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Stull, Kansas: Gateway to Hell

I grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, which is about fifteen miles away of the town of Stull. Everyone where I came from had heard the rumors of the evils of Stull, and many of us made trips to the cemetery there to experience it firsthand.

With only a handful of residents and a few buildings within its borders, Stull seems like a quiet, lonely little peaceful town. If you believe the stories about Stull, however, you will find that it is actually as far from peaceful one town can get. Stull, Kansas is actually one of the “seven gateways to hell.”

The basic premise of the legends regarding Stull go like this: somewhere within the tiny, run-down Stull cemetery is a set of hidden steps which descend directly to the netherworld itself. The steps are nearly impossible to find, and are covered by a hidden seal which only opens on Halloween and the Spring Equinox. If one does manage to find these steps, they should never venture down them, for it is impossible to ever return.

The entire cemetery, even beyond containing a gateway to hell, is supposedly quite an evil place. The main focus of this evil was a dilapidated, crumbling church that stood up until last year. This church was used by witches and occult groups for worship. The church had no ceiling, but it was said that rain would never fall inside it. If one were to take two bottles and hold them in the formation of an inverted cross, it would be impossible to break them against the walls of this church. Last year, the church was bulldozed without the consent of those who owned the land it stood upon. No one is sure who knocked down the church and why they chose to do so.

Also within this cemetery was an imposingly tall pine tree, which stood until 1998, when it was destroyed to dissuade thrill-seekers. Even though the tree was perfectly healthy, it was cut down the day before Halloween. This tree grew directly through a headstone, splitting it in half. Local lore held that the tree was used to hang witches before the land was allotted as a memorial ground. Both the church and tree were considered landmarks of evil, which would help lead the way to the mystical steps to hell located nearby.

In Stull’s history there have been a few strange facts which speak to its long reputation of being a cursed area. First, in the early 1900’s, a boy was accidentally burned to death by his own father.  A few years later, a man in town was found hanging from a tree. Both of these took place near a road known as “Devil’s Road,” which appears on old maps of Stull, although it no longer exists today. In short, Stull, Kansas has long been a place of mysterious deaths and associations with the Dark Prince.

Today, mysterious people guard Stull from disturbances.  Stories abound of curious people being terrorized and chased out of Stull by pick up trucks.  Some stories say that these trucks would trail intruders for over twenty miles!  This had lead to further speculation that there is something going on in Stull that someone wishes to hide.  –Erika S.

Still Scary in Stull

There is a cemetery in Stull where a pine tree stood stoic, sentinel on sunny, bright, winter days and would appear as a silhouette at sunset. A tombstone has been split by the enormous trunk and has become embedded in the roots. Tales of a witch being hung from the branches of the pine have been passed down through the generations. Other witches subsequently have flocked to the cemetery on May Day Eve and Halloween to hold black masses. The witches have been known to dance around the tree.

On October 30, 1998, the pine was cut down that

had previously loomed over the cemetery. Kedrich Blacwood of The Lawrence Journal-World quotes the official position of the town citizens that the tree had to be removed because it had died during the summer. Authorities have made no indication that the pine had played a role in legends of demonology that surround the cemetery or that it had anything to do with why the tree was cut down.

The ruins of the church in Stull consist of four walls and a pile of debris that used to be on Emmanuel Hill that served Stull until 1922. Since then, the legends concerning the church and the surrounding cemetery have grown as the church has decayed. The church was allegedly used by Satanists who used to, and may still use the church to have rituals.

There are many rumors of a staircase that is behind the church on the right hand side of the church if you are facing the church. The staircase is difficult to find because grass has overgrown the lid that covers the stairwell. The stairs are supposed to lead to a gateway to hell. One rumor says that if one goes down the stairs, it will take two weeks to get back up to the ground level, although it seems like only a few moments have passed. After starting to descend the stairs, it feels as if the person is being dragged down the stairs by an unknown force!

One of the most important legends is that the church serves as one of the seven portals to hell. The devil reportedly makes a personal appearance in the cemetery on Halloween at midnight to visit the grave of a witch with whom the devil had a child. Their child is said to materialize in the surrounding woods, taking on the form of a werewolf.

Visitors who have made midnight trips to the cemetery have fallen victim to various mysterious phenomena—many of them have reported experiencing missing time. They have found that although according to their watches they have spent several hours in the cemetery when all they remember is next to nothing!

For those who dare to camp out behind the church for a night or two, they will hear weird and awful noises! People who are brave enough to are encouraged to spend the night behind the church to avoid patrols performed by local police that occur every hour or two. People are encouraged to bring lots of extra batteries for their flashlights because they will have lots of problems with their flashlights going out mysteriously. It would also be a good idea to bring warm clothing, a tent and a cell phone (not to mention, telling a friend where you will be in case the devil tries to take you down to hell with him)! –Adam John Ketzner

Campout on the Threshold to Hell

There are "stairs" that lead somewhere down. They are behind the church on the right side if you are facing the church. They aren't easy to find, however, because they are well covered by the grass that has grown on top of the lid that covers them. It is not easy to find them, it took a friend and I about three hours of snooping around. We came upon this about six years ago. 

If you really want to see or hear awful and weird stuff, try to campout behind the church for a night. Do this behind the church to avoid the patrols that do drive by there at night every hour or two. Take a flashlight and plenty of batteries, because you will have a ton of trouble keeping the flashlight working and it will go out a lot, trust me, I know. –Ryan

Photos by Adam Shafer

Weird Kansas

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