L’Orfeo – Claudio Monteverdi

Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi’s 1607 opera L’Orfeo, the third act of which includes the words “Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch’entrate.”

Dante’s Inferno in Antrum (2018)?

“The allegedly cursed supernatural found footage film, Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made, recently released for viewers that want to tempt fate. It contains over a hundred sigils and countless references to demonic entities, deities, and spiritual practices. The most captivating aspect of the film are the five layers that siblings Oralee and Nathan go through as they dig deeper towards the pit of hell.

In Antrum, the two siblings venture to the forest to free their dog Maxine from hell. The location is known for keeping evil demons from escaping and the exact spot where the devil landed when he was banished from heaven. It is where the devil placed the gates to hell and, in order to get to its core, the characters must go through the layers that separate them from it.

Their exploration in the supernatural forest resembles one that 14th century Italian poet Dante Alighieri wrote about in his the Divine Comedy, better known as Inferno.  Which brings up the question: are Oralee and Nathan going through the layers of hell depicted in Dante’s Inferno? Here are all of the clues that the two are in the hell described by the poet nearly 700 years ago.”    –Marian Phillips, Screen Rant, April 30, 2020

Cheaters, HBO Films (2000)

Cheaters-HBOFilms-2000-Dante-Abandon-Hope[JOLIE] “Pride, that’s what it’s all about. Lucifer was too proud to play runner-up to someone he felt superior to, so he set up his own shop.”

[MR. PLECKI] “And what did Dante say was written on the gates of Lucifer’s shop?”

[JOLIE] “‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.'”

[UNNAMED GIRL IN CLASS] “That’s what it should say on the door to this school.”

The HBO Films movie Cheaters (2000; dir. John Stockwell) is currently available to view on YouTube here (last accessed February 15, 2020). The quoted exchange happens 3:35-3:52.

Contributed by Sarah Scherkenbach (The Bolles School ’22)

Theme Park World – Halloween World

“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

Theme Park World, Bullfrog Productions’ 1999 construction and management simulation game. Upon selecting Halloween World, the Adviser references the inscription upon the gates of hell.

Learn more from Theme Park World‘s Wikipedia page here.

Real Places on Earth That Lead to the Gates of Hell

“Hell on Earth: A concept that has fascinated many for millennia, an attempt to place divine punishment on the same plane of existence humans live in. [. . .] Religions across the world speak of portals that connect the living with the dead and the terrible creatures that guard this fiery pit. Where are these gates to Hell?

[. . .]

“Along the road of Lake Averno in Italy, we find one of the oldest roads that lead to the underworld. Over two thousand years ago, Grotto della Sibilla was once a Roman military tunnel connecting Lake Averno to Lake Lucrino. Here, Aeneas with Sibyl at his side embarked on a journey into Hades.    —Eduardo Limón, Cultura Colectiva, August 2, 2016

Monster Children – The Gates of Hell

monster-children-the-gates-of-hell

Photo by Kealan Shilling

Rumour has it, this entrance leads to seven layers of interconnecting tunnels (the seven layers of hell) and that somewhere within them, is a room where you come face to face with Lucifer himself.

The ‘Gates of Hell,’ is a series of water runoffs and underground tunnels located in Clifton, about an hour outside of downtown Manhattan.

“We passed several dry, smaller openings and eventually we came to a larger room with three tunnels, one of which smells a bit and is marked comedically, ‘…not the gate to hell…'”    — Kealan Shilling, Monster Children, May 25, 2016

Prisons in Venezuela: “The Fifth Circle of Hell”

“The standoff at El Rodeo has drawn attention to the conditions of Venezuela’s prisons, which Hugo Chávez, the president, has famously called “the gateway to the fifth circle of hell.” When he was inaugurated in 1999—five years after the end of his own jail stint for leading an attempted coup—22,000 inmates were crammed into prisons built for 17,000. Mr Chávez promised a “humanisation” programme.” [. . .]    —The Economist, July 14, 2011

Marvel Comics, Ka-Zar the Savage #9-12 (1981-1982)


“In 1982, Marvel Comics incorporated Dante Alighieri into their superhero universe in Ka-Zar the Savage Issues #9-12. Apparently, Dante based the Inferno on a pre-historic, Atlantean amusement park, one where cultists killed Beatrice in order to summon inter-dimensional demons. Dante managed to defeat the cultists with his prayers, but they return to power seven centuries later to attempt to summon their demon-lords again. That leaves it up to Ka-zar the Savage to climb down an animatronic Hell to finish what Dante started.”  –Paul Jenizm

(Contributed by Paul Jenizm)

Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs’s album Gates of Hell (2014)

Gates of Hell” is an album released on July 31, 2014 by Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs. The band hails from Toronto, Canada, and are a self-described “6 piece rock n’ roll band from hell.” — cited from Bandcamp.com

The album features 10 songs:sam-coffey-iron-lungs-gates-of-hell

  1. Gates of Hell – 3:31
  2. Hold Me Close – 2:32
  3. Birthday! – 1:31
  4. Communication – 4:04
  5. Get Pumped Up – 1:32
  6. Season of the Witch – 2:46
  7. Heavy on Queen St. – 3:16
  8. Calgary Hill – 3:13
  9. Seventeen – 2:58
  10. Brides of Satan – 3:31

Watch the music video for the song “Gates of Hell” below:

Learn more about Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs on their website, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

Darvasa Gas Crater, the “Gate to Hell” (Turkmenistan)

Darvaza-Gas-Crater-Gate-of-Hell-Turkmenistan“There are places on Earth that are a little creepy, places that feel a little haunted and places that are downright hellish. The Darvaza gas crater, nicknamed by locals ‘The Door to Hell,’ or “The Gates of Hell,” definitely falls into the latter category—and its sinister burning flames are just the half of it. Located in the Karakum Desert of central Turkmenistan (a little over 150 miles from the country’s capital) the pit attracts hundreds of tourists each year. It also attracts nearby desert wildlife—reportedly, from time to time local spiders are seen plunging into the pit by the thousands, lured to their deaths by the glowing flames.” — Natasha Geiling, Smithsonian.com (May 20, 2014)