IN MEMORIUM : HELLSGATE
Hellsgate Haunted House
In 1982 a group of theatre students opened an award-winning haunted house on the actual grounds of an old Illinois cemetery. This haunted house was built to be an exact replica of the old "Lost Souls Cemetery" and funeral home, which was exhumed and relocated by the state in 1939. For ten years the haunted house experienced legendary success, partly because it was well know that the property used to be an actual graveyard, and also because of the extreme nature of the performers. Their show was known for its intense fear factor, which once led to a customer's fatal heart attack inside the haunted house. Beyond the infamy of actually scaring a customer to death, Hellsgate was known for its money back guarantee, "if you make it all the way through the haunted house, and jump down the Giant Slide, YOU GET YOUR MONEY BACK!" claimed owner Jack Fitzpatrick.
Although Hellsgate Haunted House was a financial and critical success, a police investigation caused the owner to close the doors forever in 1992. On the third week of October in 1992, eleven actors and managers went missing while working in the haunted house. After a two year investigation the case was closed and considered unsolved. Because there were no traces of the missing employees, the police focused their investigation on the last person to have seen them. Unfortunately, his testimony was considered invalid, due to the fact that he was committed to an Illinois mental health facility soon after the night his friends went missing.
Sinister Visions inc. has created this site as a memorial to Hellsgate, the incredible history of the grounds on which it was built and the bizarre circumstances of its closing. Research is underway to provide a more in-depth website - check back for additional historical details and updates. In the meantime, read the available history of Hell's Gate Cemetery, or take a look at the movie that's being made about it - Haunted House : The Movie.
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