Hell’s Gates: A Haunted Texas Railroad Trestle Near Buddy Holly’s Grave

There’s a West Texas legend that the Gates of Hell itself are to be found at a historic railroad trestle not far from the grave of a rock ‘n’ roll hero. Buddy Holly, the 1950s rock pioneer, is buried in the Lubbock Cemetery among 60,000 other graves. Fans from around the world visit Holly’s grave each year to pay tribute to the singer-songwriter whose work profoundly influenced everyone from the Beatles to Bob Dylan. However, few of those visitors are aware of the historic railroad trestle known as Hell’s Gates, located just down the winding road from the cemetery, not to mention the history of spooky rumors and myths about the bridge.

The trestle looms over the south end of Dunbar Park, bridging the canyon above the trickling water of the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. It’s an imposing structure, and at night it is indeed an ominous sight. The park isn’t located in the best part of Lubbock, and the trestle itself is isolated, so it’s highly recommended that if you choose to visit, you do so with friends during daylight hours.


Photo: Facebook/I Love Lubbock

There are many rumors about the railroad trestle known as Hell’s Gates. Most are impossible to confirm, and some are almost certainly nothing more than myth, but the place boasts a rich folklore. True believers claim that the trestle acts as a bridge connecting the South Plains with the spirit plane. One dubious story maintains that in the early 1900s, robbers forced the train to stop on the trestle and murdered the passengers, tossing their bodies off the bridge into the stream below.

During the 1970s, rumors abounded that satanic cult members would perform rituals at Hell’s Gates. Despite how macabre that might sound, it’s one of the more plausible stories surrounding the trestle. Over the years, the site has indeed attracted some strange visitors on occasion. There’s also a rumor that a young woman committed suicide by hanging herself from the bridge, but no evidence has been found to support this claim.


Photo: Facebook/I Love Lubbock

Many visitors to Hell’s Gates report spotting shadowy figures or even seeing glowing orbs. Whether these stories are the work of over-active imaginations or genuine supernatural sightings is a question best left to those brave enough to check out the site for themselves. It should be noted that the City of Lubbock has placed a chain-link fence over either side of the trestle in an effort to prevent people from walking across the railroad ties. A fall from the trestle could easily result in death or permanent injury. We strongly discourage anyone from venturing out onto the trestle itself. The location is fascinating enough when viewed from the ground.

Written by Max McNabb