In most respects York is exactly what you'd expect of a rural Pennsylvania town—a quiet place in the heartland of the state. Don't be fooled—there is a mysterious history and a dark underside of york. One site within the city limits of the town speaks to a sinister episode that betrays the city's tranquillity.
It is a story of death. It is story of despair. It is a story about attempting to breach the very boundries of hell itself. It is the story of Toad Road. You will not find Toad Road on the map of York, because its name has been officially changed to Trout Run Road. This was done to dissuade curiosity-seekers from putting themselves in harm's way and to hide the grisly incidents that once occured along the thoroughfare.
In the 1800s a colossal mental asylum stood in the woods of York off Toad Road. This was a hellish place and the home of only the most deranged, most unfortunate souls. The asylum was many stories high and contained hundreds of rooms. Buried in the desolate Pennsylvania woods, it was viewed as the perfect place to ship the insane from all across the state.
There was one major problem with this location, however; it was miles away from civiliztion. While viewed as a blessing by those who didn't want to face their fears, this also meant that the asylum was not easily accessible. This led to a great tragedy when it caught fire one day.
Because of its remote locale, firefighters were unable to get there in time. Many of the patients burned to death in the upper floors of the building, and hundreds of others fled into the surrounding woods. The scene was true chaos—some of the most deranged and dangerous people in all Pennsylvania had disappeared into the woods as an inferno spread throughout the area.
When officials finally put out the fire, they set out to capture all of the inmates. Scared by the reputations of the asylum's inmates and unsure of how to handle the situation, the search party was extraordinarily aggresive, beating into submission some of those they found and killing others.
It's clear why no one in York acknowledges this publicly. The town changed the name of the road, stopped talking of the hospital, and tried to put the tragedy behind it. Unfortunately, this would be impossible. The psychic impact of these horrible events forever cursed Toad Road. People today say that the area is so cursed that it is the location of seven gateways to hell. York officials had constructed seven barriers along the paths to the former site of the asylum. Most adventure-seekers never even locate the first one. For those who manage to find the path, it is said that, by the fifth barrier, the sense of evil and overpowering feelings of death will turn back even the bravest explorer back. Apparitions are often seen along these paths. Strange noises and menacing screams are heard frequently.
Legends say that if one did manage to get past all seven gates, they would be standing upon the burned remains of the mental hospital, a
bona fide passageway to hell itself