This Isn’t the Gateway to Hell, But It’s Just as Terrifying

There are some places in the world that have the power to take over our imagination and fill it with dreadful thoughts. Does the thought of being sucked into a bottomless pit absolutely terrify you? Good. Because it scares the hell out of us, too.

The Monticello Dam Drain, or “Glory Hole,” in Lake Berryessa located in Napa County, California, looks like some kind of underworld that can be accessed by falling into its abyss.

It is considered the largest drain in the world, with an opening of 72 feet and and exit of 28 feet. When the reservoir is at full capacity, this spillway can empty up to 362,000 gallons of water per second.

But it’s a very rare sight to see this so-called gateway to hell in action. It’s only when Lake Berryessa is full that the Glory Hole begins spilling excess water into the creek on the other side of the damn.


There are warning signs and markers everywhere to warn people of the dangers associated with getting too close to the drain. Swimming near the spillway may look like an awesome challenge, however, doing so can cause you to get sucked under the water with thousands of pounds of pressure keeping you from surfacing. It’s extremely dangerous. Even the best swimmers in the world would have a difficult time escaping its wrath. And it can prove fatal.

Back in 1997, a 41-year-old woman was killed after swimming out to the hole and being sucked down into it. Allegedly, she held onto the edge of the hole for 20 minutes before disappearing.

See the Glory Hole in action in the video below.

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