Driving Through the Seven Gates of Hell in Collinsville, Illinois

Gate 5 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Catchy signs on the edge of farms, oversized items in small towns, and even wineries that remind you of Italy can all be found while driving on the backroads in rural Illinois. However, nothing can prepare you for the creepiness of driving through the seven gates of hell in Collinsville, Illinois. I found the gates quite by accident. I was googling what to do in Collinsville, and one of the top things to do is drive through the gates of hell. What? Well, anyone who knows me knows that I’m going to try it if it has a high creep factor. Here is what happened on my drive and all the directions you will need if you want to follow in my footsteps and go through the seven gates of hell yourself.

What are the gates?

The gates, themselves, are only railroad trestles built in the late 1800s. The bridges were built to help trains get around the small mining town. What is left along Lebanon road in Collinsville has deteriorated. And over the years, thick woods have grown up obscuring almost everything around the gates, which adds to the spook factor.

Urban Legends

The rumors are rampant around these gates. There are stories of hangings, KKK meetings, satanic rituals, and paranormal activity by these seven gates. Whether these are true or not, the dark atmosphere surrounding these gates is undeniable.

Two urban legends surround these gates. The first one is if you drive through each gate in order from one to seven, and you go through the final gate exactly at midnight, a portal from Hell will open. When this portal is opened, Hell Hounds will come out to drag you to Hell. The second is if you drive through the gates in reverse, from 7 to 1, a tear, in reality, will appear. You can glimpse it by looking back as you drive through the gate. Supposedly you get a view into Hell in your rearview mirror.

Gate 1

Gate 1 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

To find the first gate, you have to get to Collinsville from Route 159. As you go through downtown, look for E. Church Street. Turn right. Follow E. Church Street to the cemetery. I did get a little turned around at the cemetery. Make sure to stay to the left as you pass by the cemetery. E. Church Street eventually changes names to Lebanon Road.

There is a road to the left that you can pull over in to take a quick photo if you want. However, it is hard to see cars coming through the gate from the left when you pull out from there. Be careful! This gate is probably the most open, so the creep factor is low on this one. I also chose to drive through the gates in the middle of the day. I’m sure at night; it would take on a completely different vibe.

Gate 2

Gate 2 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

You come across gate two in a half-mile from the first gate. Please keep your eyes open as it is a sharp left. I pulled over off the road in front of the gate to get the photo. You have to make the left turn on Lockman road to reach gates three and four. If you miss the turn, you miss these gates as Lockman road meets back up to Lebanon road after gate four.

Gate two has some ominous stories surrounding it. One story has a young African American boy chased by the KKK and is caught and hung at gate 2. Another story has two friends arguing over a girl; one hangs himself, and the other friend feels remorse and hangs himself as well. Supposedly you can see spirits of a man and child by this gate and hanging bodies at midnight.

Gate 3

Gate 3 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Gate three is a half-mile from gate 2 on Lockman road. It will be on the right on Longhi road after some cement structures. The gate dips down, and it is tough to see if any cars are coming in the opposite direction. A helpful reminder for you to drive carefully, as these are all country roads and are very narrow with little to no shoulder. I pulled over as far as I could and am glad that I did for a couple of vehicles had come through from the opposite side.

Gates three and four are called the Twin Gates as they are very close together. The stories for these two gates are that satanic rituals and animal sacrifices happened between these gates. The other weird thing that happens, and it did happen to me, is what happens between these gates. You have to make a quick turn to the left after going through gate three. I pulled over quickly as gate four is only 400 feet away. You can hear a car approaching very quickly from the direction of four so, I stayed in my car and opened my window to get the photo. As I waited for the car to appear for a while, it never did. I swear, I heard a car!

Gate 4

Gate 4 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Gate four is just plain creepy. It has, by far, the biggest spook factor surrounding it. I was fascinated by this gate. I drove through and kept going but decided to go back for a closer look at the gate. I turned around and parked the car before the gate on the right, just off the road. All the gates are covered in graffiti, but this gate also had leftovers from whatever happens here at night.

Burnt couch and teddy bear by Gate 4 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Gate 5

Gate 5 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Once you pass gate 4 on Longhi road, it connects back into Lebanon road. Follow Lebanon road pass Heck road and Bohnenstiehl roads. You will need to take a left turn onto S. Liberty road. This is a country road and is narrow, so watch out for approaching vehicles. I had to pull over to let an Amazon Prime truck go past me. The fifth gate is approximately one mile at the bottom of a hill. There is nowhere to pull over before this gate. And all you can see is a very narrow dark tunnel that you have to go through without seeing through to the other side.

Gate 6

Gate 6 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Liberty road merges into W. Mill Creek road. The sixth gate is about a half-mile from where the roads merge. This gate happens to be confused with another called Acid Bridge. The Acid bridge’s story is that there was a group of teens tripping on LSD and had a fiery car crash into or off the bridge. Supposedly, you can see a ghost car that reenacts this event at that bridge. I didn’t find anything untoward around the sixth gate as it is surrounded by farms and farmers harvesting their fields.

Gate 7

Gate 7 of the Gates of Hell in Collinsville

Gate seven is the farthest away from the other gates, and most people give up before they even reach it. Stay on W. Mill Creek road until it stops at Troy-O’Falon road. Cross the intersection to continue on E. Mill Creek road until you come to a stop sign at Blackjack road. Turn left on Blackjack road. Then you will be turning right on Bauer road. Bauer road will take you directly through the seventh gate.

The last gate to me was not very ominous as the concluding one to open the portal to hell. It was right after the farms that I found to be charming. I even stopped to take some pictures of cows. Don’t ask why! This is just something I do…cows, sheep, etc. they all end up in my camera at some point. Also, my drive through the seven gates of hell occurred in the middle of the day. If I attempted to do this in the pitch dark at midnight, I’m sure I would be writing a completely different story.

A cow in Collinsville, Illinois

Are you ready to drive through the seven gates of hell? Would you do it forward or in reverse? How much of a risk-taker/believer are you? If you have done this, let me know in the comments your thoughts and experiences. I would love to compare our experiences. Just remember to be careful as these roads are extremely narrow, and it isn’t easy to see approaching cars, so if you are attempting to go through the gates. Go slow!

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Further Reading

If you are coming to Illinois or the St. Louis area for a visit, check out these posts for other travel inspiration:

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