Some say it’s a portal to hell, I go search for the truth. Inside & Out.
Sign of the Devil
Even when the gate is locked, there’s always a way in.
Ladder to hell?
The Devil’s Gate Dam was constructed in the 1920s to control the floodwaters of the Arroyo Seco. Oddly enough, the builders chose to build it right in front of a natural rock formation that, if you squint your eyes a little and use your imagination, looks like the Devil.
Orange is the new concrete.
Dam that’s big!
Holy hell hole?
Bridge over the Hhghway to hell.
An Omen? A black crow [Jack Parsons in disguise] watches over me while searching for the portal. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory also watches over Devil’s Gate. Jack Parsons, a Cal Tech rocket scientist and founder of Jet Propulsion Labs, was interested in the occult and was also a member of the Ordo Templi Orientis, a still-active society which followed the teachings of Aleister Crowley.
The Portal to Hell? No, just a pedestrian tunnel underneath the 210 Freeway.
My first attempt to find the truth was in November 2013, when there was actually water in the bottom of the Arroyo Seco, which ironically means “dry stream” in Spanish.
Touchdown. Hello hell gate.
Parsons and Crowley believed the Devil’s Gate area held great magical power and energy, and Crowley referred to it as one of the seven portals of Hell. They often conducted their magic rituals in this area, drawing on the energy vortex to increase their powers. One of their most intense projects was called Babalon Working. With the Babalon Working project they hoped to summon an entity known as Babylon for the purpose of creating a sort of “anti-Christ”, a child who would eventually bring on the destruction of mankind. According to some, the men succeeded in punching a hole through to another dimension.
There is definitely some weird energy in the air here. In earlier days, Native Americans living in the area believed the canyon contained a doorway to the afterlife and they forbade their people from frequenting the spot. The Devil’s Gate’s notoriety continued to build through the mid-twentieth century with the disappearance of at least four children in the area. In August 1956, 13-year old Donald Lee Baker and 11-year old Brenda Howell went missing while riding their bicycles in the recreation area behind the dam. They were last seen alive on a Sunday evening but never returned home. Hundreds of volunteers searched the foothills of the San Gabriels, while Navy divers checked the reservoir. All that was found were their bicycles and Brenda’s jacket.
Less than a year later in March 1957, 8-year old Tommy Bowman vanished while hiking with his family; he simply ran ahead, rounded a bend and disappeared. Again, search parties scoured the area, on foot and horseback as well as in helicopters. Three years later, 6-year old Bruce Kremen also vanished from the nearby YMCA camp. The boy was not feeling well and a camp counselor watched him walk back towards the camp, not more than 300 yards away. He never arrived. I remembered these stories as I was climbing back up the ladder and saw three very young children about to climb down by themselves. Fortunately, I ran into their father as I reached the top and told him that it wasn’t a good idea to let his kids run around this area by themselves. I mean it is the portal to hell you know.
You’ll find these climbing rigs/challenge ropes at the bottom of the Arroyo not far from the gate.
It was just begging me to enter and with no signs around, I did.
This portal felt a little more inviting.
Gold is a lucky color, right?
Deep inside this portal you’ll dead end at these large metal gates…
…look up to see the light coming from above, 10 stories above through the top of the dam.
The light at the end of the portal.
Go into the light.
The view looking out one of the portals at the bottom of the dam.
The Arroyo Seco passes through both the Devil’s Gate Dam and Pasadena’s Suicide Bridge. And just a mile or two to the east is the Cobb Estate with its own local legends of hauntings and occult rituals. Locals have coined a moniker for the three locations: “the Arroyo Triangle.”
Phantom forms have been seen walking the river bed, a number of unexplainable sounds are often heard and the atmosphere is often described as ‘thick. While I didn’t see or hear anything out of the norm, I did feel an eerie energy at the bottom of the arroyo near the gate. There is definitely something strange about this place and the wicked stories from the past leads me to believe that Devil’s Gate may just be one of the seven portals to hell after all.
In November of 2014, I returned to Devil’s Gate with some extra backup. This time the Arroyo was dry enough to approach the gate from below.
Up close and personal with the devil himself.
Tell us what you really think, Jenny. On my last visit the gates were locked and painted beige. Looks like things are a little different this time.
Some people in the group were a little worried about entering the portal to hell. Not me, I ran into it.
No one had any flashlights on them since we weren’t expecting the gate to be open. Fortunately our cell phones did the trick. One of the girls in our group noticed a tea light candle still burning as we were walking into the portal, worried of what she/we may encounter as we searched for the room where Jack Parsons and Aleister Crowley performed their rituals.
Deep inside the Devil’s belly where Jack Parsons performed his magic and attempted to bring about the antichrist.
A demonic clown smiles next to a spray painted head of Hitler along the portal wall.
We didn’t find anyone else inside but we did come across a lot of candles, condoms and other items that proved we weren’t the only recent visitors who journeyed past the unlocked gates.
So is Devil’s Gate really a portal into an evil underworld? Not sure I can answer that. God knows there’s evilness in this world but whether or not Aleister Crowley, Jack Parsons and L Ron Hubbard were able to bring about the antichrist in their series of magical rituals in 1946 is still inconclusive.