Houska Castle is a cliffside fortress located just outside of Prague in a mountainous region of the Czech Republic. Built in the early 13th century, Houska castle is said to be an enclosure used to house a gateway to hell.
Around 1253, during the reign of Ottokar II of Bohemia, locals living on the countrysides of Prague discovered that a great split in the earth had appeared seemingly overnight. Villagers reported a strong smell of sulfur, headaches, and abdominal pain when approaching the hole. Sightings of creatures emerging from the pit included a "half-man half bullfrog", winged beasts, and screaming corpses. Houska castle was built directly on top of the pit. Local legend says that a prisoner sentenced to death was offered a full pardon if he agreed to be lowered in to the hole suspended from a length of rope. He agreed to the terms, and seconds after being lowered in began to scream and plead to be pulled back up. The man appeared to have aged 30 years in the few seconds he spent in the pit and emerged screaming and rambling incoherently. After being sent to an insane asylum, he died two days later of unknown causes.
When construction began, the castle was said to be an "administrative building" used to hold meetings. The layout of the compound told a different story. A chapel was placed directly over the hole and sealed from the outside. The entire castle and outer buildings were full of seemingly empty rooms and contained no kitchen, no source of water, and held no occupants. Every window was fake, with stone walls built behind the panes of glass. Each door was built to be locked from the outside, locking the demons of the pit inside. After the construction of Houska Castle, sightings of demons in the area stopped.
Today, Houska Castle has been visited by many tourists and paranormal investigators. Even Nazi soldiers were sent during the war to investigate the claims of the occult in the area. Reports of scratching on the walls and doors, phantoms roaming the halls of the castle, and unbearable screaming are still made by those who make the journey to the castle.