Gates of Hell



Gates of Hell

Where: High Street, Columbus, OH

When: Various from 1995 thru present.

Status: Never Changes Much.


The Gates of Hell are a Columbus Landmark in my eyes. The area, also known as the blood bowl, is basically Urban Exploration 101. At a recent presentation by Andy of Forgotten Ohio, someone in the audience mentioned the blood bowl and everyone laughed. Out of the group of 30 or so, maybe five were not aware of it. If you are one of the few... you will soon know what little there is to know of the Gates of Hell.

Everything that can be said about the Gates is in the minds of the thosands of Columbus youth that have made this their test grounds for counter culture activities over the years.

In my estimation, the gates have seen many a teenager sneaking a kiss from a girl on a spooky night with friends. More people have probaby gotten stoned here than and other place in the city.

Entrance to the tunnel

My favorite thing about the Gates is the sheer amound to pure stright forward art and emotion expressed. There are no rules, no standards, no expectations. Kids will spray everything from their names to song lyrics on the walls. Its the center of everything that the capitol square is not. When one piece of art fades, something else is simply painted in its place.

The grid further up the creek.

I may be over selling the Gates. Its not the greatest place on earth,but it is certainly the best drainage culvert in the city. If you ever find yourself stuck near the Tim Hortons just past henderson on High, take a trip back in to the woods and find the Gates. Take a walk through the tunnel. You really can't miss out on this simple yet essential landmark. I think it may actually by a requirement for an OSU diploma now.


The area is named the Gates of Hell due to the large metal structure that spans the opening of the tunnel. From a distance it looks like what one would imagine the gates of hell to look like. The area is also called the blood bowl due to a rumor of a skater being killed skating here. The name really refers to the area surrounding the tunnel as well as the tunnel.

The most notable feature of the actual tunnel is the room in the center where there is little or no light. Due to a bend in the tunnel you can basically get to a point where there is no light. You can turn off your flash light and basically stand alone, or with friends, in total isolation while only 20ft above you the city is in full swing. It really is like the anti-city/anti-mainstream. Enjoy it.

There is a room in the center.
An example of the point where you see no light coming from either end.
The newer square portion of the tunnel.
Looking out over the culvert.


That is about the bulk of the info for the gates. There are a few more pictures in the gallery. NOTE: Your browser's pop up blocker may prevent you from using the gallery correctly. If so, you should be able to change it to allow content from my page. There is nothing harmful on my page, its simply a protection against a useful application that some people do use maliciously.


More pictures can be found in the gallery here.