Devil’s Gate Dam

As I child, I enjoy exploring places where I was warned not to go into or avoid after dark. They were the cemeteries, abandoned buildings, dark alleys and the forest. This curiosity all started from hearing a story about the area such as there’re ghosts, monsters, someone was murder or people went missing. I wanted to know if such tales were real and in the end most weren’t while others had some bases of truth. Most places would have one or two stories surrounding it, but when a location is just drowning in legends would you still go at night say for example the Devil’s Gate Dam.

The Devil’s Gate Dam crosses the Arroyo Seco Canyon in Los Angeles County, California. The structure was built in 1920 to control the floodwater of the Arroyo Seco river. The location is known for its natural rock formation shaped as the Devil’s head. The dam holds many tales about the paranormal involving demons, ghosts, the occult, and portals to hell.

The canyon is believed by local Native American to be haunted and hold mystical properties which their folklore warns to stay away from the area as it’s a portal to the spirit realm. Accounts from early settlers mention experiencing paranormal activity along with disappearance of livestock. What made the Devil’s Gate Dam truly famous didn’t occur until the 1940s.

Jack Parsons, a rocket scientist, would be the one to bring stories of demons, portals to hell and the occult to the canyon. Parson was known to have interests in the occult and was a member of the Ordo Templi Orienti created by no other than Aleister Crowley. Both men believed the Devil’s Gate Dam held great magical powers and even was a portal to hell. Parson was rumoured to performed magical rituals in hopes of opening a doorway to summon a demon into the world. Some had speculated, before his death, a portal was opened and remains to this day, as paranormal activity continues in the area.

Over the decades, strange events had occurred at the Devil’s Gate Dam deepening its mystery. During the 1950s, several children had disappeared within the area some were the victims of a serial killer while the fate of the others remains unknown. Nearby, the Colorado Street bridge, built in 1913, has been the scene of more than 200 suicides. The paranormal activity reported in the area has been encounters with moving shadows, strange ghostly sounds, sudden attacks of anxiety, orbs and most recently UFO sightings. In the research conducted on the Devil’s Gate Dam I found some paranormal groups to advise caution on conducting any investigation at night.


“Devil’s Gate Dam-Pasadena, CA”. Paranormal Exp. (Accessed January 28, 2014).

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