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Is there a literal gateway to the Otherworld?


“Gateways” to the Otherworld are a very common thing in literature and stories around the world. Everybody knows the stories of people who disappeared and maybe returned years later like famous Rip Van Winkle. I also remember some fairy tales and the classic legend of Orpheus.

However the idea of a gateway to the otherworld raises some fundamental questions. In the end of David Lynch’s legendary TV series “Twin Peaks” Agent Cooper disappears in the “Black Lodge” deep in the woods. Lynch doesn’t explain what exactly happened and it is one of the questions, which is left to our own interpretation

Most of the medieval otherworld journeys seem to happen on a psychic level. However there is word about St. Patrick’s purgatory where people literally entered the other world through a doorway in a cave in Lough Derg, Donegal.

I started my own investigation about gateways to the Otherworld very early during the research for The Forest Dark Movie project. In the picture below you see pictures, my notebook and my maps from an expedition to the Bavarian Forest, south east Bavaria.


My objective was to get some impressions at a place in the mountains where one of the famous prophets of the region received some of his visions (the region is well known for people who have premonitions about certain events in the future). If otherworldly vision is sometimes connected with places I thought there might be certain locations, which are somehow closer to the other world. It was a day in early October and the morning was misty and cold. The mist never lifted as can be seen in the picture. The place where the visionary received his troubling visions is named “Hennenkobel” in Bavarian and it was possible to identify that place. When I reached the site there wasn’t happening something really extraordinary. It was very quiet and not much light swept through the huge trees. I took some pictures and after a while I descended and walked back to my car. I wasn’t exactly disappointed, but was thinking that there is a problem. If we do research and investigate these sites we bring our knowledge as baggage. This might trigger the imagination, but also makes you even more skeptical. I didn’t even want to think something ridiculous. Later I thought it will be always a problem if you visit a place with a certain attitude. But what did happen was that the excursion and the images left a deep impression, which came up again and again when working on the movie screenplay.

Far from having an answer if there are literal gateways to the Otherworld I can say that there are places which have a  quality to leave their trace. They are somehow “strong places”, but much more investigation is needed to know how else they could work. I personally do not believe in some sort of “Star Gate” to the Otherworld but there are certain things I know and we should be very careful to play around at the gateways to the Otherworld. Jacques Vallees writes about a British medium and occultist, Dion Fortune, who mentioned in her book “Psychic Self Defence” the mysterious death of her friend Netta Fornario. She was found dead on a mountain in Iona with traces of terrible scrapes, in 1930. Researcher Jacques Vallees adds that there were reports of blue lights in the area at the same time.

The question about gateways to the Otherworld is not only if they literally exist but also if they can work both ways. What if something can come through the gateway from the other side into our world? It might be not necessarily some monster with tentacles but something, which takes possession of the mind or something which “plants” an idea in our minds.

If we deal with the Otherworld we might need to abandon our idea  of the distinct separation of mind and matter.


Sometimes the veil between our world and the other realms become thinner as usual. This must not necessarily happen at some place in The Forest Dark or at a certain time. As we know from the ecstatic visionaries the doorway can be opened at any place at any time in the Universe. And in the end everybody finally enters the door to the Otherworld.


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