Empire Mine Road - Gates of Hell

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Another spooky spot along Empire Mine Road. There are a number of stories about the “Gates of Hell,” but most commonly local kids tell each other than if you pass through these seemingly innocuous gates, you will die exactly one year later from mysterious causes. Others say there used to be an insane asylum along this road and the gates are what’s holding back the spirits of the dead.

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Geographic Information

Empire Mine Road
Antioch, CA
United States

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37.93809502302913, -121.80032506585121
Contra Costa County, California
Nearest Towns:
Brentwood, CA (4.1 mi.)
Antioch, CA (4.6 mi.)
Oakley, CA (6.3 mi.)
Clayton, CA (7.4 mi.)
Knightsen, CA (7.5 mi.)
Pittsburg, CA (7.7 mi.)
Bay Point, CA (9.8 mi.)
Blackhawk, CA (10.0 mi.)
Byron, CA (10.1 mi.)
Bethel Island, CA (10.2 mi.)


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Comments (12)

  1. norman huard  |  

    I used to live in Antioch, Ca, and one night, by the gates, we were driving by at midnight on the way to gravity hill, and when we drove by, looking into the rearview, my friend dan and i saw a demonic looking creature in the road

  2. A group of us went over the gates which was a cement block at the time everyone got scared and ran back except me and my husband and we were walking on some sort of what use to be a road we were surrounded by dark and all of a sudden it felt like people ran up on us and rocks were being thrown at us…we ran back to the car also on marsh creek road 1 night we were parked on the side of the road and something what I thought was a mountain lion slammed down on to the trunk of the car I quickly rolled up my window and locked the door my husband looked back and he yelled did you see that I didn’t but he said whatever animal landed on the trunk got up and walked like a human into the hills

  3. Years ago i lived in Rio Vista some friends and i went up to what people call gravity hill which is empire mine rd. My friend told me to drive to the X in the road turn the car around and shut it off put it in neutral. So i did we sat there for about 10 seconds before suddenly the car started rolling like we were being pushed i got chills just thinkin about it. From where we were to the stop sign is more of an upgill grade so it was impossible for us to be even moving. I was in shock we rolled at a steady 10 mph no joke all the way to the stop sign and suddenly we came to a rolling stop. I turned to my buddy and asked what the hell just happen!! He said he couldnt explain but lets do it again! So we did it again this time we didnt roll all the way to the stop sign we stopped about halfway to it but i honestly to this day think about that and it haunts me! Ill never forget it today the road has been gated off by police. Hmmm wonder why??

  4. One time a friend and I went to empire mine rd, thinking nothing of ghosts and we were just passing along at night. We saw this lady in a night gown in the middle of the road. I was only going 10mph, because it was super foggy out and my fog lights weren’t working. I had slammed on my breaks and immediately exited the car to see if the lady was ok. But she just walked away from me. I continued to follow her to the side of the road, next to this gate and at the time I thought it was just something blocking off a pathway to an abandoned house/building. The lady walked right past the gate and disappeared, before I could even make it past the gate. My friend had gotten out of the car at that time, she ran up to me saying where the f*** did she go. We decided to keep walking up this long road, it was very dark and as we kept walking it seemed like the gate was disappearing. I got kind of creeped out at that point, so I was about to turn around and run back to my car. Until my friend walks past the hill and yells for me. I run to her scared as shit and she points to absolutely nothing, because this whole ghost tale is a fake. I’ve lived in Antioch all my life and we use to always mess around at the “gates of hell”. You don’t feel anyone touching/throwing things at you. We even brought an oujia board there once, because I’m not scared of ghost or anything and as a kid I didn’t care. Nothing happened. My friend moved the thing on purpose, but other than that NOTHING. Yes, there was an asylum there. But no, it isn’t haunted like they are saying it is and there isn’t anything past the hills besides trees and dirty. There is also a golf course around there as well. The slaughter house story isn’t real either, because the “girlfriend who killed her boyfriend” is still alive and living in Antioch. Don’t believe tales kiddies. It isn’t worth it. Take it from a 40 year old mom who has actually brought her child to the “gates of hell”. Calling it that makes me laugh.

  5. Where is the gates of hell? Found the slaughterhouse, did not see any cement barrier leading to ” gates of hell. Is there some sort of marker to identify the road?

    • I went there today and it looks like the cement barrier was removed. I went down the road all the way to the end but I didn’t see an insane asylum. Can anyone tell me specifically where it is? I came to two tiny little structures but nothing resembling an insane asylum.

      • Last time I was there was 2016. Me and a bunch of my friends decided to go after senior dinner and all that happened was we heard a loud bang coming from the slaughterhouse. We all ran laughing and my friend who was never atheltic out ran me(i played varsity basketball) and he jumped over the gates lol. Did gravity hill that night as well. Never thought any of it was haunted. Never saw anything, no handprints on the rear of the car and no weird sounds except for the bang from the slaughterhouse but I’m sure that could be an animal or something explainable.

  6. I dated a guy that used to live on part of the Higgins ranch across from the “cave” that was definitely g into the side of the hill. It was dug as a cold storage area. The ranch was about half a mile off Empire Mine and not visible from the road. One of the old mine towns, West Hartley, was on the property. I never heard of an asylum ever being out there, that is myth. We used to explore all over the hills and the only thing I ever saw was a filled in mine entrance and lots and lots of pottery shards from plates and such. We never saw any ghosts or gates of hell. I even walked from the main road to the house one night alone and am obviously still here to tell the tale. They did mine sand to make glass on part of the property in the early 1900’s.

  7. When I was 12, I was with my sister and her friends walking to the slaughterhouse because I was curious about it. So when we got there it was around 7:20 and so it was getting a little dark, but we continued walking and I went to one of the broken fences and placed a flower, because I always do that when I walk some where where someone died. As we continued we went to gravity hill I placed 10 flowers by the grass, soon we got to the asylum and I placed the rest of the flowers there and sat on my knees and and apologized for them getting their lives taken away so soon. As we walked back home, we past the hill where my flowers were moved and one was near water, I ignored thinking it was the wind and my sister friend Reggie was werided our and whispered those poor little kids and continued walking, soon we got back to the car and left. A month later I came back with my sister and brother, we brought are dog and as we went buy the asylum again my flowers were everywhere and placed like they were on graves, I thought it was peopel doing it out of respect, we went home and i haven’t came back til yesterday and my flowers were still there, and still looked the same, I was comfused because every flower I placed were still alive and okay. I lived in Antioch all my life and I know stories about the white witch, sand caves, the cults, and everything and yet these places made me think I was crazy. Gravity hill is a sad place you can feel the energy change to depressing and a little bit of fear. I’m 16 now and I go back sometimes just to talk to nothing because it feels like I’m actually being listen to, call me crazy but I love being there.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.