“Ages ago an Indian Town on Lake Wailes lake was plagued with raids by a huge gator. The town’s great warrior Chief and the gator were killed in a final battle that created the huge swampy depression nearby. The chief was buried on its north side. Later pioneer haulers coming from the old army trail atop the ridge above found their horses laboring here… at the foot of the ridge… and called it Spook hill. Is it the gator seeking revenge, or the chief protecting his land?”
Long before Orlando’s infamous amusement parks, Winter Haven was a popular destination for vacationers. Eager tourists would flock to Cypress Gardens, a botanical wonderland for floral enthusiasts. Unfortunately, like many beloved relics from forgotten eras, modern-day capitalism has turned over these former treasures to the highest bidder. Merlin Entertainments purchased the property several years ago. What was once a majestic natural conservatory is now “Legoland”— a sprawling city of monstrous plastic cubes. However, one quirky roadside attraction remains in a nearby town. Best of all: the admission is completely free!
Hell: a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death.
Regardless of an individual’s religious beliefs, most have pondered the possibility of a place called Hell. Perhaps it’s been in the late evening hours, when our insomnia-ridden minds wander to dark and seldom explored regions. Thoughts of the one’s inevitable demise begin to surface. Where will we go after the final breath is drawn? Some claim beneath the Earth there is a fiery inferno inhabited by malevolent souls. It is a realm of misery, suffering and unimaginable horrors. Yet does such a plane truly exist? Several Soviet scientists insist the answer is yes.
On an October 4, 2002 airing of Coast to Coast AM, a guest named Dallas Thompson appeared on the show. He would soon be embarking on an expedition to the North Pole in search of a land called Agartha. Also known as “Hollow Earth”, the kingdom was allegedly discovered by Admiral Richard E. Byrd in 1947. Thompson hoped he would be able to locate the supposed portal which leads to an inner-world contained far below our own. Later on, a concerned listener called in with an ominous warning for the adventurer. Apprehensively, he referenced haunting sounds captured at a deep Siberian drilling experiment two decades prior. The distressed man feared Thompson may encounter whatever produced these horrifying screams.
Art Bell, Coast to Coast’s host, obtained a copy of the recording and confirmed its authenticity, even citing Reuters news organization. Bell lamented the ghastly noises were discovered decades earlier when researchers dug a hole deeper than ever previously forged. Before sharing the sickening sample, he prefaced with information about his anonymous source. They obtained the file from their late uncle, an avid collector of paranormal videos and audiotapes. It originally belonged to a BBC employee who copied the cassette. With a hesitant pause, the seasoned investigator shared cautionary words with audience members: “I warn you, what you are about to hear is very disturbing.” Following the harrowing introduction, he played an unnerving half-minute clip of dreadful shrieking and revolting wails. Those listening to the radio airwaves shuddered anxiously.
The Well to Hell
In the 1980s, Russian scientists conducted a series of borehole experiments in remote Siberia. Originally the assignment involved studying geologic formations and uncovering rare mineral deposits. Eventually, the group ultimately embarked on a mission to simply see how far down they could go. Nothing unusual occurred during the first nine miles. However, after digging beyond record-breaking depths, things took a frightening turn. Suddenly their drill began to spin erratically. It appeared the geologists had hit some sort of hollow region underground. Within the cavern, thermometers gave readings of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, far higher than expected. A waft of rising heat engulfed the apprehensive men. Emanating from the grotto’s dark abyss was a faint noise. Perplexed, the miners decided to lower a heat-proof microphone to collect further data.
By this point, a few of the scientists felt incredibly uncomfortable and left the project. Those remaining analyzed the mysterious auditory data. Only a weak high-pitched ringing could be heard. Initially, they believed it had been the equipment’s own feedback registering. Minor adjustments were made and it became apparent these tones came from the planet’s interior. Although the microphone only laster a short period before malfunctioning from extreme temperatures, the geologists obtained thirty-seconds of macabre audio. Analyzers expected to register tectonic plate movement or terrestrial frequencies when the playback began. Instead, human-sounding shouts rang through the stifling air. Millions of tormented souls cried out in utter agony.
One chilling notion came to mind: had they accidentally opened a gateway to Hell? Immediately the team contemplated abandoning their assignment and evacuating. Whatever sinister forces produced such nightmarish howls might escape to the outer-world. According to Doctor Azzacove, project manager of the excavation undertaking, ambulances appeared on site that evening. Medical professionals interviewed the traumatized group. Afterwards, emergency responders gave a memory-erasing medication to nearby villagers. Azzacove speculated government officials feared locals may speak of the events which transpired. Ultimately authorities ordered the tunnel to be sealed and the venture was abandoned.
Siberia isn’t the only location to have reports of abominable screaming. Jacques Cousteau, esteemed oceanographer and former French Naval officer, encountered a similarly strange phenomenon while working in the Bermuda Triangle. During a routine scuba expedition, he decided to explore an underwater cave. A wave of apprehension inexplicably formed in the pit of his stomach. Being rational and logic-minded, the experienced master diver quickly dismissed feeling uneasy. As Cousteau swam further into the claustrophobia-inducing abyss, a deafening chorus of anguished yells filled his ears. Thousands of insufferable mortal vocals filled the eerie aquatic lair. At once he returned to the surface in a frenzied state. Upon returning to the ship, he shakily confided in his fellow seafarers. Cousteau told them that humanity wasn’t ready for what he encountered mere moments before. The traumatic ordeal greatly affected him and he refused to ever dive again.
Many argue the Well to Hell is an outright hoax contrived by a Christian group in attempts to frighten both believers and atheists alike. Others say a scene from Mario Bava’s 1972 film Baron Blood is responsible for the grim shrieking. Conspiracy theorists argue the audio was obtained amid a Black Friday sale at Walmart. Nevertheless, legends often originate from a grain of truth. Might it be plausible Russian scientists truly did record bizarre sounds within the bowls of Earth? Mankind knows more about outer space than the deep ocean. Only a handful of people have descended the Marianas Trench and even less have surveyed the globe’s seemingly bottomless core. Until more evidence is gathered, we can only speculate what truly resides countless miles underground.