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Strange Familiars: Episode 1 - Toad Road and the Seven Gates of Hell, Part 1

StrangeFamiliarsOur first cycle of episodes will explore some local legends from York County, Pennsylvania beginning with Toad Road and the Seven Gates of Hell. In the first episode we talk a little about Toad Road and the Seven Gates, where they are, what they might be, and what they are not. We disprove some urban legends and head to Hex Hollow for discussions about powwow, witchcraft, ghosts, will-o-the-wisps, cryptid creatures, and the famous "hex murder".


If you would like to help us continue to make Strange Familiars, get bonus content, t-shirts, stickers, and more rewards, you can become a patron.

Episode 1 notes and links:

Much of the research for this episode was done for our first book, Beyond the Seventh Gate.

The Phillip Smith interview was done by Catherine Diehl.

Lon Strickler can be found at: Phantoms and Monsters.


Tara Vanflower:

Jo Cosgrove:

Contact us via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


instagram: @strangefamiliars

Strange Familiars is a production of Dark Holler Arts, LLC. Music, art, podcasts, books, and more.

Intro and background music by Stone Breath - which is our band. You can find more at


Strange Experiences, Hypnosis, Bigfoot, and more... - Feb 1, 2017

Strange Familiars

Timothy Renner shares with us some of his weird experiences, the strange 'chessboard' game he's been playing in the woods, what he thought was going to be a bigfoot sighting, early UFO sighting, Magick, his haunted house and more. Mike Clelland and Joshua Cutchin join me to help him make sense of it all.


Outro Music is Sticks from Tuimothy Renner's band, Stone Breath, from the album, Cryptids.



Beyond the Seventh Gate with Timothy Renner - December 2, 2016

BeyondBookCover_front.jpgTimothy Renner's book, Beyond the Seventh Gate cover a lot of territory. We talk about dispelling some urban legends before getting into all kinds of strange tales of Bigfoot, Goatman, Dogman, Albatwitches, Ghost Lights, The Hidebehind, and much more...


You can find my review of the book here

Outro song by Timothy's band, Stone Breath, off the Cryptids CD, "The Hodebehind". You can find out more at his website



Beyond the Seventh Gate: Exploring Toad Road, the Seven Gates of Hell, and Other Strangeness in York, Lancaster, and Adams Counties by Timothy Renner (2016)

Beyond the Seventh Gate is a entertaining read. Not overly long, but it explores a lot in it 150ish pages. Focused South Central Pennsylvania, Timothy Renner first takes the time to dispel some of the local unban myths about a place called Toad Road, a burning insane asylum, and the Seven Gates of Hell. Then, however, he reveals a wealth of strangeness that actually has some reality to it, from reports of bigfoot and dogman, even goatman, to strange UFO sightings, weird ghost encounters, and some really, really bizarre encounters, all centered in that general area. It seems to be a bit of a cluster of weirdness. He gets into the truth behind the Hex Hollow murder, and clears the names of some innocent people that have been caught up in the urban myths. On top of that, the book has plenty of photos, and some outstanding artwork by the author.

Check out Timothy’s Website at

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