The 13th Floor

Is the Devil’s Toy Box a Real-Life HELLRAISER Box?

Thirty years ago, Clive Barker brought his sadomasochistic vision of Hell to life in the 1987 release, HELLRAISER. This tale of demons who offer pleasure or pain (and are summoned a puzzle box) was truly a unique vision in the world of horror. As it’s my absolute favorite horror film, I’ve watched every installment, as well as read all the books and comics. To this day, Pinhead and his hellish band of cenobites still frighten me. Since its release, some have questioned the plausible notion of heaven and hell being unlocked through various puzzles and objects. A few years back, a story emerged out of Louisiana that seemed to give validity to such a theory.

The story of the “Devil’s Toy Box” began circulating around the internet a few years ago as a CreepyPasta. However, there are those who believe its legend goes back much further. According to the legend, paranormal researcher Joshua P. Warren stumbled across a shack in Louisiana, deserted after the residents had been admitted into insane asylums. The walls, floor, and ceiling were constructed of mirrored panels, all of equal size. The mirrors all faced inward so that anyone stepping inside could see themselves from every angle.

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Mirrors have always had strange legends associated with them. In some folklore, the mirror is believed to be a gateway into another realm. In games like Bloody Mary, Three Kings, or Council of Mirrors, the mirror can be used as a corridor from one dimension to the other. In the case of these sinister games, they often also act a pathway for evil to pass from one world into ours. The Devil’s Toy Box operates in much the same way. It is said that if someone stands too long in this mirrored cabin, looking at nothing but themselves, they will not only go insane but they will also open up a pathway to Hell. This pathway allows the devil to enter our world and steal their soul. Some believe it goes even further than that and that the devil will take your flesh as well.

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Warren first learned about the box within the cabin from a woman he referred to as Erin. Erin and Warren both refused to say where exactly in Louisiana the cabin was located, out of concern for thrill seekers looking to test the theories of the Devil’s Toy Box. Erin told the investigator that in 2014 a man in their town had organized a haunted house for Halloween. One of the attractions he built was the windowless cabin in question, although there are those who believe that the cabin had always been there and that the haunted house was built around it. Erin never entered the cabin, but claimed that a number of people were hospitalized after the spending time in the cabin. A timer was even set up next to the cabin to record just how long the attendees remained inside. The record was five minutes set by a man who reportedly became mute after exiting. The haunted house closed quickly afterwards and never opened again, trying to cover up all reports of the injuries and mental problems.

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The door to the cabin was padlocked shut, and why it wasn’t destroyed is still supposedly unknown. Perhaps the town was afraid of what curse those powerful panels of glass may unlock. The rest of the haunted house attractions eventually disappeared into the Louisiana forest, while the cabin remained standing strong, and showing only the slightest bit of age. According to Erin, it is still back there somewhere in the woods. Every once in awhile, they hear a story about a group of high school students stumbling on it. They story always ends with a friend driven insane by what they saw in those mirrored panels and being pulled from the room screaming.