Constructed in 1920 to control the now feeble flood waters from the San Gabriel Mountains, the dam and gated channel played host to some strange goings on involving Jack Parsons (JPL co-founder) and L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology).
They called this spot the Devil's Gate, named for a rock outcropping at its base that many believe resembles the face of the devil (i.e. protruding chin, pointy noise, stern eye socket, stumpy horn). But the name goes back farther than the Army Corps of Engineers who built the dam. The Tongva Indians, who lived in the area for centuries, called this spot the Hell Gate because they believed it was literally a portal to the underworld.
In a letter written by Aleister Crowley to Parsons, after he assumed leadership of Pasadena's Thelema Lodge, he tells him that he had "researched" the Hell Gate and concluded that it was one of seven gateways to hell on the planet and encouraged Parsons to "make use of it" -though, he doesn't specify how exactly.
Other cultures have their own "gates to hell." Here's a sampling:
Turkey and Greece - Recent excavations in the ruins of the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now called Pamukkale, in southwestern Turkey, described the hellgate there as an opening filled with lethal mephitic vapors. Other Ploutonions were found around the Greek eastern Mediterranean, often in places where underground gases escaped, including one at Eleusis. The Acheron River in northwest Greece was also linked to the underworld (Charon was the ferryman of the dead).
Italy- In Sicily, near Enna, lies the cleft through which Hades himself is rumored to have brought Persephone to the underworld, where she ate six pomegranate seeds, thus dooming the Earth to six months of winter every year. The Roman hero Aeneas is said to have entered the underworld through or near Lake Avernus in the volcanic landscape near Naples; a different legend of Odysseus names the same spot for his descent.
Israel- The Twins Cave in the Judean hills outside Jerusalem has revealed evidence of pagan rituals linked to the underworld and may have been thought to be an access point for Persephone's journey to the underworld.
Mesoamerica- Nicaragua's Masaya Volcano was dubbed the "Mouth of Hell" by the Spaniards, who came across it in the 16th century. (Volcanoes throughout the world have had a special relation to hell, for obvious reasons.) The Yucatan's many limestone caves and cavern networks enchanted the Maya, and they ritually deposited valuables and sacrificed humans to the gods of the watery cave underworld. The Maya creation myth recounts the tale of the hero twins who vanquished the evil gods of the underworld, Xibalba, and freed the lesser gods there to surface and start our living world above.
Last edited by MetaMur on Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total