Episode 1 – Toad Road and the Seven Gates of Hell, part 1

Strange Familiars explores a variety of subjects in a combination of storytelling, reporting, interviews, and discussion. Cryptids, ghosts, folklore, mythology, and paranormal topics.

Our first cycle of episodes will explore some local legends from York County, Pennsylvania beginning with Toad Road and the Seven Gates of Hell. In the first episode we talk a little about Toad Road and the Seven Gates, where they are, what they might be, and what they are not. We disprove some urban legends and head to Hex Hollow for discussions about powwow, witchcraft, ghosts, will-o-the-wisps, cryptid creatures, and the famous “hex murder”.


If you would like to help us continue to make Strange Familiars, get bonus content, t-shirts, stickers, and more rewards, you can become a patron at Patreon.

Episode 1 notes and links:

Much of the research for this episode was done for our first book, Beyond the Seventh Gate

The Phillip Smith interview was done by Catherine Diehl.

Lon Strickler can be found at Phantoms and Monsters.

Support Sarada at her Etsy shop.

Tara Vanflower has several books on Amazon.

You can also support Jo Cosgrove at her Etsy shop.

Strange Familiars is a production of Dark Holler Arts, LLC. Music, art, podcasts, books, and more. darkhollerarts.com

Intro and background music by Stone Breath – which is our band. You can find more at the Stone Breath bandcamp page.

Episode 1 images:

Toad Road – the gate end


Dr. Belknap

Dr. H.P. Belknap


Dr Crandall's Health School

Dr. Crandall’s Health School


The "Hex" House

The “Hex” House – Nelson D. Rehmeyer’s former residence


Hex Hollow 7

Hex Hollow 5

Hex Hollow 4

Hex Hollow 2

Several closed roads in Hex Hollow.


Creepy Shoe

A creepy sight – we found this single shoe, with teeth marks, off trail in Hex Hollow.


2 thoughts on “Episode 1 – Toad Road and the Seven Gates of Hell, part 1

  1. For all people coming into this, who find this comment this is for you. I want to address Strange Familiars logo. As above so below is one of my favorite symbols. I recently have come into knowing of a new “understanding” of symbolism. To understand you must be able to see the foundation for what you will build on. As above so below is wrong, wrong, wrong. This isn’t the point. The point is ascension so you need a foundation to grow your tree in. This symbol means below you have the square root of what you will build upon to try and reach the higher levels, such as in ascending the scales of music. What you find in music is example of the root to the meaning of six being a perfect number, there is no seventh note. The seventh note is borrowed from the higher scale. That is why you have always 6 things that equal a seventh. Rainbows have six colors that combined equal violet/white light, arithmetic six operations that give you a seventh/answer, six chakras raised up to a seventh crown, who, what , when, where, why, and how six questions that describe one event, it is all around us the symbolism of levels. And that the answers/fruits of labor are found in ascending. My favorite observable in nature example is the double rainbow. Which astonishes me for colors are placed due to their wave length. So to have a double rainbow shows even in waves there are levels, you shouldn’t get a double rainbow other wise. Think of colors as different sized horse shoes where the color is associated with the length. How could you make a double rainbow out of them? You can’t you have to have another set that is made of larger horse shoes. This is why across all countries we see symbolism of a man bird. As ground sets foundation for root to rise, the bird becomes the connection to an even higher realm. This is why Hindu god’s ride birds and why Horace has man body bird head. The god Brahma for an example is a six limb (perfect being) and the bird is the level below. It is the next level of the as above so below symbolism, really I would call so below, so above. Thank you for providing a platform for these ideas guys.

  2. If you want to see a symbol besides the rainbow: I had put together on my own that the six blind men who are touching an elephant on different parts of the body and describe six different things that make a seventh thing together are symbolized by the Hindu knot which if you look it up you will see it is six sixes looped together to form a seventh object.

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