Despite over forty years of people storming Stull, Kansas, on Halloween, there is no evidence it is home to one of the Seven Gates of Hell
The small town of Stull is believed to hold one of the Seven Gate of Hell
The devil is said to appear in the town cemetery on Halloween at midnight
The town church was torn down in 2002
On Halloween in 1998, an estimated 500 people showed up and vandalized the area
Douglas County Sheriffs charge anyone they can catch in Stull with criminal trespass
You know Halloween is almost here when people relentlessly begin hitting Google and social media to find “real” haunted houses, fields, cemeteries, and anywhere else one may get a chance to have a paranormal experience. Since the mid 70’s, a small town in Kansas has been a a destination for eager paranormal investigators and fucked up college kids looking to make contact with the other side.
Stull, Kansas, is cloaked in myths, stories, and urban legends. Some say those legends date back 100 years or more, but there does not seem to be any evidence of any of these stories in print until the 1970’s. Even then, the majority of Stull’s spooky stories lack any evidence to support them.
Seven Gates of Hell
The small town’s cemetery and church are the heart of the folklore behind the legends of Stull being home to one of the “Seven Gates of Hell.” It is said that the Stull is one of two places the devil will take form on Earth on Halloween night. The other place is only described as a “desolate plain of India.”
One story claims Pope John Paul II had his private plane redirected around the Eastern Kansas because he did not want to fly over “unholy ground” while on a flight to Colorado. The story allegedly originated from an issue of Time Magazine in 1993 or 1995, depending on the version of the story.
There is no evidence what-so-ever that Time ever ran the story of Pope John Paul II having his plane redirected due to unholy ground. Another version of the story claims that Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails refuses to fly over Kansas because he does not want to fly over one of the Gates of Hell. Nothing is backing the Reznor story either.
One of Stull’s origin stories claims the original name of the town was “Skull,” and the devil had appeared in the town since the 1850’s due to the early settlers deep relationship with black magic. As that story goes, the settlers were so ashamed by their dark history that they changed the name from Skull to Stull. However, the town was actually called “Deer Creek Community” until 1899. The town was renamed after the town’s first postmaster Sylvester Stull.
Another popular origin story of why the devil has chosen Stull is that in the 1850’s a stable hand lured the town mayor into a stone barn. Once inside the barn, he stabbed the mayor to death. The barn was later converted into a church, which was gutted due to a fire. One crucifix allegedly remained on a wall in the church, and would become inverted when someone walked in the church at the stroke of midnight.
Two of the other origin stories are quite similar. One claims that the devil was in love with a witch who was hung from a tree in the cemetery. The old tree is said to have been cut down years ago but was once commonly used to hang witches. No records show witch trials occurred in that area, but there is a tombstone in the cemetery with the name “Witttch.”
The other version of the story claims the devil and a witch have a child buried in Stull Cemetery. Legend says the spawn of darkness was born so deformed that it only lived for a few days after birth. The child is said to haunt the cemetery and has allegedly been seen and described as a “werewolf-like boy.” There are obviously no records of the devil and a witch having a child in that area, nor is there a death certificate for the child.
Inside the dilapidated church, people have claimed to feel strong winds and hear laughter. Despite the church lacking a roof, some claim the inside would remain dry during rain. Too many to count have claimed to witness a paranormal entity in the area. However, once again this is not something that can be confirmed.
Locals are very protective over Stull, leading many to think residents are part of an occult to protect some dark secret. However, people do not realize the damage that these stories have caused for a small town in Kansas. Some stories claim the devil comes to Stull twice a year. On Halloween and the Spring Equinox, which led to 150 people invading Stull on March 20, 1978, in hopes of seeing the devil.
By 1988 it is said that roughly 500 people were coming into the town’s cemetery to get a glimpse of the devil. That year the cemetery saw a significant amount of vandalism and trash. It was not the first year that the church and cemetery had vandalism or been trashed, but the town took measures to make it the last.
In 1989 the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department began handing out criminal trespass tickets on Halloween night. Even with the threat of criminal trespassing, people still risk it to try to sneak into the cemetery. Despite the church being torn down in 2002, the stories continue to grow, which is terrible news for the unwelcoming residents of Stull.
Residents of Stull have watched people come into the same cemetery their loved ones are buried at for over forty years. Over the years, they have watched a countless number of strangers, get drunk, do drugs, trash, and vandalize the graves of their loved ones. Most of the people living in Stull do not even know about the stories that are told.
A of now, nobody has reported seeing the devil, but many have received criminal trespass. So this Halloween, if you are looking to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, you will be dancing by yourself if you manage to sneak into Stull, Kansas.