The ‘Gateway to Hell’: Hundreds of Anti-Witch Mars Discovered in English Cave

On the walls of the cave are a large number of symbols and marks that served to allegedly prevent demons from leaving it.

A small karstic cave near the town of Creswell, England, could have been considered “a gateway to hell,” a portal to the underworld.

Image Credit: Creswell Crags / YouTube.
Image Credit: Creswell Crags / YouTube.

According to researchers, in ancient times it was believed that this door was used by demons and witches to sow chaos in humanity, writes The Guardian.

The reason the cave is considered the gateway to hell is because it contains the highest concentration of apotropaic symbols ever found in the United Kingdom.

Experts say that the cave markings served to protect against evil and mishaps.

According to experts, there are hundreds of markings.

John Charlesworth, the caves’ heritage interpreter explained that natural landscapes like the cave were regarded in ancient times as ‘scary places’.

“These are places where supernatural forces in an untamed non-human environment could be at work. Local people are in the jaws of this monstrous landscape.”

The size and variety of the symbols, engraved on the limestone walls and the ceiling of a cave that has a deep, dark hole in its center, “is unprecedented,” according to the British newspaper.

Alison Fearn, an expert in protective symbols at the University of Leicester, said that the letters and symbols were Christian, but should not be considered in that context, because then – from the sixteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century – people did not associate the cross with religion.

According to Fearn, the cross simply meant “a protective symbol” before something that was in the cave, and it had the function of keeping that something away from the cave … or preventing it from coming out of it.

“They could be fairies, witches, demons, anything that was feared was going to stay there,” says Fearn.

Ronald Hutton, professor and folklore expert, has valued the discovery as something very important and exciting.

“It seems to be the largest set of protective markings that have been found in British caves, and possibly anywhere in the United Kingdom,” Hutton said.

The cave marks- which, it was believed, protect against evil – were found by chance last year by enthusiastic speleologists Hayley Clark and Ed Waters.

 

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