the police department. She had been shot in the face with a shotgun, and her body was fully clothed and wearing her backpack that she had left the house with. She had not been sexually abused.

Kristine Mihelich, 10, she failed to return home from a 7-Eleven store. Nineteen days later her body was found by a mail carrier on the side of a rural road, in Franklin Village. She had been smothered and her body was found within view of nearby homes. She had not been sexually abused, and only dead for less than 24 hours.

Timothy King, 11, had left home to go to the pharmacy. He failed to return home and an intensive search was conducted. He was found 6 days later by two teenagers, in a shallow ditch. He had been sexually assaulted, and suffocated, approximately six hours earlier.

There were three other victims that are suspected of being victims to the same killer:

  • Cynthia Cadieux, 16, was found bludgeoned to death.
  • Jane Allan, 14, was found in Miamisburg, Ohio, four days after accepting a ride while hitchhiking in Michigan. She died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Kimberly Alice King, 12, disappeared in 1979, authorities believe she was abducted, and her disappearance is connected to the unsolved killings.

After the murder of Kristine, police noticed similarities and put a public warning out about a possible serial killer. 18,000 tips were checked and about two dozen arrests were made on other unrelated charges.

There were several suspects and persons of interest, Archibald Edward Sloan, Ted Lamborgine, and Chris Busch. There were hairs that matched two of the victims in Archibald Sloan’s car. Ted Lamborgine, was a convicted child molester, and pled guilty to 15 sex related counts involving young boys rather than accept a plea bargain that would require him to take a polygraph in this case. Chris Busch was the son of General Motors executive, Harold Busch. He was in police custody before Timothy King was taken, on child pornography charges. He allegedly committed suicide in November 1978. Even though there are some connections from the victims to the suspects, there is not enough evidence to point to one person. The case remains open.

What are your opinions on this odd case? Please share your opinions below.

Be ever alert, make good choices, keep yourself and your loved ones safe

Softest Legs, EVER

Most women shave their legs. They may have started young and began using their mother’s razor to shave in secret. They may have started in their teen years and refused to leave the house if even one leg hair was showing. And some women have never shaved, you go girl. But most women have shaved their legs for a long time; and the one thing we can all agree on is, it’s a pain in the ass.

We can spend hundreds of dollars a year on razors, shaving foams, lotions, and other things to help our legs feel soft. For a night. And then we have to do it all again. Nothing is nicer than freshly shaved legs and clean sheet day, and nothing is worse than legs that haven’t met a razor in a while on a summer day. To get the softest, smoothest legs follow the directions below and you will have legs that you will want others to touch.

  • In a container with an airtight lid mix the following:
    • 2 1/2 cups of sugar
    • 1 cup of oil (any oil you have on hand will work)
    • 5 TBSP of a citrus juice (lemon, lime, grapefruit etc.)
  • When you take a bath, shave your legs as you normally would, using soap, foam or other shaving cream. When done, rinse off leg and then use the sugar scrub above. Rinse and shave again. Yes, one more time. Your choice if you apply the sugar scrub one more time or not. Repeat the process on the other leg.

After shaving and drying off, lotion your legs, and enjoy the smoothest, softest, silkiest legs you have ever felt. Don’t forget to have someone else feel that leg as well, they will be just as happy.

Be strong, be beautiful, be you

Gates Of Hell

In the world today, it seems that no matter how our traditions or cultures differ, many people in the world have a belief in a supreme being who resides above us, and many believe that their is also an opposite being who resides below us. Many places have their mythos about how to access this lower realm, but what if it were true? What if there were areas on this planet that were the Gates to Hell?

The places I’ll discuss here today are by no means an inclusive list, this is merely a small portion or locations that are claimed to be a gate. Whether they are or not is entirely your decision, but if you attempt to venture to these areas, please proceed with caution as some areas may not be safe, open, or legally accessible.

Ploutonion at Hierapolis

Pluto’s Gate: Located in the ancient city of Hierapolis, near Pamukkale in modern Turkey. This location was discovered in 1965 by Italian archeologists. The site sits on top of a cave that emits toxic gases. The cavern still emits toxic fumes, so accessing the inside of the cave is not suggested. Please understand that this site is still being studied by archeologists and may be off limits.

Taken at Latitude/Longitude:29.889114/107.721565. 0.80 km North-East Huinan Chongqing China (Map link)

Fengdu County, People’s Republic of China: Fengdu Ghost City is a large complex of shrines, temples, and monasteries, dedicated to the afterlife. You will find the city to consist of numerous buildings, structures, and statues related to Diyu and Naraka from Chinese and Buddhist mythology about the underworld or hell. According to legend the dead must pass three tests before passing to the next life; the Bridge of Helplessness, where you are tested for Good and Evil. Ghost Torturing Pass, where they present themselves for judgement. The third test is done at the entrance to Tianzi Palace where the dead must stand on a certain stone, on one foot for three minutes. Legend states a virtuous person will pass, and an evil person will fail. Would you pass the tests?

Hellam Township, Pennsylvania: There are two versions of an urban legend surrounding Hellam Township. Both versions, eccentric doctor, or burnt insane asylum, agree that there are seven gates in a wooded area in Hellam Township. Anyone who passes through all seven will go straight to Hell. This hasn’t been fully proven that either legend is true, and the location of the gates is also based on interpretation. If you go exploring the area, be respectful of residents and be sure to get permission before going onto private property.

Derweze, Turkmenistan: In 1971 Soviet geologists tapped into a cavern filled with natural gas. A fire was started, it was a local Soviet decision to avoid poisonous gas discharge. Geologists had hoped the gas would have burned off in a few days, but the fires continue to burn 50 years later. Local have dubbed this area, “Door to Hell”.

Whether you believe these places or others actually are gates to Hell or the underworld or not, it’s nice to learn of new things and explore new areas. Let me know if you have been to any of these places, or other “Gates of Hell” that you can share with me!

You are your own best investment