seal the passage between Earth and Hell
|“||Beyond that door lies Hell itself.||”|
— The Sentinel
Hell Gates are mystical portals that connect the world of the living with the dark depths of Hell. These thresholds are temporary passages that appear on Earth near certain negative occurrences such as the passage of the Starry Messenger Comet, or the full incarnation of the Devil on Earth.
The nature of these thresholds varies according to the occurrences in question, and the power that the Devil can exercise on Earth. Witches seem to be able to open temporary portals only through the shedding of innocent blood needed for the Grand Rite. In this case, it is a mystical passage fueled by hell-blood.
The most stable Hell Gates are, of course, those created by the Devil himself. One of the portals to Hell is sealed by a heavy door in one of the hallways of the House of the Seven Gables. The door is richly inlaid and adorned with studs and other symbols, but its most disturbing detail is definitely the bronze swing representing a demon with horns and mouth wide open. Crossing the threshold leads directly to Hell, presenting itself as a stone stairway that goes down to the center of the Earth.
Throughout the Salem seriesEdit
Thanks to the passage of the Starry Messenger Comet in the sky, the corpses afflicted by Witch Pox thrown in the crags became a large pool of hell-blood, allowing the Countess Von Marburg to sacrifice John Sibley and welcome the Devil into the child's body, his intended vessel, with much despair for Mary Sibley, while Tituba, Sebastian Von Marburg and Anne Hale welcomed their Dark Lord with trepidation. (Midnight Never Come)
Once reported in the world of the living, Mary Sibley sneaked in her former home, remaining upset by the changes made to the building. At the end of a corridor never before existed, in fact, there was a disturbing door that upset her. (The Hearth Is A Devil)
Awakened by disturbing cries of suffering, Cotton Mather left his bedroom and headed for the end of one of the hallways of the House of the Seven Gables, ending in a door. When Cotton, driven by curiosity, approached the eye to the keyhole, he saw himself crucified on the contrary in the middle of a church in flames. The vision was so disturbing that he also had the illusion to cry blood, until he was brought back to reality by the voice of Mary Sibley, startled by his cries of pain. (The Commonwealth of Hell)
The curiosity of Cotton Mather to the door was again awakened when he heard his father's voice asking for help from behind the door. This time it was The Watchman who violently took away the Reverend from the door that he was about to open. Cotton, then, asked explanations about the nature of the doors, and the reason behind the voice of his father to which The Sentinel simply replied that Hell was lying behind the door before walking away together with a frightened Cotton. (The Man Who Was Thursday)
With the approach of Black Sunday and the completion of Great Terror, Cotton Mather was led by Anne Hale in front of the Hell Gate in Sibley House, where a frowned Mary Sibley had been tricked by one of Tituba's spells, implemented to summon forth the Dark Lord's essence from beyond the gates. (Saturday Mourning)
In front of the door, Cotton Mather was driven by the Dark Lord to make a difficult decision: sacrificing himself to save Salem citizens from death. The Reverend accepted the proposal, unaware that his sacrifice would have given enough energy for the Dark Lord to reach his manhood ahead of time, also giving the Dark Lord the opportunity to get rid of a potential hindrance while still achieving the power that would result from the slaughter of citizens. Once he crossed the threshold, Cotton stepped down a stairway that led him to a boundless expanse of flames and hell-blood, with demons that tortured the souls of the damned in unmanageable ways. (Black Sunday)
- Countess Von Marburg: "This is the place of desolation, the dreaming sanctuary of the deathless flame. And from this open Gate of Hell comes the walking horizon of the other God-given flesh."
- — Midnight Never Come
- The Sentinel: "Stay away from this door!"
- Cotton Mather: "My father is in there!"
- The Sentinel: "Then pray for him."
- Cotton Mather: "Who lies beyond that door?"
- The Sentinel: "Haven't you guessed?"
- Cotton Mather: "I insist that you tell me now."
- The Sentinel: "Beyond that door lies Hell itself."
- — The Man Who Was Thursday
- The Dark Lord: "It's not your life I want but your soul sinless and of free will that you must enter."
- Cotton Mather: "Enter?"
- The Dark Lord: "Don't worry. It won't hurt. Not at first. All you have to do is open the door and walk through. Consign yourself to an eternity in Hell, and save every soul in Salem."
- — Black Sunday
- Salem's Hell Gate is similar to a wide range of old doors of Renaissance buildings, such as the front gate of the Palazzo Trucchi di Levaldigi, better known as the Devil's Gate, located in Torino (Italy).
- The Hell Gate appeared in the third season is the second portal to Hell to appear in the series. The first was the Hell-blood puddle created in the second season, during the Grand Rite and following Consecration.
- Season Three's Salem Experience has an entry dedicated to "The Door(s) of Hell," released on WGN's Salem website as a special content for Episode 8, "Friday's Knights."