Urban Legends

Stairway to Hell

The Legend

Collected on the Internet, May 2006

Did you know that there is a staircase that goes all the way down to hell? It really does exist, and it is located in an old cemetery next to a collapsed church in Stull, Kansas, which is a little town about 20 miles outside of Lawrence. If you visit, just move the stone from the entrance, listen to hear the screams of the damned coming up from down below, and walk down if you dare!

Behind the Legend

Unfortunately, those wishing to take the long walk to Hell without going through the inconvenience of dying first will not find a trip to Kansas worth their while.

There is indeed a collapsed church in the little town of Stull, and it does have a cemetery, and there is a large stone covering a staircase opening, but attempting to use the staircase below is both nearly physically impossible and illegal.

In 1986, in response to many complaints from advocacy groups, the federal government found the stairway to Hell to be out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The staircase had no rails, the steps were hand-cut and uneven, and there was no alternative means of transportation for those with limited mobility. The little church was told that it had to make accommodations immediately.

Well, as you can imagine a collapsed church that has been pressed into use by Satanists as a desecrated site for their unholy ceremonies doesn't have much in the way of steady income. The cost of converting the stairway into an escalator was investigated and found to be unmanageably high, as was the cost of installing an elevator to hell. Even if they started charging a reasonable admission, the church would not be able to pay off its debt for several thousand years, and the apocalypse would have come long before that, forcing them into bankruptcy.

So it was that the decision was made to simply seal off the stairway to hell. There is a petition circulating to have the stairway declared a national monument, but it has met with little success, possibly because the petition's promoters are requesting signatures in blood.

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